Last night one of my friends was relating the difficulties of their life. When I shared some of my difficulties, the response I heard (which I hear many times), is “But you don’t understand; you don’t have to worry about your rent or your food.”
I don’t have to worry about my rent or my food. From that perspective, I do have the best life in the world. But how I “see” it is (sometimes) is that most other people can strive (work harder, learn more) to pay for their rent and their food. No matter how much harder I work or how much more I learn, the chance of me being able to drive a car (just as one example) is next to impossible.
Some people dismiss that one example as a small incidental of life, and even debate how it is not an essential aspect of our culture. So let me illustrate two huge examples from my life off the top of my head:
Many careers require the ability to drive, directly, indirectly, or though their office geography. When I was 18, I (almost) had the opportunity to work with superstars like Anthony Robbins, promoting them on stage before they came into town. But wait! That meant being flown down to the cities across North America (easy), and renting a car to setup all the venues (impossible). Yes, I had conversations with them about taking taxi cabs instead (difficult). You do the math.
When I was 24, I met a wonderful woman at a speaking engagement and there was mutual attraction. She lived two hours away from me by car, and there literally was no public transit to her small town. We had lots of electronic communication, but it was so frustrating not to be able to be with her. Finally, I convinced one of my friends to drive me up, sit and wait in a café for three hours while I hung out with her, and then drive me back (amazing friend). It was an awesome day --but it could have been an awesome short-term or long-term relationship.
I notice that some people try to find holes in my examples, asking, why I don’t try this, why I didn’t say that, or how I should be more positive. That process of thinking-out-side-the-box that people do for two minutes, I have been doing 24 hours a day for my entire life. I’ve tried all those things, that’s why I am successful, and don’t need to worry about my rent or my food.
When I had learned how integral real-estate was in creating wealth at an early age, I made conscious efforts to move out of subsidized housing and put the majority of my savings into buying a house for our family. It was great that I was making tons of money from my business, and reinvesting it into paying off the mortgage as quickly as possible. I thought that foresight and discipline would have built a better image of me, not have people feel that I somehow have it easy by not worrying about rent today.
I love food. And I do think about it every two hours, like many people do. When I’m outside anywhere I’m not familiar with (new places), I do need to worry about it because unlike most people, I can’t see any of the big signs. Even when I do find a restaurant (which may or may not be my taste/preference) I may not be able to read the menu. Most fast food places do not even offer paper menus, nor have their items listed on their web site (even with me making YouTube videos about it). So, while I may not worry about food in the same way some people do, I feel my choices of food are extremely limited most of the time. I won’t even go into buffets or potlucks. ;)
And before people reply telling me about the cool new Google Car, of course I have heard of it. And from my understanding of government regulations, politics, business, and technology, we are at least ten years away from me being able to drive one. But then again, everything can change on December 21, right? (Or is it 22?)
The bottom line is that we all have different challenges in life. We got to remember that our challenges are not the most difficult, and that everybody has challenges in their lives that are unfair, extreme, overwhelming, and sometimes even unconscionable to us.
Let’s love the world together...
[)anish /|hmed, blind visionary