7 Types Of Broke You Need To Be Before You Can Appreciate Being Happy

by Lauren Martin

The idea that "being poor builds character" is most definitely something people say to make you feel better while you ration a $10 Chipotle burrito to cover your three meals.

However many emotional aches and pains it eases, there's some truth behind it. When you’ve experienced the other side and borne witness to what it’s like to live without the blessing of the Green God, you learn to appreciate a lot.

I pity those who’ve never experienced the scars of empty nights and hungry days. I fear for those who've never felt depleted and desperate. I wouldn’t trade all of my cold and fatigued nights for the easy way out. I wouldn't give up what I've learned being broke for all the riches in the world.

If you’ve never actually been broke, you’ve at least experienced some emotional bankruptcy. We’ve all been starved for inspiration, love, friendship, compassion. We’ve all felt hungry in our soul and ravenous for something we can’t rightly buy or trade.

We’ve all pined for something the way some pine for money, and this yearning, this hunger, is what makes everything worth it.

Rent Poor

Live without heat and learn that you can endure; sleep without air conditioning and experience how another side lives. There’s nothing more invigorating than knowing you can do without modern convenience and that you can survive on your own.

There are few things more character-building than squalor. There are few dreams more exciting to fulfill than living on your own... even if it's in a sh*thole.

Try to find something more motivating and humbling than inhabiting slanted floorboards, broken cabinets and weird smells. You may be living in squalor, but you’re free. It’s better to be free and cold than warm and enslaved to The Man.

Travel Poor

If you don’t have years to dream about your favorite places, how will they ever mean something when you finally get there? If you can’t plan for your perfect trip, what’s the point in taking it?

The best part of traveling is the anticipation. The sweetest dreams are those seemingly improbable ones with just a glimmer of hope attached to them.

The best trips are the ones that've been planned, dreamed and pined after for years. They mean something because they have value and sentiment attached to them. They embody your most fanciful ambitions and strongest desires.

A trip only means something when it’s fulfilling some kind of longing inside you.

Love Poor

I don’t trust anyone who hasn’t gone days, months or years without love. How can you know you’re in it if you’ve never been without it? How can you appreciate the warmth of it if you’ve never been cold without it? How can you know what’s real and what’s fake when you’ve never had an empty, hollow feeling to compare it to?

Everyone should experience what it’s like to live without love. It’s a humbling and strengthening experience. It’s the kind of broke that makes you richer everywhere else.

Only when you’re alone and completely void of love do you learn to find it outside of people. Only once you’ve experienced how to live alone can you turn your loss into a lifelong gain.

Friend Poor

Growing up and out of friends isn’t like throwing money away, it’s like emptying your pockets to save from drowning. Sometimes it’s sink or swim, and if you end up on the shore alive and penniless, it's better than cold and dead because of some heavy pockets.

We’re not supposed to have hundreds of friends. We’re supposed to find those few who'll carry us when we can’t move. It can take years, sometimes a lifetime, to find them. You shouldn’t always be rich in friends, but you should always be rich in good judgment.

Passion Poor

Living without passion is one of the hungriest times you'll face. It’s when the pain in the pit of your stomach is strongest, and when you think you could drown in the emptiness of your being.

You find yourself walking around as a ghost, just wandering, exploring -- looking for something to fill you and ignite an ache deep inside you.

If you've never been passion poor, you've never been hungry enough to go out and find yourself one. We're not all born with passion, the same way we’re not born full. You have to go out and find it. You have to go and feed yourself.

You have to experience a lot of things and go a lot of places you wouldn’t normally go unless you weren’t completely starved of inspiration.

Success Poor

You can’t appreciate the view at the top unless you've stood at the bottom. Having millions in the bank isn't the same if you haven't seen your bank statement six zeros shorter.

To be successful, you must understand what failure is like, and there's nothing more humbling than starving for success. There's dignity in paying your dues and working your way up from the bottom.

If we all started out rich with success, we'd never learn anything on the way up.

Inspiration Poor

We're not born inspired; we have to feed ourselves. The whole point of living is to go out into the world and find things to make it worth it. You can't be spoon-fed inspiration or have it pushed through a tube; you need to hunt for it yourself.

It's this chase and adventure that makes life so damn fun. Every day is a new opportunity to be inspired and captivated. Every day is another chance to feed yourself and grow.