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Don't die with the joy and passion still inside you

The biggest lessons ever experienced occurred after I endured incredible losses over five years ago.

Family of Jack Dennis (Far right). Left to Right: Bobbi, Perry, Jessica, Jack, Walter, Jennifer, Mark, Brady and Jack.
Jack Dennis

In a matter of a few months I went from living the life of a millionaire in a large five bedroom house on the top of a majestic hill overlooking the beautiful Texas Hill Country, to tragic turmoil.

One day I was flying in a private company jet to meetings in Mexico or giving speeches in Houston, then unexpectedly, I lost my mother, my family, an executive job at a major corporation, and a vast majority of my assets.

The very comfortable lifestyle I had experienced for over 20 years suddenly evaporated, along with my ego, pride and confidence.

Along the way, I struggled through the grief and chaos of adjusting to a considerably altered form of existence. Fortunately, I decided I was going to cease trying to care for so many others and begin working on ‘me’ for a change.

Ultimately, I can smile that the person I have become, and am now ‘being,’ is far more fulfilled than I was prior to the losses.

Today, I see folks struggling to live a life similar to my former one.

It’s so easy to fall for ‘the dream’—large house, nice cars, an income, expensive clothes, etc. We can force a huge amount of time, energy, and money striving to acquire and guard our ‘things.’ In many cases, the illusion of having more material assets and successes are merely traps and excuses for facing our realities.

Perhaps all that stuff isn’t worth this empty gratification compared to what we may really be losing: the chance to live a more bold life filled with authentic happiness and serenity.

I felt trapped. Deep down I realized I was sacrificing my health, and even my humanness, trying to preserve a comfortable lifestyle while trying to please the demanding requirements I had set myself up for, and of so many others.

Does this sound familiar?

Is all this accumulation of stuff actually worth much compared to what’s being lost?

The big lesson learned, for me, is that life has far more value than just acquiring things and living comfortably.

It doesn’t matter if I die rich or poor, as long as I lived a joyfully passionate life of inspiring and helping others.

“I am going to enjoy life while I am here,” my grandfather use to say. “You can’t take all this with you.”

Now, I am living a life for what truly matters to me; a life of purpose, creativity, and real passion.

Where do your true passions and joy come from? Things? Or life?

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