By JASON BUTLER
When I was a teenager in the early 1980s, I loved watching the quirky 1960s series The Twilight Zone. In the episode A Nice Place to Visit, small-time gangster ‘Rocky’ Valentine is tired of missing out on the good things in life and never getting the breaks that he feels he deserves.
After being shot by a policeman during a robbery, Rocky dies and arrives in the afterlife. Once there all his whims, desires and wants are met. Beautiful women are at his beck and call. He wins every time he goes gambling. He enjoys the finest food and wines and lives in opulent surroundings. Rocky wants for nothing.
After a while Rocky grows bored and frustrated at getting everything he wants and raises the issue with the caretaker. Rocky explains that there must be some mistake, as he thinks he shouldn’t be in heaven, where all his needs and desires are met. He tells the caretaker that the place is driving him nuts and he wants to go to the other place. The caretaker replies “This is the other place.”
The problem for Rocky and indeed most people who never get to not get what they want in life, or not appreciate what they do have, is that money can’t solve their problems. Navigating through life’s struggles, adversity and challenges are what make it interesting, fulfilling and worthwhile.
If you’re feeling hard done by about your financial situation or you think everyone is doing better than you financially, just remember Rocky Valentine and his life of plenty. It eventually drove him nuts and he hankered after not always getting everything he wanted. Enjoy the journey and embrace the challenges.
JASON BUTLER is a former financial adviser, based in Suffolk. He is a personal finance columnist for the Financial Times, and is Head of Financial Education at Salary Finance. You can find out more about him on his website.
If you’re interested in reading more from Jason, here are a few of the other articles he’s contributed to TEBI: