It’s hard to really define abstract concepts. Those who have been in love, suffered great hurts, or had extraordinary experiences and have tried to describe them to others know this the best. After all, how do you put words to a concept? This is very relevant when you think about personal finance, too. The goal of personal finance is to build wealth… but what does wealth mean to you?

There is no standard definition for what “wealth” is or isn’t. People without much money are often happier than those who are rich, and some people with an average income do great things, while others with the same income squander their money and feel regretful later. Clearly, it’s a personal definition and needs some serious thought before you can think about getting rich or try to plan for it. One man’s riches might not be enough for another’s dreams, after all, but the first person may end up happier in the end.

First of all, it’s important to understand that money truly doesn’t equal happiness. We’ve all heard the sayings before, but believing it in your heart will go much further to helping you attain happiness. We overestimate how happy or sad things will make us; for example, when lottery winners were studied a year after winning their money, they weren’t any happier than they were before.

What’s really important about wealth is that it allows you to live the life you want… and for that, you don’t need to win the lottery. Define success in your own terms, and don’t let others define it for you.

Wealth allows you to pursue passions and spend time on what’s important in your life. For that, you generally don’t need a ton of money. If you dream of traveling, you can travel your country for a few thousand dollars on the cheap for a year, rather than saving several thousand dollars for just a week or two vacationing in some overly-visited, touristy hotspot. If you dream of spending money with your family, you can take a day completely off work to spend with them every week and still work at your job.

What you really want will define how much wealth you need. First, sit down and think about your priorities in life. Why do you want to win the lottery? What would it allow you to do? How else can you do it? Really look up how much money you’d need to pursue these dreams. For instance, if you want to be wealthy so you can swim with dolphins, you might be surprised to know you can do so for no more than a few thousand dollars in Hawaii. If you want to live on a tropical island, the cost of living is much lower in many Southeast Asian countries than in the Western world, so a part-time online job can sustain you while you live in the place of your dreams!

Now that you know what you actually wand and what you really need, you’ll be on track to attain it. You may need to build a budget, watch your spending, use the debt snowball method to pay down debts, or even switch jobs or careers, but there’s absolutely no reason you can’t live out your dreams and be wealthy in your own way.

True wealth is knowing that you’re happy with what you have, and it doesn’t take a trust fund or lottery to attain this kind of wealth.