If there's one phrase I am getting tired of saying when I go to the bank, it's "The one with less..."
Life moves so fast, it's a blur until you stop and realize what you're really saying.
I remember clear as a bell, standing there mouthing the phrase, and then thinking "For as much as I work, why am I not able to make more? My accounting says I made X this month after expenses, and yet, my bank account is reminding me I do not actually posses that much." I left the bank determined to make more income so that I could STOP saying "The one with less" and start saying with a smile "The one with more!" when asked "Which account is this going in?". I left determined to not be stuck in a perpetual game of needing more zeros.
However this post isn't just about money, this post is about everything in life.
I got thinking about this in an energetic level, a writing level, a living level, a food level, a mindful level, a spiritual level.
Have I embraced "Less is more" a little too much? Have you perhaps? Are you a minimalist who has become a nihilist by de facto and not realized it?
Have I and you thought of ourselves as needing less therefore, we charge less, we use less, we need less, we want less...we act like less? Is less actually humbling or is less really just a fashion statement?
Minimalism does have a cost sometimes. The dark side of minimalism is that given time, you may begin to value "less" as almost too much. At what point is it OK to want more? It can become like anorexia of the mind, body and spirit.
Do I really want less overall? Sure, I'd say, my desires for material goods are pretty low. My desires for the tools to do my job properly I treat differently. Yes I spent $4,000 on a new camera system, but that's a tool meant to serve me, not a toy meant to entertain me. However... sometimes I think about my friends who seem to have it all, and when I'm feeling stressed and burnt out, I start acting like I have nothing when in fact I have a lot. I can feel it, it makes me sick. And then I can catch myself usually. Although I am human, and sometimes the childish unformed part of my brain comes out and feels like "What am I really doing this for? It would be so nice to have a kush house with all the cool things that I see on those home shows, cable, a video game system, netflix, a big TV, a better car, have a job making $100,000 plus, be able to afford anything I want..." you name it...I get stuck in a hell-loop of my own demise.
I must remind myself, "I am an architect of action. My own change agent." when I get into these modes.
Then I realize those things above are not me at all. Respectively speaking:
- I spend more time working and going to the gym or exercising or moving around than I do in front of a TV.
- I'm horrible at video games, I have terrible hand-eye coordination when it comes to them, and worst of all I'm colorblind, so forget being able to see anything on the screen.
- I can't sit still for very long and my attention span is usually that of a gnat. To put this way, my usual working pattern consists of being in the middle of one thing, randomly remember something else, switching to another, totally forget what I was doing, and before I know it I am 5-7 tabs deep into something I wasn't planning on doing. Simply put, I can be laser focused on a plane in the sky and follow it across the sky, or be laser focused in a house of mirrors if you get where I'm going with that.
- Netflix really is boring and to me never has anything interesting, and I can deal with ads on youtube.
- Why would I want a big TV when the computer screen and phone screen can double as a TV and often do. Let's not forget to mention how expensive the computer and phones are...
- Most of all, my car gets me from A-Z and back reliably!
Things I do want and need: a home of my own, and experiences, with myself and with my better half. These cost time and money. This is why I want and need to make more money.
As I looked at my accounting and my new method of really calculating what I make after taxes, after expenses, after everything and I honed in on my numbers I realized where my problem lies. Oftentimes it looks amazing and sounds like a lot when I send a quote to a potential client. Example only, "Hey babe, I sent out almost $2000 in quotes." in actuality, that's really only $1,400 after taxes alone, pre any of the write offs. Let's just assume here you are getting very minimal or no write offs with these jobs.
Feels great, looks great, I am happy. Although since numbers don't lie, it's always well after the project is delivered and I spent far longer on it that I thought I would, at the bank when I say those fateful words "The one with less" that I realize maybe I have embraced "less is more" a little too much. I begin to think about my value to society, to myself, to my future, to my partner and her future is worth a little bit more than this. I begin to feel like a failure for not making as much as she does, for not being able to provide as much as she does, feeling like a failure for not being there because I am too busy for her when she needs some hugs and Chris time. And even though she reminds I am I feel bad. She reminds me I am building my business up and look how far I've come. I know building a business takes time, so I am being as brutally honest with you and myself as I can be on the internet here.
I came up with the phrase "Free is fun when paid is done." in the last month after having an experience with a free job for which I could not use anything for myself, I found this out after fact. I didn't even get exposure bucks out of that job. I don't mind doing free work so long as there's an equal trade of exposure value. That free project made me value myself and my personal time and my clients a heck of a lot more. It made me take a step forward to really see the value in more than just zeros on the check too. Every customer has the potential to spread your name like wildfire, and given your work ethic they might just do that. A bakers dozen makes everything a little better.
As I mentioned I am determined to up my ante, I left the bank determined to not be stuck in a perpetual game of needing more zeros on all levels. And it's been paying off, literally.
On a personal level valuing oneself and your respective time isn't just a matter of dollars and sense. Valuing oneself is an art form. You have to do things that you don't normally do maybe, such as making time for yourself, making time for your family, making time for the important things that matter.
It's not about taking the time, it's about MAKING the time. Say that again, and repeat it until it makes sense.