There are all kinds of ways to be poor and money is only one of them.

This thought occurred to me after watching a man from Thailand give his Ted Talk. Part of his life choices were a result of following the judgment of others and their proclamation of his poverty. His talk is a simple tale, told simply about his journey. One of satisfaction, to living a life defined by others as to what success looks like and then finally, to reclaiming and re-defining his own.

Your life, is it of your choosing or is it one you are living by default? Are your choices made with thought, or those made as a result of the current ideas of what the external markers of success are?

Are you living the lottery mentality?

For many, life is lived waiting with a lottery mentality. All will be well when…., and little effort to make the most of what is available at the moment. Little effort too, to determine for yourself where the riches of your life are.

When I was reflecting on my life a few years ago I struggled with the disparity between what I had and what was emerging around me. Our unpretentious, rural road was becoming a destination for the wealthy. New estate homes, replete with gates, security cameras and the silent message of those who belonged and those who didn’t. For a while I was internally at odds with what was around me and what my life up to then had been about. Was I a failure? Were my life decisions amounting to a less than equation? In time I was able to find the answer, there is no winning as it comes to a life lived. External markers are neither a positive nor negative value of the people residing within. Even though there is much pressure, on both sides, to make them so.

If we lack connection we look for ways to fill the gap

Humanity, by it’s nature, seeks to connect. Lack of connection gives rise to mental, physical and spiritual voids. We feel empty and often look for ways to fill the gaps. Without turning inward, without reflection as to what our own measure of success is, we risk falling prey to the ideas of others, mindlessly following.

Money is necessary as a means to life. End of that story.

The quality of our lives depends only on our choices of living it to our capacity based on where we choose to take it. In other words? Our biggest folly comes from allowing others to decide what success is for us. Only we can decide the who, what and where deserving of our attention and energy. If instead we choose to follow, neglect to ask questions, then we may certainly end our days wondering what happened and how we missed the boat.

While New Year’s is a traditional time for reflection, I invite you to make this a more than a once a year endeavour. Choose your compass point and then set out on your path to your self defined destination of success.

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