Archive for February 10, 2010

Millionaire Gives Away ALL His Money

February 10, 2010 5 comments

        Check out this story of Austrian millionaire, Karl Rabeder, who is giving away every penny he ever earned in his lifetime. Mr. Rabeder states that “My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing.” He plans on raffling off his £1.4 million villa in the Alps and £613,000 farmhouse in Provence and giving all the proceeds to charities in Latin America. He will then downgrade to a simpler existence by moving into a “small wooden hut in the mountains” or a “small bedsit in Innsbruck”. I was particularly struck by his following comment, “More and more I heard the words: ‘Stop what you are doing now – all this luxury and consumerism – and start your real life. I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things that I did not wish for or need.” I have the feeling that there are lot of people doing the same thing.”
        I must say that this story really hit home with me. Like so many other Americans, I confess to being bound to the gravely mistaken belief that by working oneself to the bone one is able to accumulate wealth and happiness will ensue. However, after toiling away in a career that continues to shred me apart from the inside out, I realize more and more how trading one’s valuable time in exchange for money to buy STUFF is one BUM deal. This becomes even more apparent when you find yourself working 60-70 stressful hrs a week in a job that you don’t particularly enjoy. Part of the reason why I have become so tight with money is because I realize how painful it is to make. Is that Mocha Frappuccino really worth the one hour of torture I had to endure in the hospital? Let’s take it up a notch. Can I make do with a perfectly reliable Honda Accord versus BMW saving me 20K which will spare me 10 hours of hospital waterboard torture per week for a whole year? Let’s go even further. If I am willing to embrace simple living, could I possibly transition from a highly toxic career to one with less hours that is infinitely more enjoyable? Or perhaps even, if I can keep my expenses low enough could I even retire for good? Not possible you say? Well here’s one guy who has done it at the early age of 31
        I often wonder why it is that we lust after things made by man while what God has given us is not fully appreciated. No amount of money can buy a walk along the beach on a cool crisp September morning while the sun begins to peak over the horizon or the experience of trying to find the Big Dipper with your kids as you lay on the grass in the backyard gazing in awe at the darkness of the night sky. However, you would be too busy at work to even take notice of such things. Happiness is right before you but you don’t have time or the clarity of mind to see it. Society commends us for working like slavehorses so we can buy “things” to show off to others or to give us a quick fix to feel better about ourselves. I, on the other hand, now see this way of living as outright asinine. Instead, I’ll take having the freedom to do whatever I please with my time.  Now that’s priceless!

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