When I was a kid, I would have done just about anything to own a Porsche—or at least to drive one.

Today, if a friend said, “Take my Porsche Carrera out for a spin,” I’d probably want to do it at night, when nobody could see me. What does that mean?

Over the past twenty years, I’ve been slowly changing in ways that surprise some of the people I know. If you put me in a taxi, gave me an unlimited credit card and said, “Go downtown into the heart of Singapore [where I live] and buy whatever you want,” if I wasn’t allowed to give anything away, I’d probably go down to Borders Bookstore, and come back with a cool box of books. I’d bypass the Ferrari dealership, and I wouldn’t want the latest mountain bike, road bike or fancy electronic toy. What does that mean?

Here’s where it gets stranger. If you had the power to add an extra zero or two to my investment account balance, I wouldn’t want it. Nor do I want any kind of inheritance. What does that mean?

And there’s more…

I was running hard on a treadmill last week, thinking about the level of fitness I had before having back surgery last year. Running 8km at a painful clip, a new thought entered my head that surprised me more than other of my other strange personal revelations. If somebody had the magical power to restore my former fitness, I wouldn’t take it. Of course, I’d like to be as fit and strong as I was before my surgery, but I also think that I can do it on my own. Simply giving it to me would be like taking something away.

On the other hand, if somebody ensured that I could have my three ribs back (which were extracted during last year’s surgery) I’d take them up on that in a heartbeat. If they could ensure that my family and friends would live long happy lives into their 90s, I’d sign that deal with my own blood.

This post wasn’t something I threw together because I needed to fill space on my blog. This is the most personal thing I have publically written, and I needed to write it.

I’m not sure what happened to me over the past 20 years—but whatever it was, I’m happy it did.