Friday, January 21, 2011

Do You HAVE To Have It?

Recently, I moved for the first time in my life. It was an ordeal for me because I am almost 40 and had acquired quite a bit of "stuff." This article by Randy Gage was interesting for me. While packing my life into boxes, I thought I had to get rid of some of the things I treasured. You know, out with the old and in with the new. As it turned out, Mark talked me out of tossing away some of those things. After reading Randy's article I now know that I am worthy of keeping (and acquiring) all the "stuff" that makes me happy.   

How Much is Enough?

by Randy Gage
How Much is Enough?
God I hate that question!  Because I believe that 99 percent of the time you here it, it’s uttered by someone programmed with a mind virus of lack.  But if approached the right way, the question can take you to an important lesson about living a life of happiness and meaning…  
Because the ideal place it can take you is learning how to celebrate money and material things instead of worshiping them.  How to own them, instead of them owning you.
I remember doing a seminar with Randy Schroeder a couple years ago and he related the story of his life a few years back.  He shared that he had a garage with a Mercedes, Ferrari, Lambo, and a few Porsches, but still wanted more.
So naturally I raised my hand and asked, “What’s your point?”
While it’s fun to have fun with the subject, being a guy who has always thought more is better, it’s not always so.  I don’t like to set limitations on myself, and I want to view the world through the biggest prosperity window I can.  But the important thing is to never lose sight of where the true joy comes from.
Limitations are bad.  Boundaries are good.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how many bays I need in the garage of my next dream home.  And came to understand that if I owned my 100 favorite rides, I would still get a tinge of desire when I saw number 101 roar by.   So then I have to think really about when is enough, enough.
If I have 100 cars parked downstairs, can I really appreciate and enjoy each one, or do I take some for granted?
Truth is I drive my newest Viper more now than my last one, and the new Challenger more than the one that’s four months older.   So do I trade them in for different models, downsize the fleet, or buy another 15?
It’s about finding the sweet spot where your possessions bring you more joy than work.  (If you haven’t seen it, watch my video on Materialism or Minimalism here.)
I just had an amazing week in Hawaii.  But would I have appreciated it as much if I didn’t grow up in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin?
For Christmas I brought two very different presents.  One was a $200,000 car for myself; one was a $200 bouncy house for a very special four-year-old girl that recently came into my life.   So which do you think brought me more joy?
But here’s the danger asking that question can bring you…
Falling into the either or category.  Because the fact is I bought both, and they both give me joy.  And the fact is, you too can support your church and ski Vail.  You can help the homeless and wear Armani.  You can adopt a stray kitten and spend $250,000 on a painting for your dining room.
But that means three things…
It means you accept that you are worthy.  That you view the world through a bigger window.  And don’t let things consume you, but rather understand what level they bring joy to your life.
So how you doing on all this?  Have you found the balance where it works best for you yet?  Any other thoughts you’d add?

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