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40: Cultivating a Different Kind of Wealth

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Today is my big brother’s 50th birthday.

Holy S#!T!

It seems like just yesterday when we used to watch Minnesota North Star hockey games on TV together. But I guess that was over 35 years ago.

Watching hockey games was about the only thing he didn’t mind doing with me. After all, who wants to hang out with their baby brother? 

When he was 15 and I was 9 he used to make fun of me for still being in the “single digits.”

Despite his over-all rejection of me, I idolized him. I wanted to do everything he did. I listened to the same music, I got the same haircut, and even tried to dress like him—that was easy because I was abnormally tall for my age and his hand-me-downs usually fit me just fine.

Sadly, over the years, our contact has been minimal. He graduated college before I graduated high school so we never over-lapped on these kinds of things.

He became an investment banker, later the chief investment office of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Bahrain and now he lives in Dubai.

In sum, we only spent about twelve years living under the same roof and the first four of those I don’t even remember.

Despite that, I still love and idolize my brother. I secretly hope that he moves to California and that we can be friends in the second halves of our lives.

He doesn’t listen to my podcast or read my emails so he won’t get this message and I probably won’t ever say this to him. It’s a strange relationship that way—perhaps you have one of those too?

This momentous day makes me reflect on the importance of family. I try to drill this into my girls everyday. 

I am envious of those who have strong relationships with their siblings. 

Strong family ties are an incredible source of emotional wealth and one that is becoming less and less prevalent in the world in which we live. 

If you have it, consider yourself fortunate. If not, make sure to cultivate it—especially in the next generations. That is a very inexpensive way to leave a lasting legacy to your children.