The fifth secret, the final secret, is ‘Give More’.
It has been hard to find time to type this up since we left on vacation several days ago but I made some notes and wanted to reflect on the final secret. All of them seem to be connected but this one is something that I find tied very closely to the purpose of life.
Dr Izzo talked about the fact that we can’t take anything with us but we can leave something behind. I am often frustrated with the conflicting ideas of planning for retirement and making a difference now. I am a planner and I want a 5, 10 and 40 year money plan. I love business and finance and get excited about the miracle of compounding. This idea fights against my ‘planning’ for now. I want to find time(which costs time as well as money) to spend as a family when the kids are young and using time and resources for all the incredible need around us. To add to this conflict is the reality that the future is unknown. I could get hit by a bus (or disease) at 59 and then all the planning, working, and putting off for later would be lost. On another other side, how am I supposed to know my income potential in my later years. I will, hopefully, find something to do that I love and that I won’t want to ‘retire’ from.
People who save for comfortable and fancy retirements confuse me. If I am going to go to Europe or do other exotic travel I want it to be while I can climb stairs and don’t have a suitcase of meds to come with me. So, basically, I don’t agree with fancy retirement planning. We are planning for a bare bones retirement and trying to spend our money on family time and projects we feel strongly about. I want to give my kids time and memories instead of inheritance.
Another thing he said was “We have no choice what the world gives us everyday but we do have control of what we give the world” This really jumped out at me. There are so many people, probably myself included, that always make excuses for what they do/don’t do or are/aren’t. This concept is stated all over the place in so many ways-We have to live life by choice instead of laying back and complaining. Instead of focusing on what we are given we are benefited by focusing on what we can give back.
Related to this he talked about how we can’t change the world, we can only change ourselves. We can’t change the fact that people treat us bad, that the government is a mess and that the ozone is disappearing but we can change us and how we live. We can change how we treat people. We can change how we live and react. Instead of complaining about something I should ask “What can I do about it?” Probably not enough to change the problem or even come close to making a dent, but nobody else can either. It is everybody doing their part that can make the difference.