He was so excited to play Monopoly Millionaire.
“First to 1 million, great, I can do that.”
Personally I pity the pre-teen with two very competitive parents who was up for the game with Mum and Dad. You could see him thinking away, his sounds including breathing with anticipation and his gestures were clearly trying to bluff and be best at poker face. So when his hands started to sweat there was bound to be a problem. He reached a point in the game where he could not pay the rent. Mortified he declared “game over” ran to his bedroom angrily burying his head under the covers. Dad went to sort out the little guy. In him he saw the actions of a spoilt brat. When they rejoined the game a few minutes later Dad gave him an entire portfolio of property and smiles all around it was game on. Gee, that was a good idea. He was back or was he?
The return lasted about 4 minutes, until again the now property loaded guy could not pay his rent. It was $485K. Red and ready to explode he stormed off to his room, pounding as heavily as 38kg can and slamming the door as he leapt into his bed. This time Mum wrestled with Dad right outside his door, insisting it was her turn to strategize in this moment.
What was said? Why? What happened next was a profound lesson in life for all involved. And in a moment I will share this with you.
Stop. The reality of this very moment in life is not a game. How often I see cash flow problems in the “world of work” leading to stress and an inability to put basics like a roof overhead. It is gut wrenching. Trading time for income is a trap. Working by the hour limits income and even with high income earners delivers the risk of basic life support being stressful and elusive.
Creating investment or a business that provides annuity income on an ongoing basis regardless of “hours” worked needs to be included in the manual for life in these times. And the truth is that this is the secret of the richest and most secure people in the world.
In this “game” a nine year old learnt a painful lesson. It was a full body experience complete with spit vocabulary, raised temperature, a red face, and lots of loose nose stuff. And this lesson was so upsetting he felt like a failure and a loser. Fast forward 20 or 30 years and he could have been an adult in the exact same position because after working so hard, and having “assets” he had no cash flow. He’d even received the equivalent of a modest inheritance from his Dad and he was still stuck in the moment. He could not afford to put a roof over his own head, and it shook him to the core.
Having managed to fend off Dad on a mission, Mum entered the room. In the moment she simply said, “son I want to honour you for the painful lesson you are learning right now. Why are you so angry?” And then she was silent.
“I’m a loser, a failure. I can’t pay my rent. I have a job. I have money coming in and Dad gave me his best houses. And I’m still the loser who can’t pay the rent.”
And so Mum said, “do you know any adults in real life who have this problem?”
Sadly his Mum knew that a close family friend was in this exact position in life and her son knew of this circumstance. In the moment he realised how this same scenario plays out in life his entire face changed. He calmed himself, his eyes changed shape becoming round and soft, his salty tears stopped and he felt a depth of compassion that was real.
“Wow” he said. Wow, I know what this means. Wow. Imagine this game in life? I mean this is terrible. It makes you feel so angry and so sick. Wow. I’m going to have cash Mum. In life Mum. You need money for rent, and even if you have a good job, it may not be enough.”
Nine, Nineteen, Twenty Nine, Thirty Nine, Forty Nine…. When?
Madelaine Cohen Author
Lipstick Learning is an initiative of Sydney based business leader, Certified NLP Trainer (ABNLP), entrepreneur and Master NLP Practitioner Madelaine Cohen. Sharing information and joining forces with people who choose to lead. Madelaine has more than two decades of inspiration from her businesses in consumer products, sports marketing, executive coaching and healthcare. She takes a leading role in mentoring executives and training business leadership in large and small enterprises. Why? Inspire people to lead and together we can create lifetimes of health and happiness. To find out how you can lead with even more authenticity and ease, contact Madelaine through Lipstick Learning.