The world is so full of inspiration, when we can slow down enough to catch it. This week, while in Panama, I made a new friend. Our meeting itself was unconventional. Me, the quiet lone traveler, taking in the sites on a rooftop bar. She, the vibrant, joyful soul, celebrating her birthday with friends.
The group welcomed me in and my new friend volunteered to give me a tour of the city. Tourism pitch: the hospitality of Latin America is truly unlike any other. You must visit!
Let me refocus on the topic at hand…
As our tour began, we spoke about many things and she revealed to me that she had just quit her job. Not because there was anything better to run to, but just knowing that the life she was living to accommodate her job was not one that she wanted to maintain. It’s a choice that many people make, but what stood out to me was the peace she had, not knowing what was next. The peace was in the decision itself. There was a visible sense of empowerment in that she would choose what would come next in her life.
Our conversation impacted my view on a few things. I remembered the young lady I met on the plane, who described her multiple skills and her world of TV and Film production. My head was spinning by her array of talents, but what stood out the most, was that she was able to choose what projects and locations she worked in.
Later, I met a 61 year-old man, with 10 children, who fished for a living. For a small fee, he would take foreigners out to sea with him and allow them to join his vocation. His quiet strength and poise was that of a noble man. His contentment was palpable.
I had to pause. I was a little bit jealous. But at no point did I wonder about their economic wellbeing. I saw a type of richness in life that I think we all would find fulfilling.
We are all capable of achieving wealth. But it’s not in how much we accumulate. It’s more in our realization that whether we choose to party all night or sit still under the sun. It is in that choice where life is most abundant. Others may have different options than you, but ultimately, you will define your own wealth.
Choose wisely, choose freely, but when it’s all said and done, just chose and value the experience that decision yields …