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Instructor’s Corner

Most of the time, for most people, it seems to be that ‘making a living’ just gets in the way of ‘living a life’.

The way human society has evolved, leaves the larger portion of the population spending most of their waking hours in a struggle for survival – sure, most of us we aren’t out there dodging angry bison or hunting down dinner for our tribe, but many of us are spending the larger part of our days doing jobs we don’t like so we can earn the money to buy the food that we once hunted, gathered or grew ourselves. And then of course, there’s the mortgage (damn – those tepees and caves were way cheaper), the cars we need to get to work, the cell phones we need to talk to others on their way to work, the nice clothes we need to look like we now what we are doing, etc. But don’t worry the financial advisors say; if you plan right (and pay me my trailing commissions) you will at least enjoy your retirement. Well, I very much doubt that that is true! If you are not enjoying life right now – I can bet you won’t be in retirement! This topic comes down to two things: TIME and MONEY It seems we want the former but need the latter.

Time but no money: Most of us start out with loads free time but not that much money. When we think about this time of our lives, most can probably admit to having a lot of fun. This usually relates to the time when we are growing up. Having fun, chasing lizards, building go- carts from bits and pieces we found down the local dump, and having adventures with our friends.

No time or money: This is usually when we start working in a job or becoming a fulltime student. Free time seems like a thing of the past and we can barely scrape together enough money to fill our gas tank and pay our rent, let alone squirrel savings away that will feed us in retirement.

Money but no time: Now we are starting to get our act together financially. Our business or job is paying off and we have bought ourselves a house and have savings in the bank. We no longer have to worry about whether we can afford that trip overseas – we can, but we just don’t have the time to do it. We are a ‘fat rat’ but we are still stuck running on the wheel.

Time and money: This is the fun part. Some make it here, others sadly don’t. Usually this is when we are in semi-retirement or something like it – or perhaps we have become so successful in our business that we can spend less time doing it and still get by or even flourish.

I have NEVER subscribed to the above model. I have refused to budget, refused to ‘tow the line’, do the responsible thing, focus on tomorrow. Instead, I have lived with a sense of purpose, lived my life with passion, and really enjoyed myself in this huge playground called planet earth. When I have had absolutely no money, I was as happy and purpose driven as I am today – and didn’t suffer for it. Time, my friends, is something that both billionaires and beggers cannot get back! As my mom used to say, live for today but plan for tomorrow – but really LIVE for today. Time to go play with my kids …

JBW-2009-

See you in class
Master Bartley

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