Friday, January 7, 2022

Success isn't Material Things

In the nearly 30 years TLC has been in existence we've had thousands of addicts and alcoholics graduate our program.  And many of them have become quite successful after leaving.

Many of them have married and are raising children.  Others have gone to college and gotten degrees.  In fact, one recently sent me a video of him receiving his Doctorate.   Another graduate has a quality remodeling business in a nearby state that he has operated for several years. He also is married and has teenage children.  I'm proud of their success.

I know of many others who are succeeding in life.  I only mention these two examples, because I periodically am in contact with them.  And they are handling their success quite well and are examples to those around them - especially to other addicts.

I bring this up today because in the thirty years I've stayed sober I have also become financially successful just by saving my money and making long term investments in real estate.  At 82, I work six days a week, stay healthy, and help others have an opportunity to achieve recovery and find a new way of living.

In spite of my success I don't live lavishly.  I live in an average 2200 square foot home.  My one  luxury is a 2021 S Model Tesla that I lease.  I buy most of my clothing at Walmart, Kohl's, or Old Navy.  I don't find much satisfaction in luxury items, though  I can afford them.

I've had associates ask me why I don't buy a bigger house or get this or that model of fancy car.  But to feel good about myself I don't need those things. I tell them that people aren't going to like me any better if I have a 5,000 square foot house, wear expensive watches, and buy my clothes from Nordstrom's. 

I'd rather invest in three or four personal vacations a year.  Plus every summer I take about 25 of my family members to the beach in San Diego.  I invest in good experiences.

And I suggest to those who leave the program and become successful to remember where they came from. I ask them to show gratitude for their success and be generous to others. Because helping others is one of the great satisfactions in life.

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