The Sagrada Familia — Spanish for sacred family — has been under construction for 138 years…and counting. Construction began in 1882, and so far it’s scheduled to be finished in 2027.
Designed by architect Antoni Gaudí, the building is one of Barcelona´s main icons.
Here is a recent photo of your analyst in front of it:
Source: Selva Freigedo
Antoni, the son of a boilermaker, spent much of his childhood surrounded by nature. It’s why many of his designs include nature images. In the case of the Sagrada Familia, you can see hanging fruit from the towers, and the inside of the basilica feels like you are walking through a forest.
Antoni’s father had five children, and only two survived. He spent his life savings to move the family from the countryside to Barcelona so that his two remaining sons could get a university education. Antoni then studied architecture, and his brother medicine. Yet his brother died three days after graduating as a doctor, and he never got to practice.
Antoni, on the other hand, ended up becoming one of the most important architects of his time. Although much of his work was ahead of his time and he sometimes struggled to get work.
That’s why he decided to go to the middle of the countryside to build his masterpiece: the Sagrada Familia. In fact, by the end of his life he was spending most of his time and putting every cent he made into it, and died in poverty.
He died in 1910, leaving his life project unfinished. Only a quarter of the basilica had been completed at that time.
Throughout my life I have followed the evolution of his vision. First, while I lived in Barcelona through school trips, and later on as a tourist.
I find myself today once again in Barcelona, in front of this impressive building.
Last week I wrote I had to travel last minute to Spain because my dad was ill. I wanted to thank you for all the kind messages of support I have received this week. As always, I love reading all your messages.
My dad has since passed away.
It didn’t take us by complete surprise, my dad had been ill for a while. Yet no matter how much you expect it, nothing prepares you for a moment like this.
It´s the law of life we’ve heard all week.
A psychologist friend of mine once told me a while back we receive no preparation to deal with death. It’s true.
My only comfort is that I got to Spain in time to say goodbye, and that he went surrounded by his whole family.
The whole family is now in Barcelona, visiting my brother who now lives here.
We are visiting old places where we spent time together as a family growing up, changing the environment. We are taking a breather.
Life rarely gives you chances like this, to take a moment to stop and look around. We are usually short on time, always running. There is never much time to reflect on what´s important. On direction, on thinking about what you are trying to achieve.
Why do we do the things we do? Many times we go with the flow.
Standing here, in front of the unfinished basilica reminds me of my dad and the life he built.
Much like the Sagrada Familia, my dad’s life was always a constant work in construction. He was a brilliant economist but also a brilliant dad, one who was constantly working on his two passions: his work and his family.
Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty he didn’t achieve, and his dreams didn’t always look like the way he thought they would be. But he worked hard to create his ideal life.
How do you create a ‘rich life’? It’s not easy.
And, by rich, I don’t only mean money here. Yes, financial independency opens up opportunities, gives us chances to do more. But I’m also talking about creating meaningful connections and experiences.
What type of life are you looking to create?
It’s one of the main things I learned from him. To never stop working towards the life we want to have, to never stop thinking about what we’re trying to achieve.
But also to take a moment, like today, to stop and look around. To think about the direction we want to take but also to look back and be thankful for everything we have achieved. To take time to value what we have and enjoy it with those around us.
PS: Our publication Money Morning is a fantastic place to start on your investment journey. We talk about the big trends driving the most innovative stocks on the ASX. Learn all about it here.