We all want prosperity.

When we say that, what exactly is it we want?

Some starting pointers from the Oxford Dictionary:

  • Prosperity (n). a state of being prosperous; wealth or success.
  • Prosperous (adj.) 1 successful; rich 2 flourishing; thriving 3 auspicious
  • Prosper (v.) 1 succeed; thrive 2 make successful.

Maybe it would be better to say we all want to prosper. We all want to succeed; we all want to thrive.

I suspect that most of us dream about the getting rich side of prospering.

There is nothing wrong with aspiring to be rich, but that’s only one aspect of the state of being prosperous. Mind you, being rich enables you to do a lot more things than being poor, so it’s understandable that we want to be richer than we are.

I think there is more to it than becoming rich.


What about flourishing as a person? What might that mean beyond or apart from having a healthy bank balance? What about healthy relationships? What about well-being and good health – physically, mentally and spiritually?

In a way, prosperity is about feeling good about yourself and being able to enjoy what this world has to offer.

If we think about prosperity as success, we can see that it’s much more than just having a lot of money. Most of us know that’s only one kind of success. We know that we can enjoy success in many aspects of life beyond accumulating money.

Maybe you can get that sense of prosperity simply by feeling happy with your lot. Maybe it comes from being in a loving relationship. Maybe it comes from living in communities where we respect each other or living in societies where everybody gets a fair go.

When you expand your definition of what prosperity means for you, as in the above examples, you start to see that there are no limits to prosperity. You start to understand that your prosperity adds to the prosperity of all and does not subtract from the prosperity of others.

If there is one thing I’ve learnt in life, it’s you can’t get what you want by focusing on what you don’t want.

If you want to experience more prosperity in your life, decide what prosperity means for you, and devote your energy to creating more of that. That’s what I’m doing.

Peter Mulraney is a creative writer from Australia.

4 Replies to “Prosperity”

      1. Ultimately it is to do with your own hopes … PRO – SPES (latin: hope). The word SPEED is tied in. ‘God speed the plough!’ did not mean it had to go at 100 mph. That change of meaning only started with the Industrial Revolution.

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