Several years ago, I had a brilliant thought. I would invest not just my money, but every part of myself. I would live as if every moment was an opportunity to benefit my life’s portfolio-if I may call it that. This portfolio was determined by its monetary value, educational value, popularity, and what “circle” of people I was in. It was an absolutely brilliant plan. I didn’t make it a public plan; I knew that people would think me crazy, but I pursued it as a personal challenge.
Within weeks, I was pushing my friends away because they only got in the way of my work and school. This path of destruction led me to the point where I thought through how my walk to the coffee shop to get my latte would benefit my “portfolio”. I was obsessed. I became lonely, but excited when I started seeing the fruits of my labors beginning to show in my grades, client base, and some of the people that were ringing me for advice. During this time, as with many of my friends who grew up in a Christian home, I was at a point of knowing I was living the wrong way, but thinking I knew better just the same. Thankfully, I never was able to shake the idea that I was wrong. I could mask it with business, school, or women–but it usually hit me in the shower the next morning that I was broken.
I was visiting my parents one weekend several months into my investing when I had a very enlightening conversation with my dad. He and I were chatting about investing and I was acting smug because I knew it all …or so I thought. He said something that turned my smugness into shame, however-something I will never forget. He asked me a question, that he now does on a regular basis, “What about the eternal?” I was taken aback. I wasn’t living as if I had life after death, but that didn’t mean that I had forgotten what I knew-we are eternal beings. My dad’s quick question, one that I’m sure he didn’t know had such a profound effect on me, was one that I tried to ignore…but how could I? I had been living as if my investment portfolio would expire when I was 70 with my third trophy wife and several planes. That’s just not how it works, though. We are eternal beings. We go beyond 70. We are eternal.
“What about the eternal?”
Today, I know that, when I die, my investment in my so-called portfolio will be an important one, but I will be much more thankful for my investment in my eternal portfolio. Thanks, Dad, for asking me the tough questions.