I saw a lot of people grow up with very little money. Yet they were some of the happiest people I have ever seen.

They were fiercely passionate about their careers and competitive in nature. They were certainly comfortably rich, but money was not the first thing you noticed when you saw them.

Once we make enough money for ourselves and put some away for the future, it’s time to focus on other things — the things that could bring you real happiness that money alone can’t buy. If you have enough money and you are still spending all your time thinking about money, then something is wrong.

Here are some things we all could focus on to make money matter a little less.

1. Passions

Take time to think about what really matters to you, if you’re blessed enough to not worry about making ends meet. Have you always wanted to be a dancer? A singer? Go for it. Nurturing deep-rooted passions and fulfilling little dreams go a long way to making you happy.

2. People and relationships

Choose a few people and relationships that really matter to you and nurture them very deliberately. Take time to be thoughtful and be there for the people that need you. Relationships are one of the few things all the money in the world cannot buy.

3. Travel

Take time to travel (which doesn’t always have to be expensive). It doesn’t matter where you go; just take the time to visit a couple of places every year. Live with the local people, eat their food and learn about their customs. You can buy these kinds of experiences for a lot of money, but what you’ll need more than anything is an open mind.

4. Causes

Volunteering is a great way to help people or a cause that makes a global difference. There is so much joy in making a difference and connecting with people over a cause you both feel strongly about. Today, with the Internet and social media, there are more ways than ever to support the causes you feel strongly about.

5. The earth

Focus on saving the earth for our children. Educate your family and your community. Learn how to save the earth, and work towards it. It is a BIG cause that can use all the help in the world.

Photo by alwaysbecool

6. Books

Read. Read a whole lot. Read with your kids. Read before bed and read when you wake up.

The best years of my life were my years from graduate schoo, when I read day in and day out without a worry in the world. I dreamed up books and stories every minute. It was quite a life.

7. Happiness

Examine your life and think about what little things make you happy. There are some things that I do not want to miss – that I will not trade anything for – such as spending precious time with my kids when they need me. You don’t need money to focus on what makes life so sweet.

8. The body

Money is worth nothing if we get sick, so focus on your health while you are well. Take baby steps to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Bad habits are very expensive, so develop good habits while you can.

9. The mind

Like the body, our mental health is increasingly important — especially these days when the economy isn’t the best and people are more stressed than ever before. Meditation, a few minutes of yoga, and good posture cost absolutely no money.

10. Celebrations

Do you have a whole lot of love in your life? Celebrate it. Did you achieve a little something today? Take time to reward yourself. Uncelebrated moments slip away. The more you celebrate the little things, the less money seems to matter.

Are you at a spot where you are financially comfortable? What do you focus on to add richness in your life? Even if you’re not financially independent, what do you do to add richness to your daily life?