The richest place in the world

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The richest place in the world

Howard Thurman (Martin Luther King's mentor quoted in the first chapter) wrote the following sentence, that when I read it one night, I could hardly sleep:

“For every human being, the ideal situation to die is to have loved ones at the bedside at the moment of passing away. But instead try to imagine that you are about to die and that around you are the ghosts of all the ideas, skills, talents, gifts and dreams that life has given you. But you, for one reason or another, have never chased those dreams. You never did anything with those ideas, you never used those talents, and you never took advantage of those opportunities. And there they are all there, standing at your bedside, watching you exhale the last breaths, with eyes full of anger that scream: ‘We came to you, and only you could give us life and now instead we must die with you forever.’”

So, the question now is: if you died now, what dreams, what aspirations, what ideals, what talents, what abilities, what virtues, and what passions will die with you?

Because you see, the richest place on the planet is not in the Middle East, where there is black gold buried beneath the surface of the earth, nor in South Africa, where it is chock full of diamond mines. No, the richest place on the planet is the cemetery; because there you will find unfulfilled dreams, books that were never written, songs that were never sung, companies that were never founded, inventions that were never discovered, ideas that were never realized, abilities that were never developed, potentials that were never exploited, talents that were never cultivated, and even loves that never lived.

The culprit of these unrecoverable losses is, of course, fear. Fear can kill you before you physically die, it prevents you from living freely and really getting the life you want, the one you really want to live, and instead makes you think that the best thing to do is stand still and wait for life to pass… Think about it for a moment. How many times have you missed opportunities because you have not been able to face your fears?

The problem is that, in an untrained mind, fear is stronger and more immediate than the desire to conquer oneself or to help others. That's why if you really want to realize your potential and become the best version of yourself, you need to cultivate the quality of courage. Courage is the ability to face difficult situations with fortitude. So, face your fears and you will see your life blossom as you deserve.


Matt Traverso, Mental Coach: