I have always been a big fan of Rudyard Kipling, from the time I saw the Disney cartoon version of The Jungle Book at eight years old. Today I happened upon a terrific quote from him:
Beware of overconcern for money, or position, or glory. Someday you will meet a man who cares for none of these things. Then you will know how poor you are.
It is no secret that I’ve expended a great deal of time, energy and thought on personal transformation, and dedicated this year to that very project. I don’t like much of who I am, and am expending time, energy and thought into deciding whom I want to be, and how I want to become him.
- What do I like? What stays?
- What do I not like? What goes?
One thing I do like about me is that I have never sought money, position, or glory; I live a small, quiet life, and I’m happy to do so. This is fortunate, because the big life comes with a set of restrictions and stresses that would not play nicely with my mental health problems.
It comes down to the (probably apocryphal) “Ancient Chinese Curse:”
Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.
I wish for the money to feed, house and raise my family in comfort. I don’t wish for millions. Everything else I wish for has to do with transforming myself into someone who can provide that. Not position. Not glory. Just a small, quiet life, in control of my personal problems.
These are my wishes. If I get them, I think I can be happy with that.