There is an important piece of the puzzle that so many people overlook when they are searching for themselves. It’s kind of like looking for love in all the wrong places.
Age has its benefits. One benefit is a different perspective that age and experience gives. The lucky people get the sense that they have arrived at a place where they were looking for about forty years earlier. The tools were there all along. My mother had some wise sayings that it took me 20 to 40 years to really understand her gems.
Before I gave proper study to uncover the wisdom Mom passed on to me I travelled a winding pathway. I tried smoking cigarettes to make me feel like a big guy. Then I drank booze to feel good. Later I used it to escape my worries. These two addictions lead to serious flaws in me. I had to work long hours to support my addictions and my family. The booze and cigarettes stole, my time, they stole my relationship with my wife and my kids. They stole all my money and security. They drove me into the corner of fear. Fear and frustration lead to anger. What a tortured life that was. I had nothing that was really important to me.
No this article is not about recovery from alcoholism and smoking 3 packs a day. That was the beginning of a new life and 29 years later is I still keep in contact with my recovery group. What this is about is the change in attitude that helped me find my authentic self. It has to do with materialism.
In my youth I enjoyed a lot of things, but my insecurity had me trying to cover up my feelings of inadequacy with booze, cigarettes, and buying things to impress people. Impressing people went by the wayside when I ran out of money and sources of credit. Recovery came and the business of serious soul searching began, but even after several fearless, moral, searching inventories I still spend money on ‘feel good’ purchases.
Mom used to say “the love of money is the root of all evil”. I thought she meant that having money was evil – not so at all. You can be a billionaire and not love money. You can also be homeless and still love money. Whether you are poor or well off if you are envious of others that have more than you, that may be a love of money or the things that money can buy.
Regardless of your economic status you need to stop worrying or fretting about what you don’t have. Likewise worrying about losing money you do have or outliving your money can really screw up your life today.
The authentic you is right here right now. If you don’t feel like you have found yourself yet just strip away the fears and there you are.
Gordon Hughes CFP Financial Planner www.SmartChoiceLife.com