Everything in life has a price, it seems. There’s a price put on happiness, love, success, faith and whatever else in-between. It even costs to be unhappy and to feel hate—it just costs more. When we think of “price” and “value,” we have been conditioned to connect the words to monetary riches. We forget that “rich” and “poor” mean so much more than what’s in a person’s wallet. Wealth is easier to accumulate than society makes it seem. But it also depends on what society’s definition of wealth is and how it can be achieved.

Up until the last year or so, I was so poor. I allowed myself to sulk in self-pity, and I let people who didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things to strip every bit of my personal wealth. I allowed something I couldn’t change affect my entire demeanor and drive for the future. I didn’t understand at that time, however, that letting others determine my value was just as much my fault as it was theirs. And allowing permanent circumstances to suppress my goals was only stripping me of my worth. Instead of deciding to let go of the negative feelings and hateful memories, I held onto them. I watched as I went bankrupt and did absolutely nothing about it.

Then, one day, I just opened my eyes. I had this sudden desire to change everything about the way I saw the world. I wish I knew the exact moment, or what event made me realize that I was bleeding myself dry, but I don’t. I do know, however, that surrounding myself with some amazing people and learning from their positivity helped in changing my attitude about life and what I was going through. Something just clicked, and I suddenly was able to understand that I was my own thief. The only person stealing from me, was me. And the only person who could get my value back, was me.

I’m not saying that becoming rich is an easy task. It’s hard to let go of negativity and bad memories. When we are so used to focusing on what is wrong in our lives, seeing the beautiful things can often be a hazy and difficult task. But if we try, and I mean really try to center ourselves around positivity, it can be done. Think of it this way—every time we smile about something that makes us happy, that’s a dollar. Anytime we think of something that makes us laugh, that’s $10. And whenever we sigh in relief at how amazing things can be, or currently are, that’s $100. It’ll be the easiest job in the world, and the paycheck is fantastic.

Hatred and sadness cost so much more than just being happy and allowing ourselves to let go of all of the weight in our lives. And quick hint, happiness takes a lot less conscious energy. Find someone or something that inspires you to become rich. Enable yourself to increase your value and self-worth tremendously every day by simply finding something to be proud of or smile about. Becoming rich in this world is easier than we may think if we consider “price” in terms of our attitudes and the way go about life. Being a happy and content human being is worth so much more than all of the money in the world. How rich are you, and how much richer could you become?