Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jerry Seinfeld and Living Right

On Facebook, last week, I post this awesome link to an unlikely interview with Jerry Seinfeld and Wale. They've struck up an interesting friendship and collaboration. I am a huge Seinfeld fan, so I'm drawn to what he does, but this sort of thing is all he does these days. Jerry is 60 now and he made $800m from his television show. He's got three kids. he doesn't have to do anything he doesn't want to do.

What he wants to do is talk to people he finds interesting. So he does this Wale thing. He does his web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which is exactly what it seems. Jerry spends the afternoon talking to funny people and showing off some of his $15m car collection. He's not working a brand. He's not angling for something. He's enjoying life, doing what he thinks he should be doing.

In this day and age when everything is about image or strategy or competition, Jerry is Jerry. That's living right. You or I may disagree with him when it comes to what's important or the best ways to spend time and money, but that's not really the point. He's living life for life, not for some ulterior motive.

Yes, it's likely much easier to forget what other people think or ignore outside expectations when your net worth trumps the GDP of most Caribbean nations, but money is only a requirement if money is part of the goal. You can live the way you want - or think you should - so long as you're willing to sacrifice.

Jerry can be free and indulgent, but freedom doesn't come with a price tag. The trick is not being caught up in the game of more. There are plenty of people with far more money than Jerry Seinfeld who don't have enough. There are people with almost nothing who have more than they need. What I like about the carefree Jerry these days is simply that he's doing it different. I really believe the first step to "living right," is getting off the wheel of conformity and expectation. You'll never be able to stand on your convictions if you're not the one forming them in the first place.

It might take work to get from where you are to where you want to be, but the key is not letting other people define what living right means or how to go about getting it.

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