Saturday, January 12, 2008

Another excellent PF book – Into The Wild

A Young man leaves everything behind and walks out into the wild Alaskan frontier. What? it doesn’t sound like a finance book? It certainly wasn’t written with the intention to help you with your finances, but it will encourage you to rethink your values, goals, everyday activities and your very existence. The young man, Chris McCandless, graduates from college, heads West, gives away his most valuable possessions, burns the cash from his wallet and heads off on a directionless journey. He lives day to day, not knowing what the next will bring.

Chris McCandless left several letters to friends and acquaintances encouraging them to redirect their energy and find their adventurous spirit. While I don’t advocate his approach of completely ignoring a need for security, I find it very interesting to examine his point of view, since I don’t think anyone knows with any certainty what is the “right way” to live. Below is an excerpt from one of his letters.

I really think you should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security……

Have you ever had a chance while on the road or at the invitation of a friend to go see a new sight? But for some reason you wanted nothing more than to bolt right back home as quickly as possible? For some unexplainable reason, you wanted to get right back to the same situation which you see day after day.

He further states that - you are wrong if you think joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. Joy is all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. You do not need me or anyone else to bring this new kind of light into your life. It is simply waiting there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it.

I have to agree that most people do look to relationships for meaning. And when they don’t find it or are sadly disappointed, they typically turn to things, which leads to an insatiable desire for money.

He also understood the pleasure that comes from living frugally. McCandless suggests that - you get out and start seeing the great things on this earth. And you must do it economy style, no motels, do your own cooking, as a general rule spend as little as possible and you will enjoy it much more immensely.

I highly recommend the book, Into the Wild, it's a quick read and an interesting look into the heart of an adventurer.

No comments:

Post a Comment