I’ve got everything in the world – except money.

My body is in excellent health, due to a lifetime of Yoga, juggling, and the odd bit of Parkour.

My children are strong and curious. They are beautiful creatures, that I have the honor and privilege of shepherding into this world.

My wife is a beauty. She is an incredible mother, and a lusty partner.

I live in Costa Rica, where the weather is tropical and the people are friendly.

I work from my laptop, doing interesting things that take someone of advanced intelligence to accomplish.

I am a very fortunate man.

But money – that’s the one thing I don’t have.

Zaden's shoes with holes in them.

My kids are wearing through their shoes.

My bedsheets have holes in them.

My wife and I wait until the kids are finished eating, and then we eat whatever is left on their plates.

The only way we can save up enough money for rent and groceries is to deny ourselves the basic pleasures of fresh light bulbs and socks.

I spent the last of my meager spending money today on bottled water and canned beans.

For a time, I am living as a pauper.

This isn’t new to me. I once lived as a street musician for a year, hitchhiking from one city to the next with nothing but my backpack and my guitar to my name.

Being broke with kids, though…that’s different.

I don’t want to raise my children in a poverty-stricken family, because I want them to believe the world is abundant and will support them through thick and thin.

I’ve got some plans to make my fortune over the next few years, and I think I’ve got a good shot at it. I’m smart, I have in-demand skills, and I’m good at making an impression with powerful people.

So I really believe this is temporary, this period of poverty. I am grateful that I can see it as an inconvenience, instead of as a threat; it makes poverty easier to bear, when it is not coupled to fear.

But still, I marvel that in a life as blessed as mine, I find myself continually preoccupied with where to find my coin, instead of marveling at the beauty around me.

It proves Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Our lower level needs, when unmet, preoccupy our attention. We are unable to consider, evaluate, or properly fulfill our higher level needs when distracted by the lower.

Even in paradise, one loses focus on the heavens if your feet are not well shod.

Photo by Anders Rasmussen
Photo by Anders Rasmussen

So now, with every other area of my life overflowing with good fortune, I turn my attention not to the accumulation of coin, but to consistent thoughts of gratitude for what I do have.

At this point in my life, I have quite a lot. I have everything that could cause misery to a billionaire, if they led a life without it.

A healthy body, a beautiful wife, glorious children and tropical weather. Thats what I’ve got.

Being broke is no big deal.