I suppose it comes down to your own definition of what ‘having it all’ really means. We all set different targets for ourselves so what one man defines as ‘having it all’ may well fall short of how another interprets it. We all want a stress free, debt free, problem free life, but do we need all three to be truly happy, or a little of each, or just a lot of one?
Material things, ‘money’, is probably the biggest cause of stress in society and most feel they never have enough. Would having untold wealth be your definition of ‘having it all’? Kate Spade was probably seen as ‘having it all’. Beauty, brains, family who loved her, a hugely successful business, and fabulous wealth, yet she struggled with her own demons; demons that eventually over powered her ability to cope. She clearly didn’t think she ‘had it all’.
We strive for that high paying job, the bigger home, the newer car…… when is it enough? When will we sit back satisfied that we finally have it all? Or will we, ever? Competition and greed keep us forever raising the bar, increasing our anxiety and overriding our common sense.
Like anyone else, I’ve always aspired for more. I want a nice home, a car, nice clothes, and all with financial security, because all of these give me status in society,or so I thought. If I’m doing better than another, even only slightly, I feel like I must’ve done something better. In my own warped perception I see it as my having succeeded somehow where they failed. At least that’s how I used to see it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the 5+ decades of my life it’s that all the stuff really doesn’t matter. We come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing, so why accumulate a lot of crap you’re only going to have to unload later?
To put it into perspective, think of the two most valuable assets in your life; a spouse, parent/sibling, a home, your career, even money, then try to imagine what it would feel like if you lost it overnight. How could you bear it? And yet you will, because your survival instincts will kick in. Your rational mind will remind you of what you do have, and your common sense will immediately start guiding you to ways to fill the void and focus on what is good in your life. I guess this is the way our inner spirit protects us. Could it be that you already have it all and just don’t see it? Gratitude for what we do have eventually overshadows our regret for what we don’t, and that is as it should be.
Now I’m not saying I no longer want those things, I do and always will, but if I don’t get them I won’t feel like I’m missing something. Life events that shake us to the core have a way of sobering us up, and like the saying goes, ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. I’ve come to terms with the reality that I won’t have great wealth. I will not be famous. In fact 99.9% of the worlds’ population will never know who I am, and I’m ok with that. I have a lovely family, wonderful friends, a warm bed to sleep in and food to sustain me. I celebrate every day as I never have before because I now realize how lucky I really am to see every new day, with or without the stuff I once thought so essential to my happiness. Less really is more!
I live in a country free of war and political turmoil. I have my health, as do my family and friends, and while I’m not rolling in money I have what I need, and for the first time in my life I can honestly say, I have it all and I bet if you really look at all that is good in your life instead of what you’re lacking you too will count yourself among those who “have it all”. How lucky are we!