I was sitting in a hammock at Burning Man several years ago when the bejeweled person next to me struck up a conversation about what it meant to be poor. The other people in the geodesic dome each contributed their take. Some argued that being poor meant having a lack of fulfillment. Others argued it was a lack of funds. Still others thought it was a lack of love. The last person to speak up was a long haired old man who I hadn’t even noticed was sitting on the other side of the dome. He paused and said in a very strong and clear voice that being poor meant lacking time.
He explained that rich people had fast cars, super fast computers, prepared meals and other conveniences that allowed them to live efficiency and thus have more time to do what they do.
Everyone who heard the comment stayed silent as they absorbed the thought. We all share a 24 hour day but the old man had made a great point, the difference between rich and poor wasn’t only money, it was also time.
I am now back in the States to start my third domestic leg of my bucket list journey. Over the next few months I will focus on hitting the rest of the 50 states that I haven’t yet visited and on learning some odd skills (air combat training, chess, digital photography). This is a major change from the last leg that I spent traveling around the greatest cities and viewing the most amazing sights in Europe.
It is this transition that made me think of the old man’s comment. This year I will likely make about half of the money that I made last year. This was completely voluntary as I left my old high paying job and am now focusing on my startup. At the same time, I find myself with a lot of time to do what I do.
I have less money and more time.
I have found the balance that I have I been looking for. At first this was an odd realization for me. It was like the proverbial dog catching its tail and having no idea what to do next.
This used to be a trap I would fall into in other areas of my life. I would get what I wanted but then find it difficult to determine if that was really what I had actually wanted.
Luckily, I have grown up a little bit over the course of my adventure. I know now exactly what makes me happy and there is no second guessing if I am right or wrong.
Travel, Learning and People make me happy.
As I start my newest leg of my adventure, I start with a smile. I already have all of the resources that I need to accomplish my goals (discipline, some money and some support). Now making progress on my list is only a matter of time.