Producing is greater than Consuming
Producing is greater than purchasing.
Here is a blog post from my first website, minimizeme.org. It was active in 2014. The nuggets of wisdom are still current for today, so enjoy this repost!
There are two kinds of natural highs I know: achieving and acquiring. For the achievement, I finished a section of my third writing project. That means I am 1/6 of the way done with the heart of the writing. For the acquiring, my dear mother bought me my birthday gift: a ceramic coated skillet.
If I finish this writing project, it will be the third book I have produced. I am happy to be at a point in my life where I think I have something worthwhile to share with the world. I enjoy the challenge, and the satisfaction, of the process.
I think I am going to really like the skillet. The Husband has vetoed teflon coatings, and our old skillet, which was retired last year, had chunks missing from the gray film that covered the bottom. New Skillet is white on the inside, and goes well enough with the rest of our cookware.
Of the two, I am more fascinated by the writing achievement. It stayed with me as I was out on the town with my mother. I feel happy as I reflect on it this evening. I am all ready to go tackle more writing (like the blog entry) and I have renewed confidence.
Unlike the shopping experience, there is not a “low” at the end of producing something. You did it, by George, and no one can take it away from you. You will always be able to say, “I built that,” “I drew that,” and “I created that” even if the object itself perishes.
Conversely, imagine yourself saying “I bought that!” It doesn’t have the same sense of achievement. There is not the opportunity for the same kind of pride.
Where are your energies going? Is it to produce something? Is it to acquire something? Is your image wrapped up in what you made and achieved, or what you bought on credit at the outlet mall last weekend?
If your self image is resting on what you have done in your life, you will have a much better chance of avoiding a crisis that can come from your possessions being destroyed. For instance, if you are Sally, who has painted portraits of all her family members, sang in the church choir, and volunteers at the local no-kill animal shelter, you may weather your house burning better than Fran, who had a Lexus in the garage, a two carat diamond ring, and an entire wardrobe from Bloomingdales (all of which went up in flames last Saturday).
Now, Sally has a vintage Porsche, real pearl jewelry, and shops at Talbots. But that is not her! She is a person who has achieved, who has knowledge about how to build wealth and to give service to others. Fran is her image. She gets her notion of self worth from the things she owns. Poor Fran!
Choose carefully what gives you worth. You decide if you are your things. You decide how you are going to define yourself (it’s part of becoming a mature adult). Do not confuse ownership with achievement.
For more on Minimalism, and what goes in to a best life with less, pick up your copy of Simple Fly Life: The Manual today! Available as ebook or print. Link to order below.