One Step Back – February 23, 2022 (54/2022)

TL;DR Invest In Love, Improve In Peace.

When Naval Ravikant was asked something to the lines of, ‘What are things that keep us from getting wealth?’, he answered that the first thing was trading time for money. Take note, first of all, that he did not mention ‘trading time for wealth’; he specified money, because there was no way a salary was something that would earn while we sleep… Or, well, wait. It can get you started, but soon enough you’d realize that the time away from your job would also be affected by your job. You rest to be ready for your job. You spend time with the family on the weekends because that’s the only real time you have with your family.

Wealth is supposed to set you free from this, in the sense that you have far greater autonomy over your time. If you must spend time, spend it where it matters most – relationships and creation. If you must spend time to make money, take it a step further and spend time to make wealth, so you make the time truly worth it.

Of course this doesn’t take away from the fact that we were built to work. I have nothing against work – that is, the effort and time we put into endeavors and advocacies that share in our own personal passions and interests, and not agencies with their own selfish agendas. You’d probably figure out that you make wealth with others who share the same mind as you do, and you make money with the latter.

To be honest, I’m not sure if Naval said ‘money’ or ‘wealth’ but I guess you can tell the way I understood it is that our time is far more precious than money, that we ought to invest it in making wealth. We honor the time we have been blessed with by way of establishing wealth.

I’m led to thinking about the parable of the stewards entrusted with talents. Can we actually make a connection here? Can we assume that the wise stewards doubled the talents by way of maintaining principles of wealth, versus the one servant who was not going to have anything to do with the talent given to him?

Way I see it, the thoughts going on in the mind of that one servant were in the lines of, ‘I can figure it all out on my own, without this talent entrusted to me’; one thing which was definitely in his mind was stated in the parable – He thought that his master was hard and cruel.

Putting all this together I don’t think it’s about us spending time on wealth versus money – I think the underlying forces that are really in conflict here are love and fear. I keep going back to how perfect love casts out all fear. It’s not to say that fear not present in the heart and mind of a man operating out of perfect love; it’s just that fear doesn’t last in our beings for long. And it works the other way around: The one whose mind is made up out of fear regards love as a temporary wave crashing against the rock, its impact only felt, but never really grasped.

The final verse in Psalm 23 mentions, ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’

Can it be, that the opposite is at work for those living in fear? ‘Because I believe I am not in the house of the Lord, tragedy and condemnation shall follow me all the days of my life.’

Maybe that was too much of a stretch, but I thought I’d throw that in there, while I was at it. Honestly I didn’t think I’d go this far in exploring that first thing Naval said.

I was really wanting to elaborate on the second thing he said, which I believe went something like this – ‘Don’t be in a hurry to improve your lifestyle.’

This was what thought I wanted to talk about, in the light of all that I’ve been up to since last week. Quite frankly I feel like it’s that time for me to do some investing, but I couldn’t wait until I get the returns on what I put resources into before establishing even more channels of income.

I wrote somewhere just recently that if you rush into things, chances are you’re moving in the fear of missing out.

Love does its homework.

I guess if I really do want to get into more things which may eat into pre-established capital, I will need to strike a balance between going all-out and holding back – That is, to tread lightly. It’s sort of like what I call ‘Mom’s Buffet Method’ – try a little of everything once, and go back harder for what you like. In this case, you test everything, and go back with more for what works.

And in your tasting each morsel, I’ve realized it takes time to appreciate the true flavors in each bite. I guess I got the military style of inhaling my food from my Dad, bless him… but you actually value your time more by taking a little more time to appreciate things instead of speeding up your consumption.

It’s not about the spending more than it is about how it all links to the rest of your being. I don’t know, I couldn’t think of anything better beyond ‘It’s not about the spending’ so I went with the first thing that came into my mind.

There are risks to take, and peace will always be present for the man who walks in love (as he is loved), but it is not to say we can afford to be reckless. No, we respect ourselves and others, and the time and blessings we have been given, when we tread lightly.

That’s the true practice of peace.

So there you have it, a bit of an assessment I think I needed to do as I continue down this month of February.

What a crazy month so far.

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