I was listening to a podcast with Kevin Kelly author of Excellent Advice for Living the other morning.
He likes to ask his children (and others), “what would you do if you won a billion dollars – how would you spend the money?”
He says everyone tends to say the same sorts of things, to which he replies, “But you can do that now”
It got me thinking – how would I spend the money?
Well, I would travel, but I can and do that now. I tried to stretch my brain. Really, I mean – I don’t need a billion dollars to travel – I could travel quite well on a budget. Especially for the sorts of things I like to do. Hiking. Cheap as chips. The ocean – everywhere on earth and can be done expensively or not.
I would love to travel worldwide – see everything that had ever intrigued me when I read about it. Travel for months, years on end. But would I? Would I really? I’m a homebody at heart. I think I could probably burn out on travel pretty quickly and end up right back here – happy in my daily routines.
But money wasn’t the restriction – not really. If I sincerely wanted I could sell up everything (although it could create a bit of an argument with my husband:) and have the money to travel extensively. It’s not about the money.
We worry a great deal about money, we humans. My dog doesn’t. No other animal does, as far as we know.
A yogi once said “We arrive with nothing and we cannot take a single thing with us – therefore – we arrive here already ahead.”
And we can’t take anything with us, although it is great to be able to leave wealth to our kids.
I was born healthy into a stable family in one of the luckiest countries in the world. Already way ahead, I would say.
There are two ways to be rich. Be rich. This is tricky as nobody ever seems to know when they arrive at this immeasurable point. Or live happily within our means. How often do truly wealthy people stop and think, I have enough; I’m just going to live off this and experience life now? I’m not sure, I haven’t asked one. But the point is, we can all live a deeply rich life. Not a life full of things and objects, but a life full of experiences and purpose. We just have to define what our deepest desires are.
Australia is indeed a lucky country; we have great social systems that look after people. I recall reading an article in the newspaper a few years ago about a man living on the age pension who would save his pension by living frugally and then travelling worldwide. His itineraries were planned within his budget; it was quite a fascinating read. I wish I had saved it. Another elderly lady travels on cruiseliners and says it is cheaper, more fun and more luxurious than an aged care home. If you plan correctly, I can see how that would be true. When I recently went on a cruise, I chatted with people who watched the websites, and one older lady was almost travelling for free; her fare (on a deal) was so cheap. Food is also included in your fare on the ship, and there is a massive variety.
I have a great life, and this is what answering Kevin Kelly’s questions revealed to me.
Waking up in my lovely home in this peaceful rural location. Walking with my dog, cooking meals for my family, laughing with the people I love. Writing, working, poetry, art. Having time to think and ponder and lie in the grass, watch the sunset. Travel when I can fit it in, reading great books and listening to podcasts from around the world when I can’t. Day-to-day things that make me feel blessed. I don’t want anything more than I can afford. And I consider myself fortunate for that. I consider myself rich.
We only have this one life – how do we wish to live it? Truthfully – for me, similar to the way I already do. I would love to provide funds to good causes worldwide, though that would be satisfying. So bring on the windfall if you must, universe, I will undoubtedly use it 🙂 But if it is not to be, that is also fine. I’m happy and free as I am.
How about you? Do you consider yourself rich? Happy? What would you add, and what do you need to have that happen?
20 thoughts on “Living Large”
A wonderful post!!! 🤗🤗
Ahh the is Colin 🤗💕
It really is a great post! It’s also one of the messages I used to try and get the children to think about when they were worrying about what to do after university. Find out what motivates you and try for that! 😉
I think with age comes the wisdom of what doesn’t matter or make a difference – my twenty year old self definitely thought money would end every problem. My fifty year old self thinks that the pursuit of money creates so many more problems in this world then it solves.
Yes, that is a very good point!! Well said Kate!
Kate, what an amazing post. It doesn’t surprise me our views parallel one another. I love this thought~”But the point is, we can all live a deeply rich life. Not a life full of things and objects, but a life full of experiences and purpose. We just have to define what our deepest desires are.” It’s so true! I’ve lived in large homes, had MORE money, things, vacations,…the 4 years in my RV were some of the happiest in my life. I’m so glad I had opportunity to live with “so little” and just appreciate the simple things in life. Anywhere in nature, around family, and like you, the comforts of “home”, make me feel rich. I am a dreamer and DO wish to visit places such as Israel AND the great country of Australia (and YOU, 😘),…realistically, as a single woman living on a set pension and now with cancer, many of things will NOT come to fruition, so having the dreams mean as much as doing them. I’d definitely donate money! I know we all probably have that desire (or should ;)). I’d love to see my kids not struggle and enjoy simple things; I think they do for the most part. I’d like to be completely debt free! When I was living in my RV I had this vision of blogging so I started writing, “Living Large in My Tiny World”. Kate, YOU are living large. You know the keys to a rich life! I think I’m filthy rich with you! Thank you for your wisdom, beautiful words, and truth! Much love my friend. 💕🥰💕
I think having to battle with Cancer (you are winning of course) gives you a keen insight into what is important. I’m so glad you chose to start blogging and our paths crossed. I have spent today rediscovering all my past passions and it’s been so much fun to realise yet again, I have more abundance than I can spend in this lifetime through creativity and the energy that comes from a happy thriving spirit – but that’s tomorrows blog post. Love you, big hugs X❤️
It really is a difficult perspective (I never though I’d have~yet for most of my life I’ve never felt “of this world” if that makes any sense?). What a beautiful day you had in rediscovering! A happy thriving spirit! Yes! I just love you big!! 💕💕💕
a warm, thought provoking post. Yes we are lucky just living in this wonderful country. I love the stories you quoted, esp the one about the senior who lived frugally then travelled the world on his pension: stories don’t get more inspiring than that: having little, living wide 🙂
Self discipline is freedom hey John. I found that fellows story so inspiring because he doesn’t rage at the system – he works with it beautifully.
it sure is, Kate; you never know what you’ll find when you read widely: sometimes the lowliest paper can come up with a gem of an article —
Very true John 😊
I share your views on this issue, Kate. I would just add that winning a billion dollars would attract far too many predators for me to handle 🙂
That’s so true Rosaliene. I think they call winning the lotto a curse for a reason.
I’ve fantasized at times about “winning the lottery”. Mostly at times when I was severely stressed or deeply depressed and work seemed to be a burden that I wasn’t capable of handling while managing my chronic pain (past tense – I’m doing much better now). Nowadays I don’t think of this very often (and I’m in solid financial shape although cash poor after eight years of college tuition, so far). But if I did come by one billion dollars I think I would go about my life in a very similar fashion on the outside. I wouldn’t quit my job…I would just be much more comfortable while doing it. Comfortably, emotionally, I mean. I wouldn’t have to worry about company politics or a difficult boss and such effecting my family’s livelihood. Thought provoking post. Thank you!
Thanks Monty, it’s true that a lack of money can lead to anxiety but equally I think an excess of money can do the same thing – we learn that it isn’t money that is the problem but the connotations we put on it. I’m glad you are in a much better place now and all the answers to this post are similar – nothing much would change.
I definitely feel like I have enough to do most everything I want to do. I don’t live a frivolous life and that has helped me. I think having more money would allow me to travel more, but I’m mostly content with where I am. So not much different from you. 🙂
It’s a good place to be Michelle
It really is 😉
I wouldn’t go so far as to say ‘rich’. We’re pretty comfortable, but things could be much easier. When I dream about winning a pile of money, my fantasies always revolve around who I could give it away to. I don’t think my tastes extend beyond ‘upper-middle-class’ so the rest is surplus. Of course, I’d like to set my kids up in a similar situation.