How much can 10 years change my perspective? In summary I feel I am a different person in many aspects.
In 2006 I was preparing my birthday party which I celebrated at the first and only house I have ever owned.
We did a big birthday party and I remember purchasing lots of meat and booze for my guests. Being a Vegan now, I am sure that will not happen in future birthday parties. Some of the booze was given away about two years ago because we knew we did not need it or would consume it.
I had a big party with friends from India and the U.S. who flew in for my birthday & house warming party.
My parents flew down with me from Connecticut. At that time, I was living with them while working at KPMG’s New York Office.
My priorities were pretty much set around material things and acquiring them. Although I had a new car, I decided to buy a Luxury Convertible. Buying that Mercedes Benz was my second biggest mistake next to purchasing that house. Both of those purchases were made because I could, not because it made sense.
So up to my 28th birthday, I can create a long list of many other things I bought because I could. I purchased a membership in the local country club which brought more issues than solved any.
As I look back, I can see some of my insecurities came from growing up poor; on occasions I did not have what I needed. Living in the Inner City as a kid, my family was in survival mode. When I was able to buy what I wanted, I just did.
I also saved some money but I never thought I would get tired of being part of one of the biggest CPA and Consulting Firms. The prestige that came with it also brought many sacrifices.
Feeding a Gap
The problem was that having money and material things was leaving me with a big gap in many aspects of life.
I got tired quickly of the things I had to submit myself to be able to afford and keep acquiring things. Those sacrifices started falling short of what I expected my life to be.
I had very little control of my life. I remember my managers asking me to cancel my vacations because their was a big project that I had to be a part of. It was bad enough we only had 20 vacation and sick days, now they were going to decide when I could and could not take them.
So I tried to compensate with purchasing things. Maybe surrounding myself with a big house, luxury car, and many other unnecessary things made me feel I had control.
Freeing Myself From Material Things
In 2008 I decided to go on my own. The coolest job I had, Senior IT Security Consultant, disappeared due to the recession. I knew I could not find a similar environment fast enough to meet my responsibilities.
I was pushed into trying something for myself. I was so naive, I did not realize what I was getting into. But I was brave enough to try it and I don’t regret one moment.
Over the next few years, I started losing most of those material things I had acquired. I was also liberated from two of the poorest decisions I had ever made.
The banks took care of my Luxury Convertible and what I thought was my house (it was the banks all along).
Since 2008, not only have I learned how to build a few business, but I also learned that I can fail and bounce back.
Focusing on what is Important
Most importantly in the past 10 years I can say I have learned to focus on what is important. I try to stay in the now and not plan too far ahead.
I make sure I am clear in what I have to tackle in the next coming weeks maybe a few months.
I don’t think about my retirement; 10 years ago a book changed my life and taught me the importance of enjoying life now.
For the past 5 years, I have had the best birthday gift ever, getting a birthday card handed to me and made by my daughter with the help of her mom.
As I look back at where I am now, my priorities are focused around,
- Being healthy
- Staying as fit as possible
- Eating the best I can as a vegan (sorry I don’t feed my guests meat anymore)
- Improving my relationship with those really close to me
- Not worrying about what other people, who are not important, think of me.
I make sure I Make Myself Happy Before Anyone Else
I live my life and I no longer try to be accepted by others. That might be one of the reasons why I might have purchased that expensive country club membership years ago.
I am ok with speaking my mind. Yes, on occasions I have learned that keeping my mouth shut is more valuable to me. Much more valuable than letting others know what I feel.
I do my best to help those that are close to me. I also do my best to be grateful to those that are always taking care of me.
I am grateful to have my daughter next to me watching cartoons as I write this. (She is Waiting for Dad to finish his morning writing to do something fun).
I am grateful for being able to see life differently than how I saw it 10 years ago.
I only wonder how I will see life 10 years from now.
My only hope is that I can see progress in my way of thinking and I feel happier as I feel now.
Happy Birthday to ME and thank you for reading this.
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