The $1000 Steak

By Greg Baer M.D.

April 20, 2015

Roger called me to say that he was deathly tired of his life. Forty-two years old, he’d already experienced considerable success in business—he was, in fact, relatively wealthy—but his personal life was a wreck. He’d been an alcoholic for years, presently drinking two liters of vodka per day (that’s a lot). He’d been in one relationship after another, with each falling apart because of his emotional immaturity and selfishness.

We spoke briefly, and then the next day he sent me an email:

“I feel alone and miserable.
I have no friends.
I need to feel loved and to love.
I need the crushing pressure I feel on my soul to go away.
I need to stop drinking. I need to stop drinking.
I need to stop hurting, stop thinking, stop waiting for my life to get better.
I need to stop lying, faking, and pretending that I’m alive.
I need a hug. I need to let people close to me.
I’m a terrible person. I’m mean, arrogant, pretentious, and annoying.
I’ve hurt a lot of people. I’m tired of it.
I can’t change by myself. I want to live.
I need your help.”

I made some recommendations about paid coaching because anything less could not possibly have worked, and then he disappeared. Later, however, I heard from a friend of his, who told me that Roger had said this: “I’d rather pay $1000 for a steak—that I can taste and smell—than $1000 for something that I can’t touch” (referring to the coaching I had suggested).

Although Roger had already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on steaks, houses, cars, drugs, alcohol, and vacations, none of the spending had produced a moment of genuine happiness, as proven by the email he sent me.

And so it is that a great many of us spend our lives buying steaks and other physical pleasures—along with praise, power, sex, and more—while failing utterly to find the love and joy we really need and want. I can’t think of a greater tragedy than spending our lives—literally spending as we would money—for nothing.

Real Love book

Replace your anger & confusion with peace and happiness.


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

Subscribe to our newsletter now!