No B.S Friday: There’s work we all have to do, no matter how much money we have.
Not long ago I was on a super-yacht in the Greek isles talking to someone.
(Yes, I know a lot of my stories start that way.)
Anyway, the old fellah I was talking to seemed like he had it made.
He owned a super-yacht for starters. That’s often a bit of a give-away. He also owned most of the island where we were staying, several mansions across Europe and America, a global shipping empire and an online shopping network, and there was probably enough gold around his neck to buy a small African nation.
The man had money.
And this was the tail end of the GFC, when everything seemed a bit topsy-turvey.
And do you know what he said to me?
“I just want to make sure I’m ok.”
I didn’t pick up on it at the time, but talking to my wife over dinner that night, I reflected on how strange it was.
He wasn’t being ironic. He wasn’t having a laugh about how much wealth he had.
He genuinely wanted to be “ok”. He was genuinely worried that he wouldn’t be ok. I could hear the worry in his voice.
It was ridiculous. There was enough seafood and whiskey, just on board the yacht, to last out a nuclear winter.
His companies made him more money in a single day that most of the world would earn in their entire lifetimes.
If he liquidated all his assets, there would have been so much cash that if you set it on fire, you could see it from space… and still have enough left over for him to live out the rest of his days in comfort. (He was already mid-70s.)
What does ok even mean?
And this is the thing.
(And if you’re starting out on your journey to exceptional wealthy, as I sincerely hope you are, pay attention.)
We all need to feel like we’re ok. That’s a basic human need.
And money helps with all problems. Money is very useful like that. Often, if you’re not ok – you’re sick or your relationships are rocky – more money is probably going to help.
(Rich people have much lower divorce rates that the rest of the population.)
But at some point, once you’ve solved this problem and that problem, you’re going to reach a point where money isn’t going to help you anymore.
You’ve reached a level where it’s about your relationship to your self. It’s about whether you like who you are as a person. It’s about your personal pride. It’s about your resiliency.
And it’s about whether you feel you can lean into and find support in the social networks you have around you.
Money is useful here, but it can not solve these problems.
It requires conscious work. It requires looking within and dealing with what you find there. It involves growing as a person.
Until you do that, you will never be ok. You will never know peace.
And it just takes the smallest global financial crisis to trigger it all off again, and for you to start worrying about whether you will be “ok” or not.
So take the time to be with yourself. I’m not talking five minutes after footy practice. I’m talking booking a weekend away to stare at the coast. Time by yourself.
Find that centre, that core – that place you turn to when life presents you with challenges.
Find that core, and you will always be ok. No matter what.
This is the work that we all have to do.
And money can’t save us from it.