Often, we think of balance as a scale: having equal weights on either side. In reality, balance may not be what it seems. Instead, it can be thought of as a pendulum. It’s about finding what’s right for you. There isn’t a one size fits all, especially when it comes to wealth.

Wealth is a tricky area in which to find balance. Modern society tends to glorify the ultra-wealthy and encourages us to strive towards living a glamorous lifestyle. Having financial security plays an important role in securing your own quality of life and standard of living, however, where do we draw the line between economic empowerment and the desire for excessive wealth?

It is human nature to constantly crave more. Corporations have made an industry out of tapping into the consumerist desires of our psyche. We tie our happiness to our net worth and the things we own, but how is it that someone with less wealth can be just as happy? When we start to fill voids in our life by surrounding ourselves with material things, it can create an imbalance in our lives and we often desire and crave more. This creates an unhealthy greed for excessive wealth.

So what does it mean to have economic empowerment? What does economic empowerment look like for different individuals? Having a safety blanket and ensuring our essential needs are taken care of is extremely important but what next? Once we have the security in place for ourselves and our families, why do we continue to chase wealth?

As a society, we tend to look at money as a finite resource. We sometimes think that there is only X amount out there and we need to get as much of it as we can before it runs out. Throughout societies around the world, we see an abundance of fraudulent investments. Part of this stems from the concept of a finite amount of wealth.  What we fail to realize is that global financial systems are built upon an abundance of money, and so there’s always going to be both risks and opportunities. Once we can start shifting our mindset to understand this, we can start to move towards true economic empowerment and finding a balance in our lives.

I live the life of a typical first generation Canadian. My parents immigrated to Canada from Tanzania in the late 1980s. Like the majority of immigrant families, my parents moved here because it represents a land of opportunity. Nothing is impossible. For my parents, economic empowerment was having a secure income and the ability to build the life they had dreamed of halfway across the world. The sacrifices they made allow me the luxury of having the choices I do today. I can choose to do what I am passionate about and if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay, there’s always going to be some other opportunity for me to fall back on. Wealth is not a means to an end. Following my passions, not limiting my dreams, and not having wealth control my decisions is truly empowering.

Part of getting our mindset to shift to think this way is understanding wealth and being financially literate in our own lives. Spreading the knowledge of financial literacy allows members of the Jamat to be more in control of their finances and on the path to economic empowerment.

Finding what economic empowerment means to you is a critical aspect to understanding where the balance of wealth fits into your life. When we can’t find that balance, our pendulum can swing towards the extremes of excessive wealth and greed which can lead us down a path of personal unhappiness. So, take a moment to reflect on your life. What does economic empowerment look like for you? Where does your pendulum stand?


Tashia is a financial security advisor with Freedom 55 Financial. She graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a social science degree and a finance degree. After graduating university, she immediately entered the wealth management industry. She is approaching her third anniversary in the industry.