My mum doesn’t have a computer or a smartphone. She doesn’t have the Internet.
I offered to buy her an iPhone once but it sent her into a panic. This means that if I want to share photos of the kids with her I have to print them and mail them. Some live inside the 50-odd frames scattered around her quaint little beachside house but most surely live in boxes under the bed.
But one thing my mum does have is something all of us want – she’s happy. She has peace of mind and hardly a care in the world.
When I think about it, she’s been this way for most of my life. Her childhood was rough and her divorce left a nasty sting for a long time but her regular practice of gratitude has seen her through it all.
When I was a kid, we’d walk the dogs at a nearby golf course every afternoon. Sitting on the third green, we’d look out over the bay and without fail, she’d remark how lucky we were.
“Look at that. We’re millionaires!” she’d say.
It’s taken me years of striving and failure and success and disappointment to grasp the significance of that statement. She was right all along.
When I look at my life and all the wonderful things it contains, I can’t help but feel grateful for what I have. Nothing I ‘own’ is really mine. They’re on loan. But the things that cost me nothing are priceless beyond all measure.
I have beautiful children, an adorable wife, a sister I love and parents I admire. I have my eyesight to witness all the magic around me, and legs to carry me anywhere I wish to go. I live in a country where hard work is rewarded and freedom is assured. I can criticise our government without risk of jail and be just about anyone I choose to be.
I am, by all logical measure, a millionaire.
You might hate your job or your shitty apartment or your car because it’s 20 years old but you have everything you need to lift yourself as high as you’re prepared to climb. You’re blessed with so many things others would kill to have. Literally.
And even if you lost everything – and I mean everything – you’re still the recipient of the ultimate lottery.
You exist. Against the most incredible odds, you’re here.
So I say to you, that thing you’re great at, the thing you’re passionate about, do that. Don’t hesitate. You won’t be here for long and as Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or it’s nothing.”
And whether my mum likes it or not, I’m buying her a smartphone. I might be a millionaire but I can’t afford to waste any more time printing photos of the kids for her.
Tools and resources for entrepreneurs that I use myself.
Books for Entrepreneurs in the New Economy
The 4-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferris
Tim's book is responsible for fuelling much of today's solopreneur phenomenon. A must-read.
The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau
Chris debunks the old myth, “It takes money to make money,” with plenty of examples to relate to.
Purple Cow – Seth Godin
Seth is a pioneer from the earliest days of the Internet and a trailblazer in today's ‘connection economy'. Read everything he writes. Seriously.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary V is loud, rant-prone and tends to swear a lot. But no one knows social media better. Read and learn.
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything – by Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Ken is a remarkable thinker in the areas of education and nurturing one's innate talents. His TED talk is incredible and has been watched almost 43 million times.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope we get to hang out more in the future. And in the meantime, please feel free to share your own experiences. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I respond to all emails. If this was beneficial to you, please consider subscribing and sharing with someone you think would also benefit.
Disclaimer & Disclosure: I'm not a psychologist and I'm not a financial advisor's elbow. This material doesn't constitute financial advice but rather a collection of personal opinions, based on my own experiences. Some of the links on my site are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I provide links to services or products I have used and liked or researched and recommend. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you believe they will be beneficial to you.
Also published on Medium.