Here's a quick note that I hope leads to a lifetime of awareness, action, and reflection.
Think for a moment about how much time, attention, energy, and money people invest into their external appearance and presentation. Consider the sheer volume of things people spend significant resources on, at least partly for outward appearances.
Clothes, cars, watches, makeup, jewelry, glasses, haircuts, houses, decorations, and more. Even the functional items (cars, clothes, houses, etc.) tend to be chosen more for appearances than for their essential purpose.
A man buying a watch over $100 isn't buying something to tell the time. He's buying what he believes a more expensive watch endows him with. A woman buying fashionable but painful shoes isn't buying something to protect her feet and help her walk. She's buying what more expensive shoes make her feel like when others see her wearing them.
Compare the total time, attention, energy, and money people spend on external appearances and presentations to the amount they spend on internal clarity, strength, stability, security, and skill.
Typically, this is where another author might emphasize the emptiness of external things, especially those with the primary purpose of appearance and presentation.
Instead, I ask you to think about it differently. External things are not empty, but people can be. A car is a car whether it costs $7,000 or $70,000. A $7,000 car is no more honorable than a $70,000 car is dishonorable. They are inanimate objects.
If you enjoy the nicer things in life, go for it. Only need the basics? That's great too. If you want the newest, nicest, best-looking stuff, you don't need anyone's permission. Good for you if you don't care about any of that and only need it to work functionally.
I am asking you today to compare your time, attention, energy, and money investments between external things and your internal self. Where does it lead if you are quick to spend on outward appearances and slow to spend on inner strength? What are the consequences if you invest consistently in what you look like but rarely in what you feel like?
Like I said at the beginning, I hope this leads to a lifetime of awareness, action, and reflection. The contents and conclusions are up to you. You have an external and an internal world. It's up to you what you invest in each and why.
Answer the call. Do the work.
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Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people.