Why "tomorrow" is a lie.
And how to enjoy the now.
Hello again, Squad.
The Really Rich Journal
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We all have goals.
Some are so important that it feels like we’re walking around with a pebble in our shoe until we achieve it.
But, try walking around with a pebble in your shoe for years.
I’ve always wrestled with practicing gratitude and being mindful to enjoy what I already have. To ignore the pebble, so to speak.
This has been a struggle. Mostly because it runs counter to my relentless thirst for achievement. Simply, I always feel like I’m playing a false game trying to convince myself to be content as-is.
How can I enjoy what I have when I want bigger and better things for myself?
Many traditions have also tangoed with this dichotomy. From stoicism, I observed that wealth was more about loving what you already have than cataloging your desire for more. In other words, the rich man is one who needs less than he has, no matter how much that is on an absolute level.
Want to feel richer? Want less stuff.
From mysticism, there’s the tendency to place gratitude on a magical plane where if you’re gracious, you’ll just get more good stuff automatically dropped from the heavens. So don’t miss your daily meditation…or else.
I never bought that logic.
If I were to simplify his teachings on this topic, it’s that today and tomorrow are illusions created by day and night (and the accompanying night’s sleep). If the earth didn’t spin (like the moon), it would seem a lot more like “today” forever.
Far out, dude…
However, as humans, we solely occupy the present moment. As for now, we can’t time travel. So, if we can’t hang out, sip a coffee, and enjoy the present moment, we will never fall in love with any future moment—of financial achievement, graduation from the Master’s program, destination wedding, whatever. Because the future moment doesn’t exist!
You’ll still be cranky when you dock your yacht in Monaco after grinding miserably for ten years.
To exacerbate this effect, many penny-pinch or cower socially. This is their way of saying, in the future, I’ll have fun or be successful enough to hit the town on the weekend.
Oh, that modest beach vacation? We’ll take one next year…
Personally, I find myself withholding satisfaction for a future, better, richer, more world-renowned version of myself all the damn time.
When I buy a car, I want something faster and rarer. A home—oh I’ll get something bigger in a few years, why waste my time enjoying this one?
How lame is this?
Of course, it’s a trick! Right now is all we have, dear reader. There is no future state when I’ll have “arrived”.
I’ll share an example from over the weekend.
It’s always been a dream of mine to have a professional gym in my house. By no means is it an outrageous or unaffordable goal. In fact, it’s something I could have done for years.
However, I’ve consistently pushed it off for “when I get the bigger place, my dream home, then I’ll do it.” In fact, I had such a strong mental barrier, that I wouldn't even entertain looking at the equipment.
This weekend I thought, screw that.
Let’s just say if Arnold Schwarzenegger drops by in a few weeks, we can get a solid pump in.
So I ask, why not start living that awesome “future” today?
You can’t afford not to.
This week, I'm taking meetings in Chicago, IL.
Rich: Fill the space.
Really Rich: Make peace with the quiet.
This Week On The Really Rich Podcast
In episode 25 of The Really Rich Podcast with Nicholas Crown, I sit down with Founder, CTO, Stanford PhD, and unlikely mushroom farmer; Wilson Ruotolo, of Hedgehog. A company that builds robotic fungi farms. Listen to Wilson discuss designing gentle robots, pricey artisan mushrooms, and keeping an open mind in business.
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