Imagine that there is a Carpenter who enjoys woodworking. He has a workshop, and the workshop is filled with woodworking tools and supplies. He does good work, but has one…
Imagine that there is a Carpenter who enjoys woodworking. He has a workshop, and the workshop is filled with woodworking tools and supplies. He does good work, but has one major fault. When building furniture, he can’t stand to let his tools sit around. He feels like they need to be operating all the time. After finishing one project, he jumps right into the next one to keep his equipment busy. He works like mad until his supplies are gone, and then quickly replenishes them so his tools can keep working.
Because of his paranoia over idle tools, the furniture is accumulating faster than he can sell it. He now has more furniture than he knows what to do with, and he begins piling furniture everywhere. Before long he is out of room at his shop, and he rents additional space to store his excessive inventory of furniture. Even though it is clear to others this carpenter is building excessive amounts of furniture, he can’t seem to let the tools take a rest.
This story might sound absurd, but it probably hits closer to home than you might think. One of the key themes that I wrote about in The Soul Purpose of Money is that money is nothing more than a tool, and should be treated that way. Unlike our carpenter friend in the story, we should be content to let our money be idle when it isn’t needed.
Many of us live more like the crazy carpenter than we would like to admit. Often times we try to keep our money busy rather than allowing in to accumulate, or give it towards causes that benefit others. Increases in income are followed by increases in lifestyle, and the money has a new place to go. Self-storage is has become a multi-billion dollar industry because many of us own more stuff than we have room for.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to enjoy your hard earned money and spend some of it on yourself. But it’s quite common for our spending to be out of sync with the things that we truly value. In our home, we have been focused on cleaning and organizing as of late. Through the years, we have acquired more stuff that brings no value to our lives than I’d like to admit. Getting rid of our excess stuff feels good, and it makes our home more enjoyable to live in. Now the challenge is to keep our home free of unnecessary stuff, and keep our money going towards things that align with our values instead.
If you were to spend some time reflecting on where your money goes, does it act like a tool help accomplish things that align with your values? Or are you more like the crazy carpenter, spending without purpose just to keep your money busy? Most of us are somewhere between the two ends of this spectrum, but with a little awareness of this idea, we can move towards using our money more purposefully.
To your well-being,