What should I do now?
In many ways, I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do. I didn’t expect it to come this quickly but I knew with absolute certainty that it would come.
My business is thriving. We had some definite challenges this year but we got through it.
I bought my dream car and yes it’s still awesome.
I’ve traveled and enjoyed myself and worked hard and all the while I believe that I have contributed to bringing good to the world. At least I hope so.
I’m not even close to satisfied and there is lots more work to be done, but I am learning about success and wealth and what it exposes in people.
As 2016 comes to an end, I am reflecting on some realizations I’ve had and some thoughts I believe my followers would appreciate.
1 – The More Stuff I Have, the More Fearful I Become
I truly never set out to gain material.
I was never interested in it. I grew up in a working class, lower income family. Stuff was never important to us. In fact, I didn’t even realize that we didn’t have money until I saw what real wealth was.
Money was something we needed, not really something we thought would make life better.
Look, I’m not rich by any means, but over the last few years I’ve earned more money than I ever thought I could. I can comfortably say that’s I’ve been dirt fucking poor and have had complete financial freedom.
The financial freedom has not been what I expected.
I bought my car, I bought some nice clothes, I got a house for my girlfriend and I. I got a big office with nice desks for everyone. This year we even expanded our office. I bought two big TVs. I bought the new iPhone and fancy wireless headphones, more Chuck Taylors, a watch a bunch more shit I don’t need.
So why am I more worried now then when I was poor?
I don’t know, but I imagine it has to do with self-worth. Have I convinced myself that my car has made me more valuable of a person? Am I in a more elite class of humanity now that I have a driveway and a backyard?
I truly can not tell you the answer. What I can tell you is that when I had nothing I didn’t worry about shit so much.
There’s a lesson to be learned there.
2 – The Memories Still Make the Man
With so many successes and blessings in my life, you want to know what I remember most about this year?
My family and I went to Scotland again this year. I spent my 30th birthday on top of a hill in the Scottish highlands.
There were no fancy suits and no revenue sheets. It was just me and my sister.
You want to know what else I remember?
Seeing the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial for the first time. I remember having morning coffee with my Mom on my recent trip home to Philly. I remember sitting around and laughing with my Stodzy crew.
All of my best memories involve people. They all involve sharing my time and having experiences that are worth talking about. They never have anything to do with what I have gained, but rather what I have learned or what I have experienced.
I sometimes catch myself losing perspective.
In my recent quest to “design my best life,” I am constantly coming across articles of men and women who sacrifice their health and happiness for financial success. I don’t want to be like that.
I want to be able to share my life with other people and do so in a way that is meaningful.
When it’s all said in done, I can’t take my car with me, but I can certainly pass down my experience in a way that is meaningful to those I love.
The memories make life worth living.
3 – Money Can’t Buy Happiness, But It Does Make Things Easier
I don’t care what anyone says, having money is better than not having money.
Money won’t make you feel any better about yourself. It will not heal your wounds. In fact, it will probably expose any wounds or personality defects laying dormant within you.
Unless you have been in the position where you don’t have money for food and you have to chose over losing your water or your electricity, then it may be hard for you to relate.
I’ve been there. I’ve survived off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ramen noodles for months. I have been to the bottom of the barrel and I assure you, there is nothing glamorous about poverty.
Now that I am on the other end of it I realize that you can not find your identity by making money but you certainly have more options and more freedom to experience life to the fullest.
I am reminded of a Jay-Z quote I heard once.
Money is not the root of all evil. Poverty is.
I used to feel guilty about getting paid a nice salary or about having the freedom to buy something nice for myself. Now I have changed my perspective. Now I see it as having more options so I can better help my fellow man.
This year I have donated good portions of my income to a charity known as Fight for the Forgotten. It is an amazing foundation founded by Justin Wren.
I’ve been able to help my family when they needed it the most. I have been able to provide and give back in a way that made me feel really good.
I don’t see money is evil anymore, and I no longer assume that the men or women who have wealth must have acquired that wealth by fucking someone over.
It’s all about balance. It is better to have options than to not have options. Either way, the choices you make ultimately define the meaning of your existence.
Let Me Know How You Feel
This is a topic that I continue to mend over.
I am very interested to hear your feedback on this topic. Has money exposed you or someone you know? Have you had mixed emotions about coming across substantial wealth?
Please sound off in the comments.