“May your greatest joys not be in toys,
may your best things not be things,
and may your riches always be
in the treasury of your heart.”
From I Wish for You – Gentle Reminders to Follow Your Heart by Lance Wubbels.
Financial security is desirable, but….
Having enough assets to provide for your needs, and your family’s needs is definitely important. Keeping debt under control, having enough to feed and clothe your loved ones, keeping them in a safe and comfortable house and otherwise providing for them are actions we all admire and desire.
Lots of us do have ‘toys’. Things like, a new car every two years; a luxury home, boat and vacation home; enrollment of our kids in elite private schools; or purchase of new electronic gizmos whenever they are produced .
Would you be as happy if you weren’t able to provide the toys? Possibly.
Strive not for money, but for legacy.
At the end of days, for what would you be remembered? Your money or your actions?
Who are your heroes? Do you admire them because they are financially rich or because of what they said or did or the influence they had on the world?
For me, money and legacy are entangled. I do want to be remembered for my actions and words (such as they are), but I also want to leave a financial legacy to future family members, not so they can buy new toys for themselves, but so they can move faster into the maturity level of knowing that true fulfillment lies within themselves, not within their bank account.
Know that accumulating things only results (in the end) in getting rid of them.
Sure it is good for the economy if consumers buy new stuff all the time and throw away the slightly used things of which they tire, but you might think about whether you want to be caught up in that circle of activity:
Go into debt to get an education to get a good job to earn lots of money to spend it on a new car to sell the car at a loss in two years and get another and on and on and on.
When you are young, just starting out, you typically don’t have many material things. You want new furniture, new iphones, new clothing, more tools and etc. Yet after you have obtained each item, the pleasure you derive from it typically falls to near zero. Soon, you wonder why you bought it at all. Later, you hate it for taking up room in your house and finally you donate it to the local thrift store, or sell it for a tenth of it’s value on an online site.
Riches held in your heart cannot be taken from you.
When you have spent a lifetime accumulating material goods and financial assets, you worry that you may lose a lifetime’s worth of work.
What if someone breaks into your house and steals your treasures? What if a tornado or fire wipes you out? What if the market dives year after year, causing your portfolio to severely decline?
Does that mean that your life’s work has been destroyed and that what you did and are is inconsequential?
Not if you also took the time to enjoy the feel of the sun on your skin on a cool fall day. Not if you also took the time to treasure the moment your infant nestled his head in the crook of your arm, fast asleep after nursing. Not if the love you shared with your mate glows in the eyes of your grown child when he looks at his own spouse and children. Not if, by your actions and words, you left your very own beneficial mark on the world.
I hope you have enjoyed this ‘gentle reminder’ to fully engage during your life’s journey, to stop along the way towards financial success to treasure the truly important parts of your life. At life’s end, everyone has regrets, make yours inconsequential!