26. The Dude, Wealth, and Abiding
I have come to the realisation that I am never going to be a millionaire. Some might view that as a self-limiting attitude but that's just how it appears to be. I have put things into place that could easily bring in lots of money, but they don't. And these days, a millionaire isn't much anyway.
Just How It Is, Man. Abide!
I remember a Taoist story. I think it was in Chuang Tsu, the second Taoist classic. I won't blather on about it, but a guy was asking his teacher why he had the wisdom of the Tao and yet another guy he knew, who was quite a fool was rich beyond measure, and appeared not to do much to achieve it.
The answer came, that this is his Tao. The Tao has made the other guy rich, and it has made you wise.
And you know what? I've always known that I am rich, just not financially. It seems to me that life gives me enough money to get by, but never enough to do what I want, like fix the chimney, turn the attic into a bedroom, and replace my girlfriend's car with a newer one.
I can't ever see myself being a millionaire.
And actually, that brings some relief, and that's what I'm writing about here...
I don't need to work my nuts off trying to get money.
Underachieving Is Alright - You Might Actually Be Achieving Anyway
Life has given me a great patchwork family, put me in a wonderful little cottage by a forest, given me a sexy girlfriend who will be my wife soon, and has put me in a country, where yes, there are lots of uptight people, it's hard to make money because of huge taxes, but it is beautiful.
And here is my wealth. Big fields of meadow flowers. Wild animals I would rarely, if ever, see in England. Beautiful meandering rivers, and vast open lakes. Quieter roads. Little violence. Virtually no aggression (other than from authorities sometimes). Great schools. A good place for my kids to get an education.
That's the wealth that has been given to me. Chuang Tsu would say, this is my Tao. I could slog away in front of my laptop fighting to get rich, or I can abide, and live the wealth that has been handed to me on a plate.
And that brings about an ease. I don't have to make so much effort. I don't need to work so hard. I can cut back on some customers, earn a little less but enjoy my family, the countryside, swimming in lakes, and hopefully, if my mounting straps arrive in the post (they appear to have gone missing), I will buy a kayak next week and start cruising the open waters here.
What's the Point?
So, the take home here, is to see what you have in your life that is your "wealth" and to make the most of it. Your richness might be a small apartment and you love to chill with your special lady or cosy Dude on a weekend and watch a movie. You might like walking your dog in the forest, or horseback riding. You may love to play with your kids. Whatever it is, take a look at what you've got around you, what life has given you, and get into your element...
Work to live, not live to work.
Whatever is your richness, put yourself in the center of it. You might be a millionaire, or a billionaire, and that's great, but is your real wealth money, and material things? Is your real wealth having some control over your time, or are you impoverished in this way? If you wish you had more time to play with the kids, or spend time in nature, can you reduce your work commitments a little so you have the ability to enjoy your life?
Food for thought.
The Reverend Thomo