As I mentioned several days ago, my uncle passed away. On Friday, I attended his funeral, where one of my uncle’s old friends spoke very eloquently.
After the service, I spoke to that friend of my uncle for a few moments. I thanked him for the words he had spoken and we reflected together for a bit. He left me with a brief statement that’s been floating in my mind for a while now: “Everyone and everything comes into your life for a reason.”
Why do you do the things you do? Why do you have the things that you have? Why do you spend time with the people that you spend time with? What are these things really bringing into your life?
If you can’t truly describe how those things bring a net positive into your life – or, in some cases, how your involvement is bringing about a net positive – then why are those things in your life?
It’s a good question to ask about everything in your life.
Usually, people apply it to the big things in their lives. Why do they have the job that they have? Why do they have the close relationships that they have?
I find it equally powerful to ask such questions about the little things. Why do I make the purchases that I make? Why do I have the professional acquaintances that I have? Why am I going to this particular social event?
Is there a real reason for any of these things?
When you start to ask real questions like this, you become something like a paleontologist, brushing away the unimportant things to reveal the true state of things buried underneath.
You start to reveal your true relationships – the ones that bring value for you and for the other person – and discard the ones that do not.
You start to use your money for purchases that are actually useful for you, and put aside the money that you might waste on purchases that aren’t useful.
It’s such a simple question. What’s the reason? The better your answer, the better off you are.
Spend some time today to think about that question. Think about the big things in your life and ask yourself what the reason is that you have it in your life. Then look at some of the smaller things with the same question in mind. Realize that not having a good answer to the question is a useful thing, because it tells you that you might want to consider some different choices in your life.