I was sitting on the train this morning thinking about the similarities between personal finance and relationships.
A healthy relationship, I'm learning, should happen naturally when you live your life to its fullest and according to right principles. It’s as if the kind of life you want takes shape incrementally, day by day. At some point, your life intersects and then merges with that of a like person, someone who can see you for who you really are, who values the same things you do.
Prosperity might be similar. When it evolves out of right living, rather than as an end in itself, you can achieve a kind of natural balance, a symbiotic relationship between your money-making capacity and other key areas of your life.
On the other hand, if you aggressively seek a certain level of material wealth, making this a priority above all else, you can arrive at your goal without a real sense of fulfillment, happiness or peace. Aggressively seeking a relationship, trying too hard to make something happen, can produce the same result.
I've come to realize that this struggle to force our lives into a certain shape is often the result of trying to fill a hole; it’s as if we're functioning out of a dependency, desperately trying to fill that emptiness with something, rather than addressing its cause.
Take away those external sources of validation - the high-paying job, the person you love - and suddenly it’s as if the bottom of your world drops out and you're falling, with nothing to hold on to.
This morning, as we flew past frozen fields, it occurred to me that what’s in our minds and hearts is all we’ve really got. I’m going to try and remember that. We can’t take money or people with us. All we leave behind is how we’ve lived.