Have you ever experienced this? I mean, finding an old pair of jeans, routinely searching the pockets, only to find at the bottom of it, with a mix of exhilaration, surprise and expectation, a little bit of cash? Maybe not a lot, probably just enough to have lunch out, but totally out of nowhere, like an unexpected gift?
It happened to me more than once. And I had such a fresh feeling of joy and, believe it or not, gratitude. I was grateful to myself for “forgetting about” that money.
In fact, I was so grateful for these oblivion episodes, that I started to think “what if…”?
What if I could make this a permanent thing? What if I start to just “forget” some money in random places, only to experience this type of joy and gratitude at a future, not yet established moment?
Of course, I didn’t start to put money in the pockets of my jeans – although, for a few seconds, I played with the idea. I started to save. Random amounts, at random times, without any plan whatsoever. I started to create small “buckets” in which I slipped small amounts of money. It wasn’t necessarily a strategy behind this, as I didn’t have a specific goal for it. I wasn’t doing it to reach a certain goal. Only to surprise myself in the future.
In time, I diversified these “buckets”. In the beginning they were bank accounts. Then, slowly, they became random envelopes with cash (exchanged for something nice when they were “found”) and, of course, small bags of crypto. Just to be clear, this is more a recreational activity, not a strategy for investment. I also have a strategy for investment (more than one, to be honest), this is a very different thing.
This is actually a lifestyle. It’s living your life in such a way that your future self will be grateful for the things you did for him in the past.
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t live like that before. Caught in the whirlwind of my daily activities, I always walked around with some sort of “life myopia”, not seeing further away than tomorrow.
As an unexpected bonus, when I started to do this, not only I created some sort of an invisible safety net for myself, activated when I least expected it, but I also activated another important part, seemingly unrelated: empathy.
The moment I started to care for someone that didn’t actually exist (and for whom there isn’t any serious guarantee that he will exist long enough to search that “pocket”) I also realized I can do this for other people too. I don’t have to know them personally. And they don’t need to know it was me.
So I added to this self-care project another dimension, in which I help with small amounts of money people I barely know. I do it through Kiva, I give money to artists who are playing on the streets, and I even have a small budget to support other people work, every month. It’s not a lot, like I said, just enough to have lunch out, but it will happen unexpectedly for someone.
It may be me, or someone else, that’s not relevant anymore.