Could a Green Thumb Make You Some Green?

Friends, we often talk about “making the most of it.” To us, this sentiment is all about working with what we have and starting where we are. It’s an outlook of abundance rather than deprivation—focusing on what we do have instead of what we don’t.

But for some of us, it’s hard to avoid falling into a pattern of maximizing what we have. Maybe it’s trying to squeeze just one more task into the end of the day. Maybe it’s feeling like we should power through email while we’re trying to exercise. In some circles, it’s assumed that we’re all “hustling” and “grinding,” getting everything we can out of every minute.

After all, “You have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé!”

Maximizing may sound like a type of “making the most of it,” but it has serious limits. Having 24 hours in a day does not mean having 24 to be at work, or 24 hours focus on a single project, or 24 hours to get a whole month’s worth of exercise done in one go.

Humans don’t work like that, and time doesn’t work like that. (And not all of us have the resources of a megastar who has won more Grammys than any other singer in the world.) We aren’t robots. We aren’t machines. We’re living creatures. We need food, air, and sleep.

It’s not that we shouldn’t work hard, but we wonder if we need some more sustainable ways of thinking about our work and our time. Author Laura Vanderkam talks about time management as “becoming your life’s master gardener.” This means “deciding that you are responsible for how you spend your time.”

So what do we do with what we have in this world? We can nurture it, dividing our attention between the demands of the moment and some hopes for the future. We can honor its seasons. Like a garden, life has its fallow times. Rest isn’t “unproductive”: quite the opposite, it’s time invested in rebuilding for the future.

And each project, each endeavor, takes what it takes. Sometimes the results are noticeable right away, but sometimes we ride a few seasons until our patience “pays off.”

So perhaps we could look at investing as an earthy exercise, too. We aren’t trying to squeeze every penny we can from every opportunity: we prefer to pick our spots, work a strategy, and reap what we sow. No grinding, “killing it,” or maximizing.

We’re trying to grow, grow, grow.

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Could a Green Thumb Earn You Some Green? Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

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