They have overflowing bank accounts and to the onlooker it appears they will never want for anything, but they have regrets that all the money in the world can never erase.
They didn’t pursue their dreams earlier
Many of the wealthy regret to some extent that they hadn’t started pursuing their dreams earlier. The commonly stated reason for this was fear, fear of failure, fear of disappointing their families or simply the fear of not having enough money if they followed their passion as opposed to the path that would bring them a stable career.
Vera Wang became a fashion designer at the age of 40 after a failed ice skating career and 15 years of being a fashion journalist. Georgio Armani was pursuing a career in medicine when he found his passion for clothing. He dropped out of university and started working for a designer of department store clothing. It was only at the age of 42 that he branched out on his own with his first menswear collection.
The lesson that I see here is that no matter what stage you are in your life don’t let fear hold you back from doing what you love. True wealth is not only built on the money you can make, it is built on passionately pursuing what lights you up and what you can do with your special talent to add value to the world.
They neglected family and friends in favour of work
I have heard it said money is a powerful mistress and our pursuit of it can leave us blinded to the true riches that live within our closest relationships, deepest friendships and shared experiences.
Steve Jobs penned a heart wrenching death bed poem and one sentence in it summed up how important it is in our race for financial wealth not to overlook the wealth we already have in the love of our family and friends.
“ Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…”
Bob Marley sums this up with his quote “Money can’t buy life”.
They forgot to enjoy daily life while building their fortunes
A close follow on from the previous regret. The scarcest resource we are given is on the day of our birth. And that is our time on earth. When we are young and the hour glass is full this limitation seems very meaningless. We put off things until tomorrow. We rush through our days wishing for the next holiday, next playdate and even more importantly our next birthday. We cannot wait for adulthood and freedom.
As we enter the “freedom” of adulthood we plan the next payday because then we can be free to buy what we want. Only we now realise our salary isn’t going to buy us all the things we want to buy and so we aspire to making more. This means less time to do the things we truly want to do but who cares because “one day” we will be able to do them. But today there is work to be done, money to be made and some more expensive things to buy so others can see our success.
Only then one day comes and the hourglass drops its last grain of sand and we echo what Queen Elisabeth I woefully cried on her deathbed “ all my possessions for a moment of time”.
Be very strategic in your pursuit of wealth. Wealth means very different things to everyone. It is not simply about the money in the bank or the material possessions we aspire to owning. Wealth is built in every second of the day that we are present and truly living our lives. The true enjoyment and happiness is not found in our end goal of money riches it is found in the beauty we find in each moment of life and the people we have to become to grow to our next level in life. Plan your “wealth” building to encompass your “now” life and getting the most out of every juicy second you get to live it.
They let themselves buy into the hype and forgot who they are
Our pursuit of money and success can become a tunnel vision path where we become so immersed in attaining it that it becomes our story. We forget what wealth and success initially meant to us. We get seduced by the adulation of our peers and the material rewards of what we are able to obtain as we achieve more and more and what made us so successful, our big why, which may have been a goal to contribute or make a difference in our world, becomes overshadowed by the trappings of success.
We forget who we are, and why we are working towards this goal. We lose sight of what true wealth is to us and we blind ourselves to those we speed past on the journey to our destination. Only now we don’t exactly know what our destination is and this trajectory we are on seems empty, hollow and meaningless.
They accepted it as their due and forgot to be grateful for what they had
If we are not consciously pausing each day to see all that this life has given us and is giving us every second we are alive, we are missing out on the gifts that the universe has laid at our feet. The universe is always giving us exactly what we need. When we choose to look with gratitude at what brought us to this point in time and what fills our lives at this very moment we realise how truly blessed we are. When we can live in gratitude for what we have we already have wealth and anything we build from here is simply the icing on the cake.
So may entrepreneurs that have had periods of depression, have suffered poor business performance and have faltered in their ability to create success realised in hindsight they had simply started taken their success for granted. They forgot to be grateful for what they had managed to achieve and those that had helped them along the way.
In contrast those that have succeeded in building a holistically happy life credit a deep gratitude practise as the catalyst for their personal and financial growth. Richard Branson. Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Arianna Huffington and Tony Robbins to name a handful.
Money won’t bring you happiness. The person you become as you take on challenges and push the boundaries of your comfort zone and the habits you adopt in your life as you reach for these new heights are the tools that will shape your happiness and satisfaction with life on a daily basis. Enjoy the journey.
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