At each talk that I give about 100 Things, it’s guaranteed that two questions will always be asked at the end.; 1) ‘How do you afford it?’ And 2) ‘What will you do once you finish your list?’.
In a way that I know makes absolutely no sense to some, my answer for both is the same; “I have no idea”.
With regard to the first question, I know my answer may seem
outrageous but finance is something that I never think about and
although i understand that money is crucial for things such as rent,
groceries and chocolate (I have a sweet tooth), I don’t believe that it
dictates the shape of what we do with our lives. In the literal sense, I
earn money from book sales and giving talks (both of which I donate a
percentage to charity) but this money is just enough for me to afford
the essentials (see above). I believe that if you throw yourself at
something that you believe in and that you’re passionate about, things
out of your control will transpire to support you accomplishing these
things. In this way, money is not a barrier or a free pass that has any
influence on my own journey- instead it tends to pop up as it’s needed.
This is as far into it as I’ve ever chosen to look. Whether my bank
account is empty (as I think it is at the moment) or whether it’s full,
my life stays the same.
Now the purpose of this post is not to explain anything of finance,
in fact I wanted to answer the second of the two commonly asked
questions in slightly more depth; ‘What will I do after I’ve competed my
list of 100 Things?”.
Now at the risk of sounding quite simple, again I don’t know (at
least in the literal sense) but what I do know is that there is
something happening in this trip that I know is making a positive
difference for people who come into contact with it and as I see it
there is nothing more in my life I’d like to pursue, before or after
completing my list. As such although i have no idea what follows the
list, i do know that something will.
For example, late last year I received an email from a distraught
mother. Her daughter Julie had been involved in a terrible car crash,
one that doctors say should have taken her life. In what was an open and
heart-felt email, the mother explained to me that as Julie lay in a
hospital bed recovering, she saw me one morning being interviewed on TV
about 100 Things. At the time I was speaking about the ever-growing
community of people sharing their own lists on my website by becoming
‘Campaigners’. The trend as I explained was that these people were
beginning to talk to one another and even help each other achieve their
own goals. Feeling like she wanted to hear more, Julie then asked her
mother to buy my book as something to read in hospital. This she did
immediately and I even managed to write a little note in the front
“The worst day of my life”- Julie
Six months on I’d heard nothing back, but then last week I got an email from a young girl called Julie. It read:
Congratulations on your list of achievements! Truly an inspiration.
I got to learn about you last year. I was admitted to
Royal North Shore Hospital as a multi trauma. I was on 6weeks of spinal
control bed rest and when awake I turned to TV for the distraction. I
was discharged on my birthday the 19th December. This alone was the
greatest gift however after learning of you I asked my parents for your
book. My Mum very kindly wrote to you and you sent a signed copy to me.
I was in hospital for 10weeks which was great as they
initially estimated 6 months as I broke everything but my left arm and
that’s without all of the internal injuries. I have come leaps and
bounds since and the doctors called me a miracle. It has taken time for
this to sink in as I was/am so driven to be back to how I was but now
understand the true meaning of things take “TIME”!
I have decided to travel to Cambodia and work in the
Orphanage. I am not back at work yet as my working week is consumed with
phych, physio, OT, surgeon, bloods and doctor appointments however my
body is always working hard and improving slowly all the time. I
couldn’t ask for much more.
In deciding to take this trip I am reaching out to my
close friends and family to help me achieve this. For whatever
reason you crossed my mind and I wanted to share the trip that I am
getting ready to take. I guess it is your passion and the inspiration
that you have given me that I thought to share this with you.
If you have any advise/tips or words of wisdom my ears are open!
I was speechless.
Now this email still doesn’t allow me to explain what I will do after
my list is complete (sorry!), but with Julie’s email being one of many
similar emails I get, I couldn’t think of doing anything else with my
life other than trying to help these people who feel the need to write
to me. I think most people would feel the same. If anything I see it
that my list of 100 Things has acted as a means to develop myself so
that I can now go on and be productive for a greater good but whether I
end up living on the streets with no money or whether I end up being
able to afford lots of chocolate I can guarantee that it will never be
money that shapes what I do with my life. It will be a feeling inside.
What you do in life is a choice, not a chore.
Now with regards to Julie, I’ve since created her a profile as a ‘Stranger’ on the People Helping People
page. My belief is that everyone in the world has the ability to help
someone else out but occasionally it’s te oportunity to do so that we
find hardest. As such if you feel for whatever reason that you would
like ot help Julie ‘pass it forward‘, please read Julie’s Profile here.
Julie ready to pass it forward…
If however you feel that you want to help, but perhaps not in a
financial way, please check out the other people in need of help on the People Helping People page- I’ve found that it’s often time or even simple friendship that some people need.
I hope this answers some questions
Good luck Julie!
100 Things… What’s on your list?