Divorce can be emotionally and financially overwhelming. That's why I'm teaming up with Sunny Wishart, president and founder of Ala Carte Financial and a certified financial planner. We will show you how to understand all things money without feeling ashamed, overwhelmed, or embarrassed. You will learn. Learn more. Ask questions. No question is a dumb question.
Welcome to Money with Sunny.
In this episode, we’re discussing gratitude.
Sunny describes the transformative experience of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and highlights the perspective shift it brought her regarding gratitude and the difference between first-world and third-world living conditions. We want to emphasize to you the importance of being thankful for what you have and exploring a change of heart to appreciate life more.
I'm still digesting that all this happened. But less than a month ago, I and 24 women from Ontario went to Tanzania, we climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It's really hard to put it into words, but no training could have prepared me for being at the altitude we were at, the physical exertion, and the mental state to get in the game––get out of your tent every morning and keep going.
During a summit, they wake you up at midnight and you start summiting at 1 a.m. after you've already climbed all day that day and then you also have to go back down.
Several women had to go back down. They weren't able to make it, but that was the right choice for them. Something unbelievable is the amount of support we had. We were 24 women. We had 90 people supporting us, local people carrying our stuff, cooking our meals, setting up our tents. They treated us like queens. They helped take your boots off if we couldn't take them off at the end of the day. We had three hot meals a day, beautiful local meals, just wonderful food.
These people work so hard. While you're sitting there just gassed and they’re going along like it's another day at the office. There is a lot to think about when you look at their work. I just was here six days, but these guys are going to turn around and go back up with another group.
That’s amazing, congratulations. Now, you mentioned that you gave some thought to the First World and how fortunate you feel to be living in Canada, in North America, in a first-world country and continent. The difference between Canada and Tanzania is so huge. When we talk about investment, let’s say you're making $80,000 a year and you should be able to save a little bit and you should be able to pay your bills, but when we talk about our first-world riches and poor, what do you think the big differences are between us talking about money and someone in a third world country talking about money? What should we point out so that we're aware of where we're coming from and we're grateful for what we have?
There's a thousand things to think about when it comes to money. I find there's just gratitude for them. Here, it's just a lot of wants, not a lot of needs, and over there, money is for needs and that's it. We want more money for our wants. While they are so proud of what they have. It is admirable. I want to be proud of what I have and not what I don't have.
Wendy: Yeah, not yearning for what you don't have, just content, happy, and proud of what you do have. And I like what you said. Here, we only want. And in a third-world country, they're more focused on what they need, and what they have is what they're grateful for. While what we have, we are often not grateful for. We want more.
Now, it's okay to want. It's okay to want to make more money, to grow your portfolio, to invest, to grow wealth. But let's just remember that maybe some of that money then should go to helping someone who needs a helping hand or maybe to create a project where you're doing some good in the world.
There's all kinds of things that you can do. Maybe you can help someone in your family who's not doing so well and needs a hand. I've traveled to different parts of the world as well and it's refreshing, eye-opening, sometimes heartbreaking, makes you feel kind of bad about the way you are and the way you've been living, and the way you've been thinking about things, it makes you feel a bit greedy. It's a humbling experience.
So we want to share that with you because if you haven't made this kind of trip, you've seen commercials, you've seen things on social media. I mean, the world is a small place now and it's real. There's people in the world who don't have fresh drinking water or they have to walk miles and miles to get it.
And when they go get it, maybe it's not even that fresh. They leave it sitting in a pail for days on end because that track is so far and so long that they continue to use that water to drink, to bathe, to wash, to clean clothes. And it's a couple of buckets.
Yeah, they had washing day when we were driving down the roads and there's all the women by whatever water there was this dry season and all the clothes draped over shrubs on washing day.
The other thing is the people were so grateful for us because we were a large group. We were 24 women moving around and everywhere we went, they were just so grateful we were there. We did go on safari afterward, some of us, and at the lodge, they made us a cake and sang to us and thanked us for coming and visiting and employing them.
Imagine if you went to work every day and you were that grateful, you know? Yeah, just to be able to work because these people came.
If you're transitioning through divorce right now, you're struggling, you're overwhelmed, you're in pain, you feel like you can't make it. You feel like you're not going to be able to do this on your own. This conversation that we're having, maybe listening to it again, maybe, Google a few things, check out different parts of the world and really just sit for a minute and think about all of what you do have and what you are grateful for and what you do, what's around you, the fresh air, the safety, you're not fearing for your life. You're not fearing and worrying about your next meal. Your kids are all doing just fine. They're probably in extracurricular activities. They've got buddies.
This is really important. It goes back to what Sunny and I talk a lot about is your mindset. I do know that you're struggling right now and your pain is real, but if you can just hear this message, you do have a lot to be grateful for right now.
And Sunny, we had this conversation before our calls, so I know it's true, that you feel that. Can you share with everyone how you felt before you went to Tanzania and how you feel now. What has changed?
It is unveiling a lot that I was just as guilty beforehand. The amount of stuff I bought for this trip, the planning, the prepping, the gear and just constantly buying things, having to have every piece of gear or the trip would be awful makes me feel guilty now. When we got there, the people who were supporting our group didn't have the gear. On the first day, one of the porters was in flip flops while we're in these incredibly expensive hiking boots that we just broke in because we bought them for this climb. Now, I think that I don't need all this. And these people still had a smile on their face. They were happy. They didn't care. They weren't sitting there like, “oh my feet”.
They were just happy to have work and they were happy to support us. And I thought, I want to feel that way more––just be thankful that I have a pair of shoes.
It is okay to want more things as long as we are thankful for what we do have. Thankful that you have work, that you are alive and that you did get up this morning, and that you have children and your air is fresh. And for sure you got breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We could probably all eat out of our cupboards for the next month and not go to Costco. The only reason we do is because we don't quite like what's in the cupboards, and the reason we buy other shirts is because we don't quite like the shirts that we have in our closet.
We're not here to be depressing. I like new things too. Everybody does. And that's okay. This is not about feeling bad for the 50 pairs of shoes you have in your closet. It's about awareness and remembering to be grateful for all that you have right now.
If you're looking for some financial expertise or even to just talk about her trip to Tanzania, reach out to Sunny. She'll help you get stuff in order. We've all got room to grow and what you did yesterday or the year before, it doesn't matter.
I'm glad we talked about this. I think it's important to not just talk about it at once but to use it as a constant reminder. I just have to just be thankful.
Considering a divorce or going through with it can be overwhelming. While you need your time and space to process your emotions, it is also important to not lose sight of what you want and what you have. That is why I am offering a 9 days Mini Course to help you get some clarity around what is best for you and your family. Sign up today and get in touch if you have any questions.
And remember, you're perfect just the way that you are. You are awesome. You are wonderful, you are worthy, you are loved. And we look forward to talking to you again next week.