Perspective is Essential

May 6, 2020 –

When I was eleven or twelve-years-old, besides my daily newspaper route, I had a Saturday job at my church. Our church custodian paid me fifty cents per hour, for three hours, to rake leaves and pick up trash. 

I liked the job, and the dollar and a half (no taxes) pay. But I knew the custodian was earning $45 a week. In a few years, the janitor would retire, and I hoped to get his job. In the early 50s, forty-five dollars was a lot of money to a kid. With that pay, I envisioned being rich, set for life.

Twenty years later, while in Graduate school, I heard Dr. Schwartz, my marketing professor and author of “The Magic of Thinking Big,” say, “No one in this class should make less than $100,000 a year. I knew I was in the right class but the wrong job.  

Dr. Schwartz would earn over $5,000,000 for his books and speaking engagements. It took me fifty-plus years of hard and smart work to finally approach the magic $100,000 earnings level. 

Perspective is essential at all levels of life. At ten years old, I saw $2,340, providing a comfortable lifestyle. At 75, and about to retire, I saw $100,000 as significant.

At 80, I sit here writing about money. I realize life isn’t about the amount of money I earned. It is about something neither money nor deeds can buy. While many of my wants remain, I have all my needs supplied.