A few months back my wife cleaned out our magazine rack at home and threw out lots of old issues. All but about 5 to 6 magazines were all the remained. When I was looking through what was left, I came across an edition of a fitness mag that was from a couple of years back. Yeah, I know! I tend to keep magazines for quite some time before I chuck ‘em into the recycling bin. But that’s another story in itself.
Anyway, getting back to the main premise of this blog post – I picked up this magazine, started thumbing through it and came across an article about a man who went into retirement after working in HR for a huge corporate firm well before his retirement age came.
The story goes that this guy started with this company very young, started putting money away into retirement, invested a few extra dollars into some high dividend stocks and watched his savings grow.
His goal was simple – to have enough money put away so he alleviates the stressors of life, or at the least minimizes what he can knowing that he’ll be set for the rest of his life.
Now, let’s go back in time if you will and let’s reflect back on early man. And by “Man”, I mean human civilization – and by no means is this being discriminatory against women by using such a word. I just want to be clear on that.
In this article, I remember reading about how back in the day, and I’m talking way back, man had no money. However, man’s level of stress was significantly high as he had to hunt his own game for food, fetch his own water, build his own home and pitch his own tent, fend for himself whenever he was under threat from foreign and domestic invaders (human and animals), he had to explore hidden & unknown territory not knowing if things could get rough and/or dangerous at any given moment, etc.
In order minimize these stressors, man invented money so others could hunt for food, build habitats for residency, build weapons for self-defense for ourselves and our property, have others explore the world so we could travel abroad safely, etc. The more headaches that were created by hunting, gathering, building, exploring, etc., man looked at money as the answer to relieve/cure it.
If money could relieve stress by having others do some of the grunt work, the intention was to have more freedom to increase our level of happiness by allowing us to do more of what we wanted on our own terms. The more money one would acquire, the more stress relief and freedom one would experience caused by the battle to survive.
Or so we thought.
Somewhere down the line, things as they would relate to money began to shift. Money became a source of stress and a slave driver – the more we acquired the more stress we added back into our lives. We would begin to plot & scheme various ways and tactics of how to gain more of it at any cost. We even began to play the harsh game of comparing ourselves and our personal self-worth in monetary terms which still stands true to this day.
As we all know, having more money isn’t necessarily the answer to buying happiness or measuring our personal self-worth. Nor is it a get-out-of-despair free card.
Rather, like exercise and optimal nutrition, money is medicine – stress medicine that applies the same way you would take a couple of pills to cure a headache. Taking more than you need won’t necessarily cure or lull the pain away as chances are you might overdose.
All you need is the ‘appropriate dose’ for whatever troubles you so that you can minimize your stress.
In the case of the young man I mentioned above, he ended upon retiring and leaving his corporate job 20 years before his ‘retirement age’ as defined by the company. All he did was put small amounts of his medicine away and cashed out once he realized that he had acquired to perfect dose to travel the world and spend more time with his loved ones. He acquired his freedom, travels to various parts of the globe on cruise ships and picks up some extra stress medicine by helping others live better lives.
Here’s the bottom line – it’s OK to acquire money and have as much of it as you want. The one thing you should consider is what you do with that money and how you use it – to buy relief from the stress that life is known to cause.
Money allows you the opportunity to make more choices. The question is, just because you have ‘financial flexibility’, are you making the right choices and decisions that align with your desired outcomes in life?
How will those decisions and choices affect you and those around you?
Having more money than you actually need won’t buy you happiness, any more than having too many pills will make you happy.
But it sure is easier to experience more happiness in our lives when we don’t have to deal with a headache.
If you’re feeling the stress of not being a better version of who you truly are and can become, if you’re unhappy because you don’t look and/or feel at your optimal potential, maybe you feel horrible for the lack of movement and exercise, maybe you have limitations that you need help with in order to get moving again, or maybe your eating habits are way off and you’re confused about what eating for great health & function looks like, I welcome you to drop by and visit us at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance and meet with any of our coaches.
Allow us the opportunity to sit down with you, discuss your current situation, share your desired goals and outcomes, and allow us to assist you in defining the ‘right dose of stress medicine’ needed to upgrade the quality of your life.
Now is the time that you put a down deposit on your personal happiness!
If not now, when?
Just know that YOU have the power to upgrade YOUR life!
Are YOU ready to commit to YOURSELF?
~ Coach AR