Hold Loosely – Character Creates Opportunity®: Thursday, April 18, 2019

We all acquire stuff. Whether it is a memento of a fond family memory, some special award, a dream car, or some piece of furniture. For most of us, we are not going ultra-minimalist and move into a modern “tiny house” anytime soon, and we would prefer to not be featured on the next prime time episode of “Hoarders.” Most of us land somewhere in the middle of those extremes. We have some items we may quietly consider personal treasures and the pile of stuff is not going away.

As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, being intentional and thoughtful about how we hold loosely to our possessions is important in maintaining our emotional health over the years.

The reality around us is that many times we get initially “sized-up” by our possessions. Whether it is the size of our house, the car we drive, or the items piled up on shelves in our homes and offices. If we call our bank, insurance agent, or credit card company, they have plenty of information on their screen to size us up quickly and determine a certain level of service.

For most of us who have been around the block a few times in this life, we realize that possessions can come and go very quickly with the uncertainty of tomorrow. This week’s tragedy at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is another reminder of how quickly things can vanish from our fingertips.

We all can appreciate the fact that possessions should not define us. The life we live, the relationships we develop and the legacy we leave behind are what matters most, but the fact remains that we all possess and enjoy some “stuff” as we journey along in this life.

Here are a few reminders of the importance of holding loosely to the things we possess in this world:

  1. There is no guarantee that we will have them tomorrow. Enjoy the thoughts and feelings they bring about today but holding on with a death-like grip to our possessions will be very unhealthy for us and those around us when they unexpectedly disappear.
  2. Sharing our possessions is the best way to increase our positive impact on others. Keeping things for our own enjoyment limits the usefulness of our “stuff.” We should look to share and give away our possessions in order to expand the blessing they can bring to others.
  3. We must always be on guard to ensure we don’t solidify our sense of worth based on our “stuff.” It is so very tempting given the world we live in to focus on possessing certain things to fill some cracks in our emotional health. Purpose, not possessions, will help fill the cracks we all have in our emotional health over the long-term.  

As we hold loosely to our possessions in this world and focus on strengthening our grip on what matters most, we will build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity to have a positive impact on those around us.