“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” Jim Carrey
How would you feel if you were born in abject poverty, had a volatile alcoholic father and clinically depressed suicidal mother after having a stroke and becoming paralyzed. Then, in a magic shop of all weird places when you were about to become a juvenile delinquent, you were befriended by an older woman that taught you how to accept yourself (for the most part).
As a result of this chance meeting with such an influential person, you worked your way up to being a respected professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford, neurosurgeon, inventor, entrepreneur, and finally a philanthropist.
This is the true story of Dr. James Doty. At the height of his entrepreneurship success, he reached the top of what society would deem conventional success. He had a large penthouse in San Francisco, owned Porsche’s and Ferrari’s, flew around in private jets, dated beautiful women, and was the envy of all his friends. Yet, he felt miserable and alone. He was more miserable than at any other time in his entire life at the height of his conventional success. Then, he made some huge bets in the dot com era and in 6 weeks lost over $80MM! He was bankrupt and over $3MM in debt. As he was selling everything to get out of debt, he realized all his actions were to prove he was worthy to other people, about impressing other people, and not about filling the emptiness he had in himself. He then realizes he made a $30MM donation to charity, but the paperwork wasn’t completed and could take back the $30MM.
After deep reflection, he honored his commitment and gave the $30MM to charity in the face of bankruptcy. The moral of the story was he had everything, but ultimately had nothing. And then, when he gave everything away he had nothing, but then had everything…
By “everything” he got rid of the monkey on his back that kept telling him he wasn’t good enough or smart enough. When he became liberated of these negative thoughts, he became free, and that allowed him to be of service to others and truly happy including what society would deem conventionally successful as well.
If you’ve read Dirt Rich, I had a similar epiphany in 2010 when I lost every luxury I thought was necessary to live a good life. I now know the truth. The truth is until you play a different game, a game that is about something larger than you, even having everything won’t be enough. I often ask myself what would life be like if I could just drop comparisons, striving, and cravings? Would I just be? Am I enough? I’m trying it now because I think, like Dr. James Doty it could lead to not just happiness in every moment, but true freedom.
Keep working on building your passive income and solving your money and time problems. Just remember, as you climb up that mountain, enjoy the journey and appreciate the fact all the external rewards won’t bring you any lasting happiness or joy. Learn from the mistakes of others (like me and Dr. Doty) so you don’t have to suffer!
“The mind wants to divide and keep us separate. It will teach us to compare ourselves, to differentiate ourselves, to get what’s ours because there is only so much to go around. The heart, however, wants to connect us and wants to share. It wants to show us that there are no differences and that ultimately we are all the same. The heart has an intelligence of its own, and if we learn from it we will know that we keep what we have only by giving it away. If we want to be happy, we make others happy. If we want love, we have to give love. If we want joy, we need to make others joyful. If we want forgiveness, we have to forgive. If we want peace, we have to create it in the world around us.“ Dr. James Doty