Dumb question, right? Anyone knows that accumulating wealth means making lots of money, and we desire to collect wealth because we want more money. Correct? Obviously, or maybe not.

The modern dictionary defines wealth in several ways including an abundance of possessions or resources, abundant supply, and property with monetary or tradeable value. Money does not even appear until the last entry. Intriguing right? However, I would wager that any ordinary person asked to define wealth, would define it in terms of possessing much money. And, although that's true, it means so much more.

Why are we interested in building wealth? Do we desire money simply to have it? While several selfish individuals may answer 'yes' to that question, the majority would certainly answer 'no'. By and large, the greater number of us are interested in having money because of its potential, or for how we believe it can change our lives.

We desire money to settle bills and release us from debt. We desire money for the security it represents for ourselves and our loved ones. We desire money to purchase our dream home or the car we thought we'd never have. We desire money to gain control of our work and our actions, instead of handing that power to other individuals and companies that are not interested in our identities as individuals or our life dreams and objectives. Those represent a few causes for amassing wealth.

Wealth offers the means to obtain supplies, favor and prospects that we wouldn't have under other circumstances. It offers access to first rate care for the prevention of sickness and disease. It provides for freedom of time and movement. Want to explore the Amazon rain forest for a month with fifty of your closest friends? Then you go! Wealth is the opportunity to connect with family members for every special occasion or just because, rather than every few years. It's a chance to follow after the things that matter the most to us, whether that includes skydiving, traveling a continent, or donating our services to people affected by catastrophe or in need.

The real definition of wealth, and the importance in possessing it, really is about having adequate supply and opportunity. Building wealth, in its most basic sense is gathering ample resources to create and to live genuinely; so that our lives reflect who we really are here and now on this planet.

To paraphrase Oprah Winfrey, be appreciative of what you've got, and you'll get more. But if you concentrate on what you lack, you'll never be able to get enough. You can only be yourself, and if you were not a nice person prior to accumulating money, you'll just become a wealthy schmuck, and the same is true in reverse. Wealth does not change the core of who you are. It just makes for a better dressed core.

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