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One Minute Retirement Tip with Ashley

Dec 27, 2018

Frank Sinatra once told his friend, Tom Dreesen: “If you possess something but you can’t give it away, then you don’t possess it. It possesses you”

Tom Dreesen is a comedian who opened for Frank Sinatra for many years. After Frank Sinatra’s death, he relayed the following story:

“We were coming out of the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City one night, going out the back door on the way to a gig,” Dreesen said. “Security was rushing us to the limousine and a woman jumped out of the door. She’s howling, ‘Mr. Sinatra, please! Mr. Sinatra, please!’ He turned around and said, ‘What is it?’ She said, ‘Mr. Sinatra, my husband is home sick and, if I could get an autograph from you, it would mean the world to him.’ Frank said, ‘Sure.’

He’s signing an autograph and she says, ‘Oh, what beautiful cuff links.’ These were $2,000 cuff links. Dreesen knew where he got them. Sinatra said, ‘Thank you.’ And he signed the autograph and took the cuff links off and handed them to her. He said, “Give these to him.” She said, “No, no, no, no, no! I don’t want them, I was just admiring them.’ He said, “No. I want you to give those to your husband.”

“In the limo, Dreesen said, ‘Frank, that was really nice, but, why did you do that?’ He said, “Tommy, if you possess something that you can’t give away, then you don’t possess it. It possesses you.

“He once said to Dreesen, ‘Nothing you possess is yours. The second you die, it transfers. It belongs to someone else. We’re only using it.’

Don’t you feel a little uncomfortable when you hear this story? I think this story really forces us to think about what we would do in that situation, and I think it’s very hard for most of us to be detached from our possessions, myself included.

But Sinatra understood that there’s freedom in being able to say “here you go, you can have it” to anything and everything you possess. There’s true freedom in that. And freedom is, above almost everything else, a universal, basic right that we all seek and we all need.

So today, my challenge is for you to practice detachment with your own possessions. Give away something that means something to you. Give something away that hurts a little, something that’s not easy to give away. And experience the freedom that comes from not letting your things possess you.

That’s it for today. Thanks for listening! My name is Ashley Micciche and this is the One Minute Retirement Tip.


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Tags: retirement, investing, money, finance, frank sinatra, generosity, detachment, materialism