How Do I Get Rich? A Moment With Bill Reflection
IN SEARCH OF RICHES
When I was getting ready to graduate from high school I began to toss around ideas of what courses I wanted to take in college. A fool’s errand for sure, for what high school senior truly has a clue about the real world and the future? Still, I should get brownie points for making the attempt.
My first choice was to become a teacher. I had always been good with children and I could easily see a life dedicated to helping the youth of our country.
My second choice was to become a National Park Ranger. I was in love with the wilderness and I had no problem envisioning a life working for our great National Park System. Just me and Smokey the Bear riding off into the sunset and saving the planet.
My dad, however, had other thoughts on the matter. He was a product of the Great Depression, and his dream was for me to graduate from college with a business degree and then go on to seek, and find, riches in the corporate world. I was the first Holland to attend college, so obviously it was a big deal for my family. They were all incredibly proud of me, and I sensed I carried with me the hopes and dreams of an entire family.
When it came time to declare my major I admit that I caved to the wishes of my father. He was the one sacrificing for me. He was the one working overtime to pay for my college tuition and yes, he was the one I grew up admiring and trusting. If dad wanted me to make it in the business world then by God I was going to do just that.
REALITY REARS ITS UGLY HEAD
Well, the harsh reality was that I did not enjoy business courses. I damn near flunked out my first semester because college life was way too much fun and college courses were not. From there it was a constant struggle just to maintain some semblance of a decent grade point average. By the time I graduated with degrees in Marketing and Economics, my gpa was forever recorded as 2.80, and let me tell you that those three numbers impressed absolutely nobody when it came time to apply for business jobs.
My resume showed two degrees, a mediocre grade point average, three years of varsity baseball and a whole lot of partying and having fun. Not exactly the stuff of legends!
My father died before I graduated. He never did live to see his dream fulfilled, and it is probably just as well because his dream of me becoming a business mogul took a detour. Five years after graduating, having bounced around from one meaningless job to another, I returned to college and earned my teaching degree.
I found in teaching the riches I had been seeking.
I have earned six-figure incomes during my lifetime. I have owned and operated three businesses. I have owned my share of toys and I have played hard with them all. I took chances, embraced risk and lived on the edge. How I survived some experiences will forever be a mystery, but survive them I did and I am here to tell you that I never did become rich as my father envisioned, but I did become rich.
It took me a very long time to realize that man can be rich without money. Man can have all of his needs met without abundant possessions. Man can be rich if, and only if, he learns to love.
Something to think about
- Living Simple: Perspective In Our Lives
Happiness is a choice; you can whine all you want about your circumstance in life but it still comes down to whether you choose to be happy or choose to be miserable.
HOW DO YOU GET RICH?
So sit back and relax while I tell you a few truths I have learned over sixty-four years. Allow me to make some suggestions that just might put you on the road to riches beyond your imagination. Allow me to show you how to get rich in life without money. Are you ready? Are you prepared to take notes? Then let’s begin.
Play along with me while we do an exercise. Remember back to the last time you were truly happy before you started working and started chasing the good life. I can remember as if it were yesterday. I was nineteen years old and didn’t have a care in the world. My father was still alive and I was livin’ large and lovin’ life. Yes, I had a summer job, but the job was more a “rights of passage” sort of thing rather than a necessity. The money I made was used to have fun, and I had so few bills as to seem insignificant.
There were few things I really needed so there was no pressure to constantly keep meeting my needs. My wants were easily paid for because, in truth, I had few wants. I had friends, a loving family and yes, a girlfriend. Life was good.
Oh how things changed. Somehow I got wrapped up in the same game millions of others play every single day. Must have a house…must have a nicer car…must have a bigger television….must, must, must….and suddenly making more money was a necessity because I had to pay, not only for my needs, but also my wants.
Fast forward forty years and I now see the folly in it all. Today I resemble that nineteen year old in that I am again surrounded by friends, family and love and yes, life is once again good.
In other words, I am rich without money.
FRIENDS, FRIENDS AND MORE FRIENDS
I had quite a few friends when I was making a six-figure income. I was the life of the party and I was never shy about buying a round of drinks, or paying for group dinners. I had plastic, baby, and what I couldn’t pay for then I could easily pay for in twelve easy installments of $75 each.
I partied hard, played hard and loved hard, and all was good until the day I came crashing down to earth and found reality staring me in the face. My so-called friends could not be found when I could no longer buy a round of drinks. My bosom buddies were AWOL when I reached out a hand for help. I was….alone!
Again, fast forward to today. The friendships I have today have a solid foundation based on mutual respect. The bond I have with my son is as strong as ever, and I receive all the love I’ll ever need from Bev.
In other words, I am rich without money.
FINDING THE CORE OF MY HUMANNESS
I don’t know when it happened. I can clearly remember my youth, my teen years and even into my twenties, caring deeply about people and being emotionally invested in their joys as well as their pains. Life was a roller-coaster of highs and lows as my emotions were given free-run. To borrow from an old saying, I felt therefore I was alive.
Somehow over the years that slowly eroded. As my attention was turned more and more towards me and less on others, I found myself cold-hearted and unfeeling. I began to see the “wisdom” in the philosophy of every man for himself, and I was less and less affected by the problems of others. Then alcohol took control of my life and my only concern was to feed my addiction.
Once again we fast forward to today. Today I once again feel for others. I have found my long-lost compassion for my brothers and sisters, and the empathy I once felt has returned. When others are hurting then a part of me is hurting, and when others rejoice over good fortune I am there to rejoice with them.
In other words, I have found the better part of my humanity and yes, I am rich without money.
It's all about love my friends
TURN THE PAGE BUT RETAIN THE LESSONS LEARNED
I will be honest with you; there are times I would love to have just a little bit more money. I am not immune to the comforts that money can buy. I would love it if Bev didn’t have to work so hard to help pay what bills we have. I would love to experience what other people call a vacation. Heck, I would love to have that small farm I have dreamed about, and spend my remaining days writing while looking out at the pasture and critters.
However, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. I have found happiness and yes, I have found love, and today I am a rich man.
I wish for all of you the same riches that I have found. It is there for you if you want it. All you have to do is love as though your life depended on it because, you see, it does.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)