Personal Finance Challenge #35: Focus on Sustainability, Not Growth

Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Basically the hare overestimates his ability for speed and the tortoise wins the race by simply keeping a steady yet slow pace.

Its seems in our effort to ALWAYS have growth in our economies, we have reached a point where we need to take a nap for awhile, just like the hare did. And now we will probably lose the race we wanted to win.

Let’s not argue about why we are running a race at all, but lets focus simply on what growth and sustainability mean for our lives.

Growth means I have the continued capacity to do and achieve more…

I can have a bigger house. A more expensive car. I can pay people to do all the things I want done. I can provide for many people. I can live off my largesse the rest of my life.

Yet let’s think about this logically for a second. Even people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet will run out of money eventually. All their billions of dollars will be used up and it will be gone, unless…

The benefactors of that money learn how to sustain it.

“Feed a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

You see the problem isn’t simply to grow larger then you are now. This means is isn’t necessarily about making more money or anything of that nature.

It means you need to learn how to sustain what you already have.

For instance, if you lost your job right now, could you sustain what you have?

For the majority of people in developed nations I would say the answer would probably be a resounding no.

Now if you had a nice fat retirement account, some side business, a trust fund, a paid off farm, etc then you could probably sustain yourself and still grow from there.

You need assets that pay you. Things that help you not only to survive, but to flourish. Things that don’t necessarily help you grow, but they do sustain you quite well.

Things that immediately pop to my mind include, but certainly aren’t limited too…

Family that support you…

Friends that help you…

A spouse that cares and wants the best for you…

Business partners that believe in win-win scenarios…

Customers that think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread…

Money in the bank…

A paid off house and home…

Some land that you can grow food on…

Access to fresh water…

Freedom to do as you please, not harming anyone in the process…

And there are many, many more that I am sure you can think of.

The key here is sustainability, NOT growth, and I wish our world leaders would recognize this. I wish they would stop focusing on their failed economies, stop focusing on growth, and start thinking about how we can really sustain over 7 billion people on a planet with limited resources.

The time for financial growth is over. It is no longer about how much money you have, but how well you can sustain yourself and your family in the years to come.

I hope you will ponder this idea further…

This is our 35th challenge in The Personal Finance Challenge Series…

Originally posted 2011-11-05 01:51:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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