While taking A Million Steps on the Camino de Santiago, doubt made its debut and I wondered, “What am I doing here? Today was pure magic, but can I actually do this, day in and day out, for 490 miles?” I was confident that my body could get to the cathedral but would my mind enjoy the ride? After a few days of walking, I realized that the trail had an ending and that each remaining day was a precious gift.
My current journey in life is to promote and speak about this book. My main messages are to avoid the traps inherent in daily routines, to live in the now, welcome obstacles into your life, and to eliminate worry. I am very passionate about these topics and get a big lift in my heart when I see people nod as the dots connect. I enjoy every speech, print article, radio show, TV show, live audience, and read every review. Then one day, I wake up to doubt. My bank account wonders when it will be repaid. My sales ledger wonders when the numbers will accelerate. My speaking calendar wonders when Oprah will call. In the midst of these moments, I recognize that none of these things matter.
Over the course of this adventure, my financial capital has been replaced with spiritual capital. I have substituted “what can I get?” with “what can I give?” At most live events, someone in the audience sheds tears. What is the value of stirring up that kind of emotion and thought? Each week, I respond to countless emails with people asking what to take, where to start, and how to avoid the symphony of snorers. After most events, I usually end up making lasting friendships with some of the attendees. What is the value of a new friend? Fort Knox does not have enough gold to replace the good karma associated with helping people.
The value of financial assets rise and fall through time. There is typically an insatiable desire to fill the coffers and tremendous fear of severing the attachment to things. Does having a big stock portfolio really make you happy? Does fear of losing the same keep you up at night? Spiritual capital compounds daily and never depreciates.
Here is a short list of things to do that will build your lasting foundation.
- Help a stranger.
- Be patient.
Kindness shared with a fellow human always multiplies…..