There are two types of pursuits in life: those that can be completed and those that will never be finished.
For example, my desire to be a good parent will likely, never be completed. I will contine to grow and improve in this area over the course of my life as the seasons change. Likewise, my desire to be a faithful spouse, a good friend, and a contributing member of society around me.
This is a simple reality, but there is irreplaceable joy and opportunity for those who can accurately distinguish between the two. When we continue to pour resources into completed projects, we miss opportunity to direct those resources towards goals that continue.
Unfortunately, in a society built on constant and ever-increasing consumerism, there are countless voices arguing for us to confuse the two.
Consider this, when was the last time you looked at the clothes in your closet and thought, “Yup, that’s enough. I have accumulated enough. I’m done with this pursuit. It is complete.”
Perhaps never, right? This is because the world has told us we will never be finished buying clothes. Even if you have enough in your closet to last you the next 12 months, marketers will continue to convince you that you are not done—that the pursuit of fashionable fabric must continue.
For this reason, we rarely see the pursuit of physical possessions as a desire that can be completed or fully finished. Even if we have accumulated enough, there is still a “better” that we should continue to invest resources in pursuing.
So we look at our existing furniture and think how nice it would be to upgrade this chair or that rug. We desire a larger home, a newer car, a bigger paycheck, a stainless steel fridge, or granite countertop. No matter what we already possess, we seem to always desire more.
Buying things has become a pursuit with no finish line. (tweet that)
But take a look around. Is it possible there’s enough clothing already in your closet? Is there enough furniture already in your house? Is your home sufficient for you and your family? Do your kitchen appliances already meet your needs? Is your car sufficient to get you from Point A to Point B?
And if you already own enough clothing, furniture, or housing, maybe you can begin to see that pursuit as completed.
The next time you have a desire to buy something you don’t need, say to yourself, “Nope. I’m done buying clothes. I already have enough. I have met this desire and I am moving on to something else.”
There is a profound joy and opportunity that accompanies this realization because it allows us to redirect our finite resources towards more important pursuits—those that may never be fully completed.
If I spend less money and time and energy pursuing new clothes, expensive furniture, and more square footage, I have more money and time and energy to spend on being a good father, a faithful husband, and a contributing member of society.
And isn’t that the goal? To excel at the things in life that matter most and to remove those that don’t?