by Dana Cavalea April 11, 2017

So in an attempt to flush out the remains of my cold, I decided to sit in a eucalyptus steam room to clear the passages.

Little did I realize, I would be greeted with some tremendous passage of conversation.

For those of you that have been in a communal steam room, there can be some uncomfortable situations at times, but every once in a while, you meet somebody that enlightens you. That was the case yesterday.

I met a man from Chicago that has been living in NY for the past 17 years. He is a high level asset manager, working in Greenwich, Connecticut, the epicenter of Hedge Funds and Money Management outside of Wall Street. Translation= He works with a lot of rich folks and gets them returns on their fortunes.

We spoke about the word (success)- and without fail, he couldn't help but mention how people from this area fire on another level financially. But within that, was a lesson.

What he said really got me to think.

He said, "Son, we just met, but I will tell you that is not what it is about.... you see, where I live, you can have a house with 2 acres, but the guy next to you has 4... and when you finally reach your goal of 4 acres, and your other neighbor has 8 acres... and when you finally get that house for 2 million dollars... which gets you in the neighborhood, you then realize your neighbor has one for 3 million... and the game goes on and on and on.." 

"This is not what it is about".... He said... "The game never ends.. and because the game never ends.. you never get the feeling of winning; just the feeling of being further and further behind... and that is not right or fair to yourself."

He went on to tell me about his trips around the world, volunteering his time in Africa and Central America where having food for the day is a win... and having clean water is a win.

We get so confused as to what success is because we have not defined it well enough.

The focus is on accumulation but not appreciation. We chase and chase, race and race, and then we stress and stress.

This is no way to live. This man was happy, generous, kind, and very comfortably confident.

He has been managing massive amounts of wealth for over 40 years.. and said it has been what has taught him about life... the money is a very small piece of somebodies overall happiness. 

Happy people will be happy. Miserable people will be miserable. A rich happy person will still be happy, and a rich miserable person will still be miserable.

When defining "success" for yourself... you must think all the way through the answer... your job does not equal success. Your cars do not equal success. Your home does not equal success. 

Success is happiness and feeling/ knowing you are in the right place, doing the right things, and feeling a sense of daily accomplishment that keeps filling your bucket! 

The amazing part about my interaction with this gentleman is that he came and went. I didn't get his name, only his impact and words. I will probably never see him again, but his impact was incredible. 

He also was not saying accept being broke.. but know why you are making the money.. and what you are going to use it for.. and how it will impact your life and the lives of others.

Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea


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