In my work with wealthy families, I regularly encounter human beings that appear to be less happy than they could be. Captives of their success and the wealth they have built, they appear unable to cherish and enjoy the fruits of their life’s work.
In some cases, it has visible effects on their health and happiness. This ailment is particularly common with businessmen and entrepreneurs that sell their companies, retire from their work, and stop being involved in what they’ve identified with all their lives. It often seems like they slip into a mode of fear of eating into their capital, an anxiety of losing what they have built.
I too am an entrepreneur. I’m 52 years old. A few years ago, I lost a long-time client and dear friend. As a result of the dynamics I alluded to above, he took his own life. He had been a bundle of joy and positive energy, with great charisma and so much wisdom to share. To this day, I have difficulties accepting the choice he made, although I do try to respect it. Most importantly, I did take it as a wake-up call, a sign urging me to take a different long-term path.
Without going too deep into it – after all, I’m not a psychoanalyst – and without advocating generalizations and oversimplifications of a problem that is serious and highly individual, I would still urge you to take heart and counter these unfounded fears. And the recipe I suggest is quite straight-forward.
Find good role models – and copy them shamelessly!
Two of the role models I have added to my “collection of good examples” are two friends my family and I meet up with almost every summer. For many years, we have been going surfing in the Dominican Republic. All three of our kids love to kite-surf and they cherish their time on the beach – something we don’t have in Switzerland.
The house we rent every year is right on one of the best kite- and windsurfing beaches I have come across. Our neighbors there are Kathryn and Richard, and they are people that are doing a lot of things just right. Kathryn, a retired doctor, and Richard, a life-long mountain guide and naturalist, spend half of the year in the mountains, and the other half on the beach. Richard, in his 70s, and Kathryn, in her 60s, are out there on the water with us almost every day. In the mornings, when I get up to sip on my freshly brewed coffee, they are both out there on the reef already, in the calm morning waves, with their stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) enjoying the beauty of god’s creation.
They both may (until now) not even know what a great inspiration they are. Finding joy in the simple things and not worrying about the financials too much. That is what they do so well, and my wife and I are certainly set on being just like them in that regard.
"Bite-sized Health" courses
By the way, Kathryn has started offering short online health courses. The first one is called Bite-Sized Health. It’s a mini-course that helps you cut through the noise and the confusion that often surrounds health and wellness topics. Instead, Kathryn efficiently teaches you which diet and lifestyle practices are actually meaningful and contribute to improving your health and how to empower yourself to achieve and sustain your own optimal health level. I’m definitely going to check it out. Maybe you want to have a look as well; and perhaps, she can be a role model to you too.
Find out more and join Dr. Kathryn Collins, M.D., Lifestyle Medicine and Emergency Medicine Physician,
Don’t postpone that life-time change
Not to be misunderstood, I’m fully aware of where my expertise lies – I’m a specialist in international wealth management. I’m not a psychiatrist or a doctor, and I won’t pretend to be the next life coach or wellness guru in your life either. However, I have learned from my own experiences, as well as from the experiences of friends and clients that often share similar worries, burdens and stress factors. That’s why I can confidently recommend that you find role models, like Richard and Kathryn are for me, and don’t wait too long!
Procrastinating and postponing important steps and decisions that can benefit your health and improve your quality of life is the worst choice you can make. You don’t have to turn your whole life upside down. But if you feel you’re headed in the wrong direction, you can start to “course-correct“ with at first one little baby step. Step into your garden barefoot. Go for a little walk or a hike. Take a dip in the nearby creek. Ride your bike to work…. You get the picture.
All I can say is: It works for me. It won’t decrease your work productivity. It won’t lessen your wealth. On the contrary, good health is the basic foundation upon which you build your wealth and fortune.