Welcome to the How to Design Your Rich Life mini-course!

In this program, you’ll create a vivid picture of your personal Rich Life so you can start living intentionally, focusing on the things you love and ignoring the things you don’t. 

Along the way, you’ll learn:

  • What is and is not a Rich Life?
  • How to map your Rich Life.
  • How to dial up your happiness.

This process is fast and fun! Going through the lessons and completing the exercises will only take you about 1 hour — but your vision will be yours to help guide you through the rest of your life.

But first, a little bit about your teacher

ramit sethi

Hi, I’m Ramit Sethi. You might know me as the author of the New York Times bestseller I Will Teach You To Be Rich and host of the I Will Teach You To Be Rich podcast.

Or you might have seen me in a 6-page Fortune profile or as a regular guest on the Tim Ferriss Podcast. For more on me and how IWT can help you, check out this page.

I’ve been helping people use money to build and enjoy their Rich Life for over 15 years. I’m excited to help you get started on your own Rich Life journey.

So, what is a Rich Life?

Is it wearing a Rolex and having a china closet? No! 

A Rich Life is your ideal life — one where you look at your personal relationships, your finances, and your ordinary days and say, “Wow!”

That could be:

  • picking up your kids every day from school.
  • buying a $1,000 cashmere sweater.
  • buying anything you want from Whole Foods without ever worrying about cost.
  • taking your family on an incredible Disney World vacation that they’ll never forget.

Your Rich Life is yours. Not your parents, not your friends. Not even mine. Yours.

It’s a life that is full. A life lived intentionally, proactively, and abundantly

A Rich Life isn’t all about money. At IWT, we see money as a tool for designing, enhancing, and enjoying the life you’re meant to live. 

So, what does yours look like? Watch the video below to learn more about what it truly means to live a Rich Life. 

What’s in your Rich Life?

The first step in building your Rich Life is to start envisioning it. What would it look like? 

As we talked about in the video above, your Rich Life is unique to you — not your parents, not your friends, not me. It’s YOURS. 

No one can tell you what’s in your Rich Life.

But what if you don’t even know what you want? Or you have a general feel … but aren’t sure on the specifics. 

That’s why I like to start with a high-level brainstorming session, or what I like to call The Bucket List Brainstorm. 

This exercise will help you start getting specific about what really excites you and what matters the most to you. Get these items on paper first. Then you can build your Rich Life around your biggest, most compelling life goals. 

Exercise: The Bucket List Brainstorm

Pull out a pen and paper and follow the steps below. 

  1. What’s on your Rich Life bucket list? Quickly list the first 15 things that come to mind. They could be travel destinations, things you want to buy, activities, events, people you want to meet, etc. 
  1. When you’re done, circle your top 5. What do you notice? Are there any trends or similarities?
  1. For each of your top 5 items, think about when you’d like to do them. What timeline makes the most sense for you? 
  • By age 40, I’d like to do……………………
  • Between ages 40 and 50, I’d like to do……………………
  • Between ages 50 and 60, I’d like to do……………………

By now you should already have a much more vivid picture of what your Rich Life could look like. And we’re just getting started. 

Also, you can do this exercise as many times as you like. Taking 10 minutes to really think about what goals are the most exciting to you may open up more ideas. Even better ideas. Keep going until your “Top 5” shortlist is irresistibly exciting to you. 

Then read on to dive even deeper into designing your Rich Life. Bucket list goals are just one piece of a Rich Life.

Your Rich Life Map

Now that you have a high-level picture of what the highlights of your Rich Life could look like, let’s dive into the details. 

When most people think of their ideal life, they pick one big, long-term goal. Maybe that’s a dream vacation to Paris, or a beautiful home with a large garden, or owning a business that lets them work where they want, when they want.

But there is more to your Rich Life than just 1-2 big long-term goals.

When you’re crafting your Rich Life vision, it’s helpful to look at ALL areas of a Rich Life … 

  • Friends & Family
  • Health & fitness
  • Hobbies & personal expression
  • Giving
  • Experience & adventure
  • Work
  • Self-improvement
  • Spirituality

Together, these 8 areas work as a Rich Life Map. 

As you map out your Rich Life, think about what your life could look like in each of these areas. 

  • How full is your life in each area? 
  • Which areas do you want to emphasize today and which do you want to emphasize later — and why? 
  • Which don’t you care about at all? 
  • How might you explore and express these different parts of your life?

The goal is to make your Rich Life vision as complete and compelling as possible. 

Some of these 8 areas may be very important to you. Others you may not care about at all. That’s fine! Remember, your Rich Life is uniquely yours. 

What matters most is that you’re excited about whatever a Rich Life is to you. 

To help get you thinking, here are some examples of what living a Rich Life could look like in each area:

Area of your Rich LifeWays you can explore and express it
Friends & family

  • Planning a 5-day trip with friends at a beautiful spot in Mexico
  • Inviting friends to a weekend at a lake house
  • Planning drinks before you all see a comedy show
  • Taking your parents with you on a trip
  • Planning a family reunion
  • Planning a babysitter for your siblings so you can go to dinner with adults
  • Sending a thoughtful gift to a new parent
Experiences &
adventure


  • Skydiving
  • Taking an improv class
  • Planning a 2-week trip abroad
  • Making the trip extraordinary: Booking a cooking class, staying with a local family, visiting a local school and donating, going to a place you’ve never been before…
  • Moving to a different country
  • Carving out a 1-hour block every day where you go for a walk with your dog
  • Camping
Health & fitness

  • Setting a big fitness goal you’ve never set before (e.g., bodybuilding competition, marathon, 5K)
  • Hiring a trainer/online coach
  • Going on a yoga retreat
  • Buying equipment that will help you stay fit/healthy
  • Investing in a healthy meal planning or delivery service
  • Getting a comprehensive physical with blood tests
Work

  • Taking a risk at work to stand out/get a promotion
  • Switching jobs to a new industry
  • Taking a pay cut to realign your job title/industry
  • Investing in professional development courses
  • Consulting on the side
  • Switching industries or starting a new job
  • Starting an automated side business
Hobbies & personal expression

  • Taking a class on a new craft (crocheting, origami, scrapbooking, etc.)
  • Going to an event about painting
  • Splurging on great supplies that inspire you to create art
  • Upgrading your wardrobe
  • Redecorating a room in your home
  • Starting a vegetable garden
Self-improvement

  • Hiring a Spanish tutor
  • Buying any course that interests you (I have a running list of programs I’ve purchased from Disney, Ritz-Carlton, other online people, etc.)
  • Taking a risk on new things outside of your normal comfort zone (e.g., I hired a posture coach who came to my house)
  • Ramit’s Book Buying Rule
  • Blocking off 1 day a week just for reading
  • Hiring a therapist and committing to at least a year of work
Giving

  • Setting a minimum amount you’ll tip every year — e.g., $2,000
  • Picking 1-3 charities and automating your monthly giving
  • Creating an event around a cause you care about
  • Blocking off time every month to volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about
Spirituality

  • Going on a 3-day silent meditation retreat
  • Finding a spiritual coach/mentor
  • Committing to 1 hour a day for praying
  • Spending time & money with your church/temple/spiritual org

Exercise: Your Rich Life Map

Now it’s time to create your own Rich Life Map! Remember, your Rich Life is bigger than just a couple of life goals, it’s lived in the details. 

This exercise will help you get clear on those vivid details so you can start shaping your life the way you want it. 

  1. For each area in your Rich Life Map, write down your thoughts on what a Rich Life might look like. This could be specific activities you’d like to do, feelings you’d like to have, things to buy, events you’d like to attend, people you’d like to meet. 

The purpose is to take time to intentionally think about all areas of your Rich Life — including any that you might normally overlook. 

Don’t worry if you don’t have all of the answers right away. Or if your Rich Life Map feels uneven. The more time you spend thinking about your Rich Life Map, the more detail you’ll be able to add.

Remember to write down your answers so that you can see them all and review them in the future. (Here’s a downloadable version of this chart you can use.)

  1. When you’re done, ask yourself if some areas are more important to you now than others. What parts of your Rich Life Map get you the most excited? 
  1. Advanced: Look for any trends in your responses. This is where your Rich Life Map can reveal some real magic. For example, many of the things that make up my Rich Life are about “convenience.” I love anything that simplifies my life, and part of my Rich Life is searching out convenient solutions in many different areas of my life. This insight only came to me when I stepped back and looked for trends in Rich Life interests. Today, knowing this, I can look for additional ways “convenience” can enrich different aspects of my life.

OK, at this point, your Rich Life vision should be getting more detailed. 

Now let’s talk about how to really boost your happiness.

How to dial up your happiness

Your Rich Life isn’t something that only happens in the future at some magical date down the road. You shouldn’t have to wait until you retire to live a Rich Life. 

Your Rich Life is lived now. 

The goal of a Rich Life is to enjoy TODAY and every day after it. Not to postpone joy for some far-off, future date. No one wants to be a rich 95-year-old with regrets.

The last step in our Rich Life vision process is to learn how to “dial up your happiness” day to day. The secret to this is finding your Money Dials …

Finding your Money Dials

Many people claim one thing is important, but their behavior — clearly visible in their calendar and spending — doesn’t support it. People can spend their entire lives struggling with this misalignment, unclear why they have so much difficulty achieving their goals. 

The solution to this is greater focus. Cut back on the things you don’t care about so you can spend extravagantly on the things you love. (For example, I love convenience and spend extravagantly on that, but I have an old phone and computer and drive a 17-year-old car because those things aren’t important to me.)

I’ve noticed that at a more advanced level, people usually have ONE overriding priority for their discretionary spending. My whole philosophy is to go super deep on the things I do care about. I’ve found that when you pick one area and prioritize, you can 10x the impact of your money. You can use your money to do things you never thought possible. You can make your Rich Life even better.

That’s why I created the concept of Money Dials. These are consciously and strategically chosen spending habits based on what is most important to you and your Rich Life. Just like the volume on a speaker, you can turn your Money Dials up or down depending on what you care most about.

Some notes on Money Dials:

  • Everyone has a Money Dial. Each of us has something we love spending on — something we can turn the dial up on, all the way to 10. 
  • Money Dials can be broad or specific. Your Money Dial could cover a broad area, like “travel” or “my kids,” or it could laser in on something very specific, like “shoes” or “gardening.”
  • Everyone’s Money Dials are unique. Just like everyone’s Rich Life is unique. You get to decide what makes you happiest. Maybe it’s your pets, wine, camping gear, dining out, painting, personal fitness, family time, handbags, luxury hotels — anything! 
  • There are no right or wrong Money Dials. What’s important is how much your Money Dials improve your Rich Life.
  • You can have as many Money Dials as you like — although remember that at the more advanced level people usually have ONE. 
  • The more specific your Money Dial, the better. Again, there is power in focus. The more focused your Money Dial, the easier it will be to dial it up.

What matters most is how much your Money Dials can improve your Rich Life. 

Exercise: Discover your Money Dials

Now it’s your turn! This exercise will help you identify your personal Money Dials, as well as find ways to turn them up to enhance your Rich Life.

Grab a pen and paper and give yourself 10-15 minutes for this exercise.

  1. Answer both of these questions: What do you LOVE spending money on? What is the BEST money you’ve spent in the last 6 months? 

Maybe it’s beautiful clothes, dinners out, staying at a nice hotel, summer camp for your kids, someone to clean your house 2x a month. Anything that makes you happy. Write it all down.

  1. What common themes do you see in your list? What categories stick out to you? These are likely your Money Dials. 

For example, if you wrote down “My Nike running shoes, gym membership, new Fitbit,” your Money Dial might be fitness.

You might also see that one item on your list gets you far more excited than anything else. Maybe it’s spending on your car, or your pets, or on board games, or on fancy coffee. These could be Money Dials.

  1. Once you determine what your top Money Dial is, I want you to think BIGGER. Answer this: “What if you could QUADRUPLE your spending on that?” What would that look and feel like? 

Most people limit themselves to thinking linearly. If they love eating out, they say, “I’d eat out four times a week.” But they never realize that as you turn the dial up, you can spend more in ways that completely change your experience. 

For example, if you love eating out, you could sit in the chef’s kitchen at your favorite restaurant … anywhere in the world. 

This is what it means to really turn up your Money Dials.

I challenge you to brainstorm ways you can add more from your favorite Money Dial into your life — both today and in the future. 

My favorite part of Money Dials: Once you recognize and accept it, you can zoom in on what you love by turning the dial all the way up.

Your Money Dial becomes your personal happiness strategy. And the ways you spend your money are the tactics to implement that strategy. You are now the CEO of your own Rich Life.

Welcome to your Rich Life

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this mini-course. I hope you’ve discovered some exciting new aspects of your Rich Life in the process.

As a quick recap:

  • You have brainstormed a number of irresistible bucket list goals for each stage of your life. 
  • You’ve identified which areas of a Rich Life are most important to you, and you have ideas on what your Rich Life looks like in those areas. 
  • You might even have identified some trends that you can push on to enhance your Rich Life even further.
  • You’ve discovered your primary Money Dial — and possibly 2 or 3 Money Dials — and brainstormed ways to “dial it up” to add even more happiness in your life.
  • You have some ideas on how to enjoy aspects of your Rich Life today, as well as a compelling vision for the Rich Life you want to achieve.

Congratulations! 

Most people never get this far with their dreams.

Now, I encourage you to take the next step and start building your Rich Life.

What to do next:

  • I’d love to hear what you thought of this mini-course. Would you take 1 minute to fill out this survey and let me know?
  • Share your Rich Life! Take a picture of you enjoying your Rich Life and share it on Instagram. Use the hashtag #myrichlife so everyone can find it. When you do, don’t forget to tag me, @ramit.