Let me ask you a question.
Would you rather earn $50 000 at a job where everyone else is earning $40 000, or earn $60 000 at a job where everyone else is earning $90 000?
In most cases, we’d lean towards the former. Which, fundamentally, makes very little sense.
Even though we’d earn more money ourselves by going for the latter option, the idea that everyone else is getting more highly rewarded for the same effort than we are doesn’t go down very well.
The human brain is a funny thing.
We love to hold on to what we have and hate to feel like we are being robbed.
I remember reading an example of how we now have all these awesome features on airplanes which didn’t exist too long ago, such as USB ports and wifi. Before they came out, we never complained about not having them because we accepted that those just weren’t features that were available. But now, if you had to board a plane and they told you the wifi was unavailable, you’d get a little (or a lot) pissed off.
This is because we prefer the feeling of protecting what we have more than the feeling of potentially gaining something new.
(This is probably why we love our comfort zones so much…)
Which got me thinking: If this is true, why is it that we are so protective of our money and material possessions, yet we so willingly give up our time, energy, focus, and attention?
Think about it: if someone stole $10 out your wallet, you’d be in the minority if you didn’t let it ruin your day.
Yet that same day, you’d say yes to someone or something even if it didn’t relate to your most important task of the day, or what you said is important to you.
So what’s the solution?
The truth is, I don’t know. Apart from bringing more awareness to how you’re spending your time and what you’re saying yes (and hence, no) to, let’s start placing a higher value on those intangible things.
If something is important to you, be it a value, habit or daily to-do, start protecting it just as you would (or rather, more than) that $10 in your wallet.
Money and possessions come and go, but your character lasts forever. I’ll let you decide what that’s worth.
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