As you near retirement the question “Do I have enough to retire?” looms large. You’ve worked all your life but still there is that gnawing feeling that you haven’t done enough. It’s time to ask yourself a different question – What is your wealth? – and recognize the riches that are in your life.
The story of the farmer
There was once a very rich and wealthy family, the father took his young son on a trip out into the countryside, he took him there to show him how the poor people lived and to help him understand his level of wealth. The two of them spent several days on the farm of what they would consider a poor family. After those days they returned home. When they got back home, the father asked his son, “So what did you think of our trip? Did you see how the poor people lived? What did you learn about your wealth?”
The son responded, “It was great Dad. Yes I did, I saw that we have a cat and a dog, but that they have many of both, I saw that we have a swimming pool in our garden and a trampoline and lovely deck for parties, but they have fields that seem to have no end, and a creek that flows into a lake. We have electric lights in our back garden, and our patio extends around the side of the house and to our neighbour’s wall, but they have all the stars in the night sky, and they have the whole horizon.”
“We have a large home on a small plot of land, they have the farmhouse, and many outbuildings and rolling fields that go beyond our sight. We have a house maid and a nanny to help us, but they all help others. We buy our food from the local stores, they grow it!”
The father was quiet. Then his son said, “Dad, thank you for showing me how poor we are compared to the wealth of their lives!”
Isn’t perspective grand?
What is your real wealth?
Have an honest true look at your own life. Are you so busy trying to get to the next goal, to the next level that you haven’t actually realised… stopped to be grateful for what you have right now? Your wealth? Fed, watered, loved by someone? Working? Playing? Experience? Education?
Measure your life not by what you haven’t got, what you haven’t achieved, but instead by what you have.
So if you are considering ways to make money to supplement your retirement income what lesson can we learn here? Is there a useful snippet that we can glean from this tale? Your wealth also lies in your knowledge, your skills, your experience. How can you use them to your greatest advantage?
You started exploring this path with an idea, with a passion. Keep hold of that and stay true to it. It may be tempting to start expanding into other fads and areas that are currently the trend. But if it’s not something you know about, if it’s not something that can fit into your passion, don’t do it. I’m not saying just stick to your niche, I’m saying expand into the complimentary niches, rather than follow the crowd, your passion will remain that way and the success will follow.
In your endeavours, map out where you want to get to and how you are going to get there not in work but in life, your business should first and foremost support those goals. Not the other way around. When building wealth remember that your wealth is not just financial. It can be measured in many different ways.
Read BoomersNextStep’s tips on How To Overcome A Financial Setback And Still Have A Great Retirement
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