Consolidating the Ten Steps to Wealth.
About 15 years ago I heard about the suicide of a former beau. Sure he was a complex character, but he had the looks most men would envy and he was clever enough to qualify as a doctor. He would have been around 34 years old. By this time I had married and had started a family.
This was the first time I thought about all the experiences a person misses out on when they exit this world too early.
A few weeks ago I spent the weekend with some friends that have worked hard to set up a business that takes them travelling all around Australia and Asia. And they have heaps of fun doing it. I really admire them. They have lived their lives full of different experiences, as a whole family – ones that would be nigh impossible to achieve in a 9-5 job.
I started to think about the experiences each of us had chosen for ourselves and what each of us had enjoyed or missed out on.
Yesterday I went to the funeral of a 21 year old soldier killed in Afghanistan by a rogue Afghani. James and my daughter were each other’s first “boyfriend and girlfriend” when they were twelve. He was gorgeous and grew up to be a wonderful young man by all accounts.
I can only hope his experience of this world was the best it could have been.
In my casual conversations, I often talk about “getting hit by a bus” -the euphemistic term for an unexpected or early demise. But the bus comes sooner or later, whether we are hit by it, or hop on board. At 21 it’s too early; at 35 it’s too early, in my 50s it’s too early….but I look at the elderly and figure they are also thinking ”it’s too early”. So what’s my point?
Well, I’m playing with the idea that “life” is just a set of experiences. We “experience” school, adolescence, adulthood, marriage and family in all its forms. We can experience the way we choose to work, the way we deal with our bodies, the way we interact in relationships, the way we deal with money, the way we have fun or relaxation and so on .So I ask:
“ In my current life am I choosing to experience something or am I counting the costs, counting the effort or counting the cultural norms, any of which may hold me back?”.
I have often counted the experience of the convenience of something as higher than the financial costs, while others would forgo the experience because it costs too much. Sometimes I forget to ask myself whether it’s the experience I’m counting or my money. But like most I have a financial budget so many experiences need to be weighed against what can be afforded, although one is not to forget that many experiences are also free. And so, what would it be like if a financial budget wasn’t an issue? What experiences would I choose? Believe it or not I’m still working on that! What would you choose?
But there is also a time budget. We don’t know when that old bus is going to come by, we only know that we’ve bought a ticket. What do I want to “experience” before time runs out? How do I go about finding out what it is I want? How do I go after it? This is a part of my journey.
And so I ask of you, knowing full well that the proverbial bus is parked just around the corner, waiting:-
“What do you really truly want to experience in this life?”