I’m riding shot-gun in the sleek, red Ferrari.  The top is down, and even at high speeds, the air brushing through my hair is warm.  The man behind the wheel is curiously, not smiling.  The driver, my friend, is an older gentleman just over seventy years old.  The billionaire has accumulated the type of wealth most people simply fantasize about.  The Ferrari is only one of his many possessions, there’s also a few yachts, and a whole strew of the most prestigious properties money can buy.  This real estate mogul has singlehandedly created his own empire, yet I’ve never seen him happy in all the years I’ve known him.  However I’ve also never questioned why.

I’d agreed to the ride in his Ferrari hoping to see, for the first time, a bit of joy.  Most people would show some type of emotion at top speeds, on a beautiful day, with great company. But not Jimmy.  His demeanor remained the same as always, stoic.  It nagged me so much that I summoned the courage to ask the question I’d always wanted to ask.  Why?  Why was it that a man of his stature seemed so unhappy?

Because he was.

I hadn’t really expected that answer, although my heart had felt it.  But I certainly didn’t anticipate the lengthy bit of advice that came next.

Don’t live your life for money, don’t do what I’ve done.

He went on to tell me how lonely his life had been. How money hadn’t made him happy and how if he could, he would do everything entirely different.  He had never made time for love, had never been in love, he’d never wanted a family when he was young. But now, he sure wished he had one.

He’d spent his life pushing people away in order to protect what he’d worked so hard to obtain, his assets.  He had few friends – but no one close.  Those he surrounded himself with were more like trusted associates, and paid employees. He’d become addicted to wealth and over the course of his life he had alienated himself from people.  Jimmy had never learned to connect and the result left his heart empty.

I tried to encourage him to change, because it wasn’t too late.  However, he felt that it was.  And although he appreciated my advice, he brushed it off, too determined for me to heed his.

Surprisingly Jimmy was quite candid, although he had never spoke to anyone about his loneliness before.  I’m guessing no one else had bothered to ask.

Jimmy’s lesson that day, will be forever etched in my soul.  Jimmy, the man who seemed to have it all, actually had the least.  His empty, lonely and barren heart made him the most unhappy person I had ever known.   Proving exactly why I will continue to strive through life – heart first, seeking connections through all of my relationships.