“If you want to live a happier life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things”
– Albert Einstein
Today’s quote as most before this is something that changed my thinking and thought process once i shifted my goals from material possessions to life and happiness oriented goals. It was a few years ago that i said i wanted to change my life and my initial goal was to become a millionaire and own an Audi R8 and to be able to buy material items as i pleased. Whilst i was aware that this was not a great way to set goals, the change did not occur until i read ‘A Man’s Search For Meaning’ by Viktor Frankel.
We have to understand that coming from the hood and most of us growing up without any nice things or material assets, as soon as we start earning money, we buy the things we wished we had as kids. I remember other kids at school having all the latest computers, trainers, clothes etc and i had to wait or would only get new things a few times a year. So it is understandable when people buy things they desire. The issue most people have is you start desiring more and more and many don’t have the money to keep up, so they get credit cards and loans and then it is a downward spiral from there on in.
‘A Man’s Search For Meaning’ has got to be one of the best and most powerful books i have ever read. It is so deep and without going too deep into it, it is basically a book about how a man (and hundreds of thousands of Jews) who when faced with the most horrendous conditions during the Holocaust, had all his material possessions stripped off him, barely had clothes, food and water stayed strong during such time by changing his mindset to focus on what he has, not what he doesn’t have and not allowing himself to be caught up by status or society hierarchy because during this period, a number of prominent persons within society (Doctors, Lawyers, Bankers etc) were captured and stripped of their dignity and they could not handle their current social state and often died or killed themselves whilst Viktor hung on and was a beacon of hope for so many.
In my life, i noticed that i started making progress once i shifted my goals from material to where i want to be in life and what lifestyle i wanted to live. Personally i don’t want to work forever for someone else, i want to work within the comfort of my own home and environment and to get there, i focused on what that lifestyle looks like and how to achieve this. Not only that, but more often than not, once you purchase 95% of your material possessions, once you own it, wore it or used it once or twice, the buzz wears off and you are searching for the next thing that you will spend your hard earned money on (by the way, there is nothing wrong with this).
My take away from this is whilst many of us love material items, try not to allow it to define you. Rather than setting a goal of getting a brand new car in 2 years, try setting a goal of i want a life where i am happy every day and i am doing things that i love with people that i care about. To make it out the hood, a mindset shift is needed. A growth mindset at that. You give a rich and educated man £100,000 and i bet in 5 years that will be worth more or he will have tried something productive. You give someone in the hood the same amount and 90% would blow it within a year and have not a lot to show for it.
Develop a rich and educated mind. Wealth is not all about your bank balance but also what your mind, body and soul contains.
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