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Misc and Other Fun Stuffs

Wise Words From An Unexpected Source

Date: 30/03/2017

Temporarily living as I am at the moment in tropical Florida, USA (where the weather is like Cairns), air-conditioning isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity!

Recently we looked into getting our ceiling air-conditioning ducts cleaned, but as it turned out, it was much cheaper to replace them than clean them (welcome to the U S of A!). So be it.

Well, that happened today. A friendly Mexican duo turned up to do the work and proceeded to rip out the old duct and put in the new duct. Hot and dusty work for which they were probably paid not much more than minimum wage (which in Florida is $8.10 per hour. In Australia it is $17.70 per hour).

Once finished and while processing my payment, Hector – the head honcho – and I were talking about where we came from, and when he found out I was an Australian, he asked if it really was full of deadly spiders and snakes.

“Absolutely!”, I replied. “It adds to the adventure of living there.”

As we talked I shared that we were planning on returning home to Australia soon, which was a pity as we had enjoyed our time living here. He talked about a friend who had moved out to Australia for work and was sending him interesting photos of life Down Under.

As we parted ways, I said it was nice to meet him and I look forward to seeing him ‘next time’.

With a smile he said ‘there won’t be a next time, will there? You are moving back to Australia.”

“Probably not”, I said. “But it was nice to meet you nonetheless.”

“Well, live a good life”, he concluded as he walked back to his truck.

I’ve been chewing over those words: live a good life. Very simple. Very true. A lovely blessing on which to part. Or was it a challenge to aspire to?

Here was a man who was probably earning very little, but could still share a profound insight delivered with a sincerity and genuineness that is not particularly common here in the US. Truly, inspiration comes from all manner of unsuspecting sources!

What does “live a good life” mean to you? If you’ve got a moment, share what’s on the top of your list (or read what others have written) by leaving a comment below.

Here’s to you and your success. May you live a good life.


Profile photo of Steve McKnight

By Steve McKnight

Steve McKnight, the founder of, is a respected property investing authority as well as Australia's #1 best-selling business author.


  1. Jura

    Thanks, but…..I’m not a fan of this comment. I’ve had people who know me well and not so well bid me farewell with “have a good life” and walk away. So many are using this catch phrase that I find it totally meaningless, and now irritating. It’s so broad and a shrug off. People have become lazy. How hard is it to put some more thoughtful and respectful words together for the person who you have just shared information and time with? Aren’t humans more precious than just “have a good life”?

    • Profile photo of Steve McKnight

      Thanks Jura. I think in the context explained though it was a nice touch. The text I wrote could not well describe the sentiment and non-verbal cues that were given when he said it.

      – Steve

  2. Warren Macleod

    Those are good words!
    We all have our challenges, and some of us have more of them than others, but if we don’t dwell on the negatives and look around, most of us will find that life is pretty good.
    And sometimes we can contribute a simple gesture which will make a considerable difference to someone else’s life, causing a troubled face to light up!
    These are the things that make the world a better place.

  3. Ian Heng

    Hi Steve,

    Great to hear you are well and coming back to OZ.
    “Live a good life” mean differently to everyone of us. For you replacing old to new duct is important.

    I’m sure you agree with me, many people from other parts of the world struggling for daily basic life necessity.

    for me to “live a good life” means to give away in order to enrich.

    I met you once in Melbourne at your seminar. it was a great to know there is someone out there is genuine like yourself.

    I look forward some more interesting topics from you in near future.

    Many thanks

  4. Tony Neale

    It’s a blessing one should be grateful to receive, and I would immediately upscale it from the bare happy mildness to “have a fantastic fabulous life” , thank you very much.

      • Alex

        And that is the true lesson Steve and Tony. For some ‘live a good life’ is a casual comment with little value. Whilst for others it is a lovely thought to send out and to receive. It all depends on the prism that one looks through at life.

        I take it in the positive, because in good times or bad, that is what gives you strength.


  5. Rebecca

    Hi Steve,
    I’m glad you shared this and is a fantastic reminder to stop and reflect on what constitutes a good life!

    I think they are lovely words from obviously a very humble man and makes us appreciate what we have instead of focusing on what don’t!

    I am in Cairns as I type this and the weather is humid! A balmy 35 degrees Celsius in fact!

    Glad all is well.

  6. Dean Collins

    Should the fact that you are moving back to Australia indicate you are closing out your fund (or closing your personal position?)

    • Profile photo of Steve McKnight

      Absolutely not. I remain the biggest investor in the Passive Income (USA Commercial Property) Fund, and happily so. We came over for a family adventure for a year, and it is simply time to come back, cuddle our beloved pets, and settle the girls back into school.

      – Steve

  7. Maureen Mori

    I live in a developing nation who could do better but the struggles are real. I can say I live a good life. I have good genuine family.breathe fresh food I grow myself and beautiful children. Thats my good life and I am grateful.

  8. Profile photo of DEVILZ

    Well considering that prices for most of the goods in US are half of Australian prices, then $8.10 US becomes $16.20 AUD – not bad at all and pretty close to Australian minimal wage

    • Mark

      Economically speaking your right. You cannot take a wage directly from another country and compare it to another with out considering the purchasing power of each of that $8.10 per hour. Pretty poor form from someone who is advising people to invest. Always do your own due dilligence.

      • Profile photo of Steve McKnight

        Geez Mark. I think you’ve missed the point of my article if you focus on a one line side comment.

        Anyway, applying your logic and the data from the website mentioned above, consumer prices in the US are 10.56% lower than in Australia. Let’s inflate $8.10 by 110.56% then and we get $9.00 per hour versus $17.70 per hour in Australia. That is still quite a difference.

        From my experience, aside from cars, houses and petrol the cost of living is about on par. Property taxes here are much higher than rates at home, and eating out, cinemas, etc. are all more expensive.

        – Steve

  9. Mick

    Hi Steve, a great thought. Having travelled and done charity work both in Australia and some third world countries I think most of us living in the Western World are living a pretty good life. For me the challenge has always been to use our (my wife and I) “good life” to make the lives of those less fortunate better. During 2016 I led a local charity that had 40-50,000 client contacts, many of which were homeless and disadvantaged Aussies whom we fed hot meals to, provided food parcels and other types of assistance. We’ve also sponsor kids overseas and have done so for years and had the privilege of meeting two of them in Uganda where I think we were more blessed than they were. Each of us has something we can do for others and for me I can’t help but think that’s why I’m one of the worlds more fortunate while at the same time being able to live a comfortable lifestyle. For me that’s living a good life! Mick

  10. Linda Z

    What does “live a good life” mean to you?
    It is interesting that you ask this, as you often say “The enemy of a great life is a good life”…
    For me, “live a good life” means delayed gratification.. I try to enjoy the journey toward achieving my goals by living below my means. I feel this gives me a constant reminder that the small daily sacrifices will add up and help me achieve financial freedom and an early semi-retirement (semi retirement because I actually enjoy my work). My great life will include more time to spend travelling, gardening, socialising and learning new skills!

  11. Mark Griffin


    I believe your signpost says it all – Wealth / Health / Happiness – it is the balance in life which leads me to living a good life.
    I always considered wealth important for security in my earlier years but now place more value on health + happiness to myself ,immediate family & friends and making a positive contribution to life.
    Like a good vintage , I am still maturing with age!

  12. David

    Hi Steve,

    Those were very pleasant wishes from the heart from somebody who had already received full payment for services rendered ,would not be seeing you again and did not expect anything more from you.
    Since he met you for only a short time and really did not know you ;the words very effectively conveyed his good wishes and advice.
    It was actually a blessing which you should be grateful for.
    During my recent trip to Europe many people were kind to me and very helpful;one lady in Paris even went out of her way to help me with a heavy suitcase down a 40 steps staircase and then went back up again. to catch her train.
    Such kindness can only be treasured and appreciated.Its what enriches our lives.

  13. Profile photo of Barlow

    Hi Steve,
    “Live a good life” is something that I use often and something that I believe is important… how ever my thoughts on the phrase have changed some what since meeting and watching one of your inspirational key note speakers. You see many of us “live a good life” as “good” can be interpreted differently by many people… and although I do still it is important, I can’t help that every time I hear or say the phrase “live a good life” I wonder to myself is my good life getting in the way of having “A Great Life”??? Food for thought any way from two inspiration people, thanks Steve Mcknight and Brendan Nichols

    • Profile photo of Steve McKnight

      Thanks Barlow. Indeed Brendan does say that a good life is the enemy of a great life.

      I think the blessing given to me though was more of a challenge to live a life to be proud of, and that the word used was ‘good’.

      All the best to you and your family.

      – Steve

  14. Lisa

    “Live a good life”

    To me this phrase enforces the idea that how we live and appreciate our lives is about choice, attitude and mindful intention.

    Remember to live, every moment. Human life is a fragile thing. Make it good. Be grateful, be kind, nurture and listen. Everyone has their story. Choose to hug and laugh. Alot!

    What a lovely way to end a chat, and cause a wonderful ripple effect.

  15. Daniel Uden

    I think its a not only a great gesture but a great reminder to consider whats important. Like having death as part of our lives or good friends who ask you to be insightful and ask the bigger questions. “Have a good life” is a reminder to get out of our routine of “have to’s” and “treadmill running” and “day to day things that have to be done”. To remind ourselves that its about “a good life” The goal. And to consider what that means for each of us. I don’t things its considered enough. From reading the posts I understand this means something different for many. However I’ve you’e somehow taking this to be a negative. Id suggest taking a second look at your thinking. I wish you all a blood great life!!!! Go and get it!! or even better look around and see that you’ve got it.

  16. Bernie

    Hi there
    My wife and i are just living the good life.we worked very hard to achieve approx $1000/week passive income.we are taking 1 year holiday atm and travel the world.then we will go back into the game.
    “Living the good life” to us,means freedom to do what you like to do

  17. Vishal

    Hi Steve,
    Its nice to know you are coming back.
    Live a good life to me means good health , well connected friends and family and not worry about 3 meals a day and various bills we pay.
    God bless you

  18. Daniel Bell

    Living a good life is having God at the centre of it. The Mexican was probably a Christian man without a worry in the world.
    God Bless

  19. Profile photo of 5c1eb9d2

    I like to think that ‘living a good life’ should be up to other people’s judgement on me at my funeral. I never heard anyone give an obituary saying ‘ he lived a good life by leaving his wife and going off with another woman’

  20. Profile photo of Benny

    Written words are such poor substitutes for spoken words. Though context can be described with written words, there is nothing like actually “being there” eh? Only then, all of the background data like body language, the volume and timbre of spoken words, the mood of the moment, the warmth (or otherwise) in a room, combine to fill in the picture.

    That considered, it is easy to understand how many different respondees can arrive at such different meanings for the same event.

    Consider how a similar phrase (“Have a good life”) can be used as a dismissive put-down as one antagonist walks away from another. They are wishing that their adversary never “darken their doorway again”.

    Sorry – that sounds awful, but it all came to me when seeing how some respondees interpreted the reported situation. I realised then that we do ONLY have the written word to rely on anywhere in this place. Those written words probably work OK for factual things, like discussing property investing, but they don’t work quite so well whenever emotions get involved. We miss much of that “background” we would have if we were there.

    Steve, I see what you mean – it might have been a simple, heartfelt wish of goodness from a humble man, or it could indeed have had something of a lesson implicit in it.

    So many thoughtful phrases seem to have both, don’t they? Here’s a few of my faves :-

    Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully – Richard Bach

    We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’
    Actually, who are you not to be? – Marianne Williamson

    e.g. Any two lines from the Desiderata – like:-
    “As far as possible without surrender,
    be on good terms with all persons….”

    I believe that bloke gave you a gift with his parting words – a bit like Nikki, eh? ;^)


  21. Profile photo of plau

    Thanks for the story. I like it. Nice guy.
    To me, livingt a good life means contentment, good relations, and feeling in control.
    Excess money and material possessions are a long way down the list.
    Regards. Peter

  22. Ashley

    Hi steve, i think living a good life means experiencing and nurturing good quality relationships, that is with all people, friends, family, animals, and even with our money. Finding the balance in all that is the essence of life and also a big source of enjoyment as long as we dont take it all to seriously. Remembering that anyone of us could be gone tommorrow, i think this mans words are an important sign “live a good life” today!
    It obviously had an impact on you,
    It sounds to me that it was a wish for you and something we should all heed.

  23. Lee

    Wow, some nonsense here. Praise to those who have seen this comment for what it was, a positive “best wishes” from someone and not nitpicking out negatives of Steve’s question/story.
    For me, a good life is one where you have choices. Not feeling trapped but rather having choices that many people around the world don’t have (or don’t think they have).
    Noone should feel that way.

  24. Linda Adams

    Well there are blessings and curses, and we certainly hear a lot of curses. So why not take ‘live a good life’ as a blessing from someone? Stranger or not. I like to wish people well and add a little smile to theirs and my day. If it sounds mushy ‘so be it’ ha 😊

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