It’s a new month so there’s a new theme here at Buon Viaggio. For the next four weeks, we’ll explore a question that I ponder regularly: got options?

Of course, it’s a bit of a trick question since options aren’t something we get; options are more often something that we recognize.

It’s a lesson I learned long ago.

At a particularly difficult time in my life, I was sharing my frustration with a friend. She listened attentively to my story and then quietly said, “Barbara, you always have options.”

I was too miserable to grasp what she said in that  moment of my despair. Later, as I was making decisions, changing directions, and setting new goals, I’d remember those wise words and get busy exploring the options available to me.

It’s a practice that has served me well—and I’m not alone in that discovery.

Several months ago, CBS Sunday Morning did a piece about comedian/actor Chris Rock who was appearing in a Broadway play that was about to open. The interviewer commented on the diversity of Rock’s career and his financial success as a performer.

Rock sat up a little straighter and said, “Being rich is not about having lots of money. Being rich is about having lots of options.”

By that definition, which I believe is totally accurate, the world is full of rich people who have no idea. As writer Brenda Uleland said in her marvelous If You Want to Write, “It seems to me like this: if you have a million dollars in the bank and you don’t know it’s there, it doesn’t do you any good.”

Seems to me like this, if you have unlimited options and don’t know it, it doesn’t do you any good.

So this month, we’ll look at practical ways to uncover all that buried treasure. It may take a bit of digging, but I predict you’re going to love what you discover.

In the meantime, consider this bit of advice from Mike Dooley: “Both having money and not having money make fantastic adventures possible that would not otherwise be possible. Same for having, and not having, anything else.”

Opens the options window wider, doesn’t it?