In an overly materialistic world, prosperity is unfortunately and invariably associated with hordes of money and countless possessions. Yet to the truly prosperous people of this world, prosperity is prosperity in its purest and original sense. Prosperity comes from the Latin word spes, which means “hope and vigor.” To the truly prosperous person, being prosperous means being positive and happy in the moment.

Clearly, true prosperity is living easily and happily whether you have lots of money or not. I have had the fortune of being on both sides of the fence. I have been broke, over $30,000 in debt, and have had to borrow money to pay the rent. At one time I even had the sobering experience of sleeping in my car for two cold winter nights when the temperature was -21º F. Extremely cold, of course, but this is still far from the bottom. As Mike Todd said, “I’ve never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a state of mind. Being broke is a temporary situation.”

Many years later I am fortunate enough to have a good income, spending substantially less money than I earn and investing a nice surplus each year. Having been broke on more than one occasion makes me a lot more grateful for the fine financial position I enjoy today. Yet I often felt just as prosperous — even more prosperous at certain times — when I was broke as I do today.

For instance, the year I wrote my international bestseller The Joy of Not Working I was in debt big time, but I was filled with hope and vigor, the true feeling of prosperity. I told a few people that the book “may just make me a million dollars.” For the record, to date the book has earned me about half that amount and it still gives me a nice residual income whether I am awake or asleep. This would not have been possible if I hadn’t felt prosperous enough to take up writing and self-publishing when I had no savings and little income.

Spiritual leaders say that as a matter of course prosperity will come when you are pursuing the right things with your life. To feel truly prosperous, you may have to leave the corporate world for good simply because prosperity and freedom go hand in hand. For some people this means having to give up a substantial amount of their income, at least for a certain period of time.

Most people are too afraid to give up a secure job because they don’t think that they have what it takes to leave the corporate world. False beliefs about your limitations will hold you back from gaining freedom. No complaining and no victim stuff. Okay? The more loving your personality and the more love you have for life and your work, the more money you will attract and the more you will enjoy spending the money.

So, as long as you believe, without doubt, in your prosperity, then you will experience a world in which you are prosperous and free of money worries. Consciously worrying about money or being subconsciously motivated by the fear of running out of money hardly ever produces great wealth. Trust that you will always have enough money to get by, even if you quit your lousy job to pursue your dream career.

Indeed, your prosperity will grow to the extent that you do. Your feeling of prosperity may require that you overcome the fear of leaving a secure job for a less secure job, with less pay, but a lot more freedom. Fact is, feeling more prosperous doesn’t necessarily mean earning more money. Sometimes it means earning less money.

Contrary to popular belief, prosperity is an emotional state that has little to do with your wealth or the state of the economy. You can feel more prosperous in a one-room cottage than most wealthy people feel in a twenty-room mansion. Misers will hoard a lot of money and spendthrifts will spend whatever they have — you don’t have to do either to feel prosperous. You may have to give up your secure, high-paying corporate job, however — and grow spiritually in the process.


Ernie Zelinski is an international best-selling author who helps adventurous souls to live prosperous and free. He is also a prosperity life coach, professional speaker, and unconventional career expert.

Ernie has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals from all walks of life in their career transitions and retirement planning through his international best-selling and life-changing books such as The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. These two books together have sold a total of over 600,000 copies.

Ernie is an innovative ex-corporate worker who was blessed to have been fired from his job as a professional engineer over 20 years ago and to have leveraged his many years of struggles without a real job into a lifestyle of personal and financial freedom that is the envy of the corporate world.

Ernie has dedicated his life to helping individuals create a better work/life balance in their lives and to help them pursue their dream careers. To learn more about Ernie, visit