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What I'm reading #36: Creating a life full of nostalgia

By Sam Instone - September 09, 2022

I saw a tweet that said, ‘the purpose of life is to experience things for which you will later experience nostalgia’.

It really struck a chord.

Especially given the sad news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

For the lucky ones, life is one roughly 90-year-long experience defined by the culmination of lots of other smaller experiences.

Since her coronation in 1953, Her Majesty lived through 15 Prime Ministers, given her assent to more than 4,000 Acts of Parliament, visited over 100 countries, travelled at least 1,000,000 miles around the world and sent more than 300,000 cards to people celebrating their 100th birthdays.

I’m in awe of the life she lived.

But it’s not the case for everyone.

In my profession, I witness the complete spectrum for how people experience life.

I see parents who, in the career rat race, have left their children’s childhood behind.

I see couples whose relationships fizzled away because they were chasing something in the future, forgetting their loved ones in the present.

I see families who didn’t make memories in the precious little time they had together.

Instead of fixating on getting ahead, what if we simply focused on having enough and enjoying life?

How might that change your priorities?

The wiser I become, the less I care about trivial things and the more I reflect on what truly matters.

Constantly worrying about things that are completely out of my control, like the stock market, the economy, even the weather, are a waste of time.

So is comparing yourself to others.

If a friend told you he wanted to engrave “I outperformed the stock market and ended up richer than Bob next door” on his tombstone, you’d laugh.

Remind yourself how silly that sounds whenever the pursuit of ‘more’ hijacks your attention away from what you have right now.

If the accumulation of more is all you’re fixated on, ask yourself if that’s what you really want to be remembered for?

When we’re overly focused on the future, it’s very difficult to be happy in the present.

Nothing ever seems to be enough.

I believe the goal for all of us in life should be to be rich in experiences, and sufficient in our finances...

Ensuring we have aligned our capital (time, energy, attention and financial) with whatever is important to you.

And it’s ok if that looks different for everyone.

For me it’s about family, for others it might be freedom.

A combination of funded contentment in the present and the long-term ambitions that burn inside us.

Do you agree?

Further reading

Why Warren Buffett bought Apple years ago, and the crazy difference between growth and value stocks over time

Bearish or bullish? Why our brains aren't hard wired to handle the vast amount of information thrown at us now

What I'm reading #35: 3 ways you can begin to develop a growth mindset, crucial for success

Save and invest for a better life, book a call - SAM