We all want to live a life of meaning and purpose. It sounds great and straightforward, but it can be like trying to get that elusive hole-in-one! Often, it happens when and from a place we least expect.
A few weeks ago, we heard the news of the passing of Sugarman. Jesus Sixto Diaz-Rodriguez was a cult hero when I was in my late teens and early 20s. His uniquely simple style meant I could sing along to his songs with my mates at a party or reflect on life while listening to his album Cold Fact on my Walkman while lying on my bed at night in the army barracks. His music just got me and was part of growing up too many of my generation.
Unbeknown to us was that at that time and for decades thereafter, he was unknown and a nobody in his home country, the USA. In fact, he had no idea of his fame and fanbase across the ocean. This was until a group of SA fans decided to test the rumours of his early suicide for themselves and headed off to Detroit and found him.
The rest is history. Rodriquez relaunched his career, helped by the movie “Searching for Sugarman”, and even gained fame in his home country.
I remember attending one of his last concerts in PE with friends and my then-challenging teenage daughter. She went off and sat with her friends right in front of the stage while we sat further back with our mates. Sixto was past his best, but the evening was still wonderful. While driving home, my daughter expressed her delight that, to the surprise of her friends, she sang along to all his tunes. When asked how she knew the words, she replied that “her dad” played this music all the time on the way to school. You can imagine how cool I felt! For a moment, my teenage daughter and I connected.
The next day, I was flying to Cape Town for work and when I walked into departures, who was sitting there? Yip, Rodriquez. Everyone was staring at him, but I thought, hey, why not. After asking his daughter for permission, I introduced myself to him and shared the previous evening’s experience with him. I thanked him for the years of memories his music had given me and the moment he had given my daughter and me. His simple response was.
Hey man, thanks for giving me a life.
At the time, I didn’t realise how profound his reply was.
The lesson from this experience is that whatever we create out of passion and purpose will have meaning to someone, somewhere. Just because we do not see the results immediately does not mean they are not there.
You may wonder what this has to do with finance? Everything, a life with all the money in the world but no purpose or meaning, is not worth living. Don’t make the mistake of just focusing on the finance, the numbers. Find out what feeds your heart and your soul; the money is simply there to facilitate the life you want to live.
I hope this resonates with you,
Dirk Groeneveld, Certified Financial Planner
t. 083 261 9287