On my way to the airport, I started listening to Delivering Happiness by the late Tony Hsieh (Zappos founder) on audible. I was inspired hearing about how he came to a realization after receiving 40 million dollar in Microsoft’s acquisition of his company at the time Link Exchange. You could say it was more than a bountiful payout, for something that he and his friends wanted to do for fun. It was then that he came to the conclusion that money isn’t everything. While it did provide financial security he realized that his wants were very few and what actually made him happy was the act of building things and creating things or inventing along with the experiences and relationships he made along the way. Aka “the journey”.
The lesson here is that too many people (myself in earlier years) have the perception that money is the ultimate source of success. While it is important if you want to own a house, a car, and eat well, there is far more to life and success and happiness than that. It is not wrong to go out and make as much money as possible, in fact it is important and something you should do! But not at the cost of your relationships with family, friends, significant other, youth, health or freedom. I’m sure many of us know at least one person who has everything on a material level, do you envy them? I personally don’t. Here is what I believe should accompany every truly successful person beyond their net worth:
Friendships – Some of your best moments in life are going be surrounding your favorite activity (Jiu Jitsu in my case), laughing with your friends and doing occasionally stupid things like playing a prank on one of them. If your job that makes you millions costs you the time to kick back, be yourself and cry laugh maybe something is missing.
Health – There are plenty of wealthy people who can’t get up a flight of stairs. Sacrificing feeling good and strong while having the vitality to do what you love may be one of the most critical aspects of being a human. I’m talking about more than keeping your weight down but feeling you can go on a hike, swim at the beach or in a lake and allow your body express it’s strength.
Passion – We all have the grind, but not everyone needs to be a slave to it. Of course growing up means doing what you don’t want to do sometimes, but being engaged in something you truly enjoy with others who share your vision is not only a good feeling but can become profitable. Like Steve Jobs with Apple. Win, win.
Fun – “If it’s not fun, it ain’t worth doing” was a saying my Sensei Saulo Ribeiro used to tell me. As we grow older, our responsibilities tend to increase which can take away from the things we do for fun. I look at my 67 year old mom who laughs out loud as she aggressively tries to beat me in the Jiu Jitsu class she takes with me and it inspires me to be enjoying life as much as her at such an old age… Just kidding Mom 😉 xo
Lessons – Like Jiu Jitsu, life is full of experiences itself, good and bad. Regardless, there are always lessons in each and I think it’s an important perspective to have if you intend to grow and evolve. Life’s richest experiences often come through the process of evolution, this is true as a human and as a business. Some implement this perfectly in business and consequently create a very good life for themselves financially speaking, yet fail to do this in their personal lives which arguably are the most important.
My intention of this is not to discourage wealth by any means, but rather to shed perspective for those who think a million dollars would solve all their problems. It would sure solve a heck of a lot of mine, but I couldn’t imagine a world where I would trade it for the relationships with people I love, work I love doing, health and purpose I receive from being around something I enjoy as much as Jiu Jitsu, which also continues to be my lifelong teacher by giving me spanking after spanking when my ego gets too big. Hopefully wherever you are in your life, you are able to find your “Jiu Jitsu” which carries you towards wealth in all aspects of your life and results in your happiest, most fulfilled and best self.