Who wants to be a millionaire? – Keeping those fires burning

"Find your passion, they say – but what is my passion? Surely passion should pump through my arteries like hot blood? "

In mid-December I briefly met someone I’ve known for decades but haven’t seen for a few years. How are things, I wondered.

Well, they told me, at the beginning of 2023 they had decided they would be a millionaire by the end of the year. How’s that going, I asked, one eyebrow raised despite my best efforts to maintain face neutrality.

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They chuckled. “I’ve got three weeks left,” they said. “Two,” I corrected, and we both laughed, ha-di-ha.

As I walked away, I knew it wouldn’t happen, not last year, not this year, and not the next, not unless the rand plummeted to Zimbabwean dollar lows. Or certainly not unless they stopped fantasising about it and started actually doing something about it – however small those first steps seemed, however menial.

What resolutions?

Lofty ambitions are all very well, I thought smugly, but you can only climb a ladder one rung at a time, and first you gotta get yourself a ladder, mate. But really, was I thinking about them – or me?

And so, nearly a month into 2024, I wonder how those resolutions are going, all our cherished plans to be better this year, to chase our dreams, to do the things we want to do, which are likely the same nebulous fantasies we had last year, and the year before…

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Right now, standing atop the rubble of years gone by, I’m thinking, hold on a second, what is it that I really want?

It’s so easy to mistake familiarity for the truth. Obviously, we all need shelter, food, water, to earn a crust, but once those needs are met – as they are for me, and I hope for you – then what are our dreams? And that’s when I stumble.

A passion

Find your passion, they say – but what is my passion? Surely passion should pump through my arteries like hot blood?

Yet, I feel for some of us it’s quieter than that, like an old love, the finer details forgotten though the warmth remains. So perhaps we (I!) need to revisit this old glow: What is the thing that made us happiest as a child? When do we feel most like the truest version of ourselves? What is the thing we’d want to do anyway, regardless, even if no one ever knew?

Because there are 49 weeks left…

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