Friday, July 08, 2005

How To Get Rich Quick



DANGER! DANGER! -- Long rant below! -- DANGER! DANGER!
Grab a drink and go to the bathroom first. Maybe even just close this window and just go play with the kids or any pets you may have.



After yesterday's hideous events in London England I found myself thinking over life and all of it's facets. I did the same thing after the whole 9/11 thing in the states but my life was significantly different at that point and I'm not sure I realized how different until last night. In the course of this I mulled over many a discussion I have had with friends about their lives in recent past. Many of my friends have regrets in their life. They regret relationships they have had. They regret missed opportunities in their life. They regret the choices they have media to bring them to where they are.

I think this all comes down to the human condition. We always seem to be in the hunt for something more, something better. For some reason they are unhappy with the life they have been given and this confuses me. Some of them have followed a more professional career path than mine (Although mine is less a path and more a nomadic ramble through the workforce) and make disturbing amount of money doing what they were trained to do. These career minded folks are wondering if they made the right choices as they have no marriage or family yet (granted they are only in their late 20's and have plenty of time still). Others are family folks like me and regret that they didn't take that high paying job offer years ago as they are fighting money battles today.

While I sympathize with their plight, I don't understand this. My life is far from ideal and there are many things that could be better. I have made decisions that could have been handled better and missed opportunities that would have made radical differences in my life. I could be making a wad of cash or have a great job having fun all the time, but I regret nothing. My friends ask me how it is that I have no regrets and I simply tell them that it is all part of me and my life.

Had I made a single choice differently I would likely not be where I am today. More importantly I wouldn't be the person I am today. People, for some strange reason, seem to like me so I can't see how making lots of money and being just another face in the crowd is better. A simple career change years ago would have steered my life in entirely different directions. Yes I'd possibly have a better house and a nicer car, but I also wouldn't have the beautiful wife and child I have today. Every single choice, every single action we take all add to the person we will eventually become. Like a stone thrown into a pond, everything we do creates a ripple that changes the surface of who we are as well as affecting deeper changes within us.

I could have avoided the pain of death and sense of loss at the cost of not having friends and love ones around to have lost. I could have not have illness in the same people, but then how would I have learned about the fragile nature of life and to treasure it in all it’s glory. I could have avoided having to deal with financial chaos by avoiding a business opportunity that went wrong and that I have just recently dug out from, but then how would I know that I could live on less money that I currently have. All these things I have had to endure over the years, but then I wouldn't have learned the ability to overcome these challenges. Facing all these things has enabled me to see beyond the simple varnish that most people think of as the meat of their life. I don't worry about big TV's and fancy things. I don't stress over money and other silliness. I don't get mad when some narrow minded fool gets in front of me in traffic since I don't need to be anywhere in that much of a hurry. If I'm running late it's my choices and stupidity that makes me that way, not the old guy in front of me with the blinker on driving slowly.

I live a healthy and happy life with a roof over my head and two cars that run (almost). I have wife that I love with all my heart and soul and a child who is the most valuable thing I own. I don’t live in fear like other people in the world have to endure on a daily basis and I don't suffer through illness like many others. How much of what we strive for in this life is actually something that makes it a better thing. What goals are you trying to achieve that would improve your life greatly and which ones do you complain about that, in reality, are only things that would simply be nice to have? I only know what works for me, but I also know that it did work for me. What I never understood in the past, was that while life was kicking me in the ass it was pointing me in the right direction as well.

For all the things I have never had and for all the things I have lost I have become a rich man. Fame and fortune are simply popular methods of filling up an empty life. I’d rather care about my family and myself than worry about what kind of car I drive and the clothes that I wear. If I feel like I have been given a raw deal, and life has left my hands empty, I simply go home at the end of the day and get a recharge when I walk in the door to a family waiting for me. I kiss my wife, pat my dog and get a big hug and a kiss from my daughter and I remember that I have more than most wealthy men will ever achieve in their Ferraris and Armani suits.

Find out what really matters and look for it. Worship life and yourself instead of dollar bills and possessions and you will be better off. I’ve always said that you should never get so busy living that you don’t have time for life, and I stand by that.

Sorry for the rant, but it’s been a wacky week. For all the ugliness in the world, it is still a beautiful place if you know where to look. We just need to stop looking at the wrong things. Take time this weekend to hug the ones you love and play with your kids and friends. There you will find the resources you need to thumb your nose at life and overcome.

30 Comments:

Blogger blue2go said...

That's a beautiful post! I'm always looking for something more. No, not material things, as I don't care much about luxuries (good thing, 'cause I don't have them in this tiny 2-room house and needing to carry in our all drinking water!) but I like the adventure and exploration of going to new places, doing new things, and the current situation just isn't interesting enough for me, ever!

8:57:00 AM  
Blogger dan said...

What's left of my hair grew half an inch while I was reading that ;-)

It's absolutely true what you say, although I have to say, aside from the obvious things like a roof over my head, etc. the only material thing I couldn't live without is my computer. Well, I could but I wouldn't get to meet as many fascinating people.

8:58:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I don't think that's a rant at all. Well spoken.

9:00:00 AM  
Blogger Pete B said...

[cheers loudly]

Brilliant post, Pete. I cannot agree strongly enough with pretty much all you have said.

In the words of Monty Python: "You lucky, lucky, bastard!" Sounds like you are a pretty well sorted guy.

As perhaps my blog starts to indicate, I am still working my way towards sorting out my life and my mind. There are some things I am driven to do, I don't know why (eg. research/development work - note to self: should write about that some time); but in all things I try to be moderate and non-judgemental.

THE most important thing must be life and love.

9:04:00 AM  
Blogger JODSTER said...

I am always trying to remind Z that sometimes it's ok to say no to things. Stay home. Connect. Only when those connections are strong, as yours are with your wife and child, can you enjoy what you have and the experiences that come with it.

When you hear someone that grew up without anything, the one thing they always remark on is the love and kinship of family.

Good post. Glad I went pee though.

9:10:00 AM  
Blogger JODSTER said...

On another tangent, the trouble with today's right now lifestyle is that people are caught up in the rush that they don't see through it all.

I've often said that's why I don't have a cell phone. Who needs to reach me so badly that I have to be connected all the time. Sometimes it's nice to go to the grocery stoe and know I have this time just to myself.

Just because the media makes the world a village, we should slow down, look around and enjoy where we are for a while.

9:17:00 AM  
Blogger Sask 1 said...

Thats a wonderful post Pete.Maybe we should take a page out of your book and try and be happy with what we have.

10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Katya said...

a great sentiment, i feel so guilty for being materialistic now...*hangs head in shame*

:0)

10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Fizzy said...

Well done for your well written post. more people should read and take heed of what you have written. To many people will work and work and push for more and more through thier life and reach old age and feel deprived of life. Living what you have to it's richest is the best way.

11:13:00 AM  
Blogger MilkMaid said...

Great post and the song by Garth Brooks kept going thru my mind, especially early on in the rant, "The Dance".

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/garthbrooks/thedance.html

11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Schotzy said...

That was so beautifully said, and you're right it's the love and the people in your life that make it rich and not the things. And as horrible as the bombing in London and 911 was it is also those happenings that give us perspective on just how fortunate we are with the love of our families and what comforts we may have. I will say my prayers for the comfort and succor of those affected by the horror, and my thanks for all the loving family and friends in my life including those I've met here that have these beautiful insights to share with us. S

12:46:00 PM  
Blogger ramblin' girl said...

rant, what rant?
very well said. I sometimes wish I could do some of the things that my friends that make more money are able to do. amazing trips and such. but I know it's mostly for the experience, not the material part of it.
thanks.

12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Aaron the Truck Driver said...

"After yesterday's hideous events in London England..."

What happened?

Oh.

I didnt even know till i read your blog. Which i came across via Faceportait day. I guess we need to go kill more iraqi's.. Its all their fault anyway.

1:54:00 PM  
Blogger Mojo said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Pete!

2:17:00 PM  
Blogger Memphis Steve said...

I think a lot of the debate about my Latchkey kid article relates to this. So many people now are focused on the dollar instead of their families or God or whatever else might matter to them, that they are letting other things slip that they may regret later in life.

Just my quick take.

2:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stopping by from Self-Portrait Day. Thanks for joining us.

And I'd also like to thank you for sharing your thoughts.

--mihow

5:15:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Two great posts in a row...I guess that wisdom I left you really helped...:)

You are right on with all that you say...

9:38:00 PM  
Blogger Rhodent said...

Good post. I am grateful for everything I have... most of all my children who have all developed into super adults. I am a believer in the old adage the very time a door closes, at least one other one opens. Low points in my life have always seemed to turn to something good in the long run. I value my family, my faith, and my frineds most of all. The rest is icing on a very delicious cake... it makes the cake tastier, but the cake is also good without it. Icing alone is too sweet and misses the cake. Sorry. I get this way some times. :o)

10:46:00 PM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

That was a good post although I would have liked it more if you were some rich famous person..

10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

well said. looking for fulfillment from material goods i think, is usually a temporary high- but the real riches lie within us and those we love.

5:46:00 AM  
Blogger Minerva said...

So true..
I know that we, all over London, are currently reassessing our lives.
Indeed, live every moment...

Not a rant, but a positive life affirming post..

Thank you.

Minerva

3:58:00 PM  
Blogger Juno said...

Excellent post! Been doing some assessments of my own life and agree with you wholeheartedly.

6:21:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

well, by the time I get here, it's all been said. but i'll echo: great post. regrets just hollow you out and buying stuff never quite fills you up again.

i think I'll go spend time with my dog, cat and SigOther now.

1:30:00 AM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Ditto everyone else.

9:05:00 AM  
Blogger Ms Vile File said...

Good one, Rainypete.



You are living proof that not all models are vain and shallow.


;-)

6:26:00 PM  
Blogger angela marie said...

I think we are all feeling like this after what happened. Sometimes you need a knock over the head (although not terrorist bombings) to realize that we have it pretty damn good.

9:42:00 PM  
Blogger Carol (Smiles and Laughter) said...

Great post Rainypete. And I second your thoughts as I left a six figure salary in Feb to live on a new preacher's salary so I could stay at home with my soon to be child and find some sense of sanity. I was right where you were referring, wrapped up in work and no time to live, neglecting my wonderful husband. And I have to say...I'm MUCH happier poor. Without the latest fashions. With the OLD, USED cars. With the small house. the strict budget. And a dog and a husband who love me.

3:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cody said...

Petey Pete Pete....nice poast! I feel ya man. Preaching the monologues of Buddah! You should start charging people to rub your belly!
In the words of the Marley Man:

"I rule my destiny...."

5:43:00 PM  
Blogger glomgold said...

I think that was a very clear-headed post so probably not rant material.
Gauging (that sure doesn't look right, spelling-wise) one's life by comparison to others can be a recipe for regret; better off avoiding them. Too bad the money-men steer world policy.

10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Valerie - Riding Solo said...

Thank You! I have been trying to explain this to my kids for years. My sister is another who was appalled at the piddly amount of money we live on. Who needs it!

"It's just stuff and it all burns up anyway." (me explaining why I gave someone something free)

Everything has two sides. I often regret we are taught to seek joyand pleasure but not taught how to deal with loss and pain.

Followed Anvil here.

3:27:00 PM  

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