$1,000,000 in the bank isn’t the fantasy. The fantasy is the lifestyle of complete freedom it supposedly allows.
― Timothy Ferriss
Today I want to tell you a 250 word story that changed my view of the world.
But first I have to let you in on a little secret…
How Average People Can Feel and Live Like Millionaires
This morning I woke up to what I’ve decided is the most breathtaking morning view of my life.
I’m writing from the deck of a modest thatched roof bungalow set over a small soft sandy beach cove on the Island of Koh Lanta, Thailand. The hotel, if you can call it that, is aptly named ‘Relax Bay.’
Yesterday we upgraded to a ‘VIP’ room with air conditioning (last night had no AC, which made for a tough 85-degree high humidity night…). It’s the only room in this cove that is actually on the sand. We have a full view of the private turquoise bay from our deck, where a nice little hammock also hangs.
The real kicker? This experience cost me nothing…
This room, which will no doubt be the room by which all future Dinsmore vacation standards will be measured, with breakfast and wifi included, costs 4,050 Thai Baht, which translates to just over $140 USD a night (most our rooms have been closer to $65/night). If we want a 60-minute massage, it will cost an additional $13.
A room at the Best Western in the San Francisco suburbs near my hometown easily costs more than that on a slow night.
To add to the fun, we booked our flight using free airline miles from our credit card, allowing us to travel like millionaires, in the front of the plane in Business Class, complete with full bar menu and 5-course meals on fine china — while paying less than $45 for our round trip tickets from SF to Bangkok. That saved us over $3,300 if we were buying coach tickets, or $16,000 for two ridiculously priced full fare business class tickets (which we would never even consider buying).
We also found someone to take care of our apartment, using Airbnb, who paid us $2,800 before we left — God I love that service!
So from day one of this trip, we were over $6,100 in the green.
With the Right Creativity Anything’s Possible
I tell all of you this to show you that a trip like this is not as out of reach as most think. Chelsea and I are not able to take this trip because we have some absurd amount of money (which we don’t). We are able to take it because we got creative and found the flexibility. As a result, it’s possible this trip will cost us a net of zero dollars.
Remember, it’s not the money that everyone is after, it’s the experiences we imagine that will come with the money.
As it turns out, often you can have the millionaire experiences without the need for all the zeros in your bank account (and the wasted decades to accumulate them). That is a very freeing realization.
I hope you all take this into account as you think about any excuses you might have found in the past, which have kept you from exploring. I believe world travel is the most powerful self-discovery and learning tool on the the planet. There is no better education and no better way to expand your understanding of what’s possilbe.
That’s why I spend as much time as I do with the ‘travel hacking’ and all else to make sure these trips happen.
I do everything in my power to kill the excuses.
I hope you’ll prioritize to do the same.
One such revelation came at just before 7am this morning as I awoke and looked out my window to see a lone fisherman in his boat, collecting his fishing nets to see what the previous night had brought him.
It was possibly the most serene and calming view of my life.
Seeing his early morning efforts immediately reminded me of a story I refer to often. One that whether you’ve heard it before or not, is always worth another read.
I don’t think any set of 250 words has changed me more than this one…
How Simplicity Swindled the Investment Banker (and the rest of the world)
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while.”
The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?
The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.
The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
Are Your Working Towards What You Actually Want?
Too often we try to over-complicate things.
I am more guilty of this than most.
When we clear away all the noise and societal expectations, most of us will be refreshed to see we already have all it is that we really want. And what we’re told we should be working towards, is actually taking away from our ability to experience what matters.
As I swing here in this hammock, I’m overcome by this realization — and this inspiring feeling of responsibility. Of possibility. That while the message we strive to deliver and help people with at Live Your Legend is quite simple (spend your time doing things that make you and others come alive), it has the profound ability to change the world.
Our revolution here means everything to me.
And none of it would be possible without all of you Living Legends who make it what it is.
I have never been more committed to the cause we all believe in and the task we have ahead of us.
Our impact is going to be huge.
May we all spend a little more time fishing today, and every day going forward — whatever that means to each of us.
As for me, I think we’ll stay in this room a few extra nights…
Now tell us in the comments – what did this fisherman make you realize?