One of funniest and most heart warming TV shows in recent times is the 15-Emmy nominated Schitt’s Creek. If you haven’t heard of this show, then yes you read the name of the show right. The first time I heard it, I thought – what?! And it certainly wasn’t something I wanted to watch. But watch we did. And the lessons learned were pretty amazing.
The premise is simple yet unique. An opulent family of 4 – father, mother and two adult kids – loses all its wealth overnight. Everything, except the title to a tiny nondescript town in the middle of nowhere. They must move there at once and begin a new life. No maids, no butlers, no hors d’oeuvres in bed, no cars and certainly no money.
Suffice it to say, that the underlying messages packed through each of the episodes are pretty amazing. The family quickly finds that ‘friendship’ is redefined now that their bank balance is zero. The entitled and brattish nature of the young adults is quickly questioned, as all entitlements come with a price, to pay which, one needs money. There are also other beautiful lessons around family values, communication, love, compassion and many others.
Probably the most important one for me, was that everyone has their quirks, and the sooner we accept it, the better it is, for us. We can each be the family in Schitts Creek. Nobody knows what life will hit us with and when. This is not about being pessimistic, but being realistic. If you know today that there is a non-zero probability that disaster can strike in the future, what would you do differently today, with the benefit of hindsight?
One answer, according to me, is to live a life ‘mentally’ as though we’ve lost everything, without practically giving anything away. In this approach, we will find that we value even the smallest of things, make the most out of every opportunity, build robust relationships that go well beyond money, and never take anything for granted. Then success and happiness are guaranteed, irrespective of the actual circumstances – losing everything or not!