Bigger Problems

One of the unique challenges in life is keeping the growth of everything in your life at the pace you want relative to everything else.

Your life has many aspects, and they will change in size over the course of your time on this planet. You’ll make more or less money. Your family will grow or shrink. Your hobbies will take up more or less of your time.

With those things, other things must change. If your family grows in size, you may need a larger home. You’ll certainly need more food. When your children move out, you may want to downsize that home, too.

And with any positive growth can come similarly larger problems. Let’s say I accidentally back into my neighbor’s car when I leave my driveway. I don’t know for certain, but I have an approximate idea of how much such a mistake would cost me, based on the average value of the cars (and homes, etc.) around here.

But what if I suddenly were 10x as wealthy as I am now, and moved to a wealthier neighborhood as a result? It’s still possible that I could back into my neighbor’s car, but now that’s a much more expensive problem because the car I might be backing into is probably much pricier.

(Obviously not a perfect analogy given things like insurance, but you get the idea.)

You can’t always be chasing linear growth in every aspect of your life. The goal isn’t “grow forever” – always more money, more friends, more whatever. The goal is to fill the right amount of space, and then be content. Part of that journey is knowing what “the right amount of space” even is for any given thing.

If you like and want kids, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to just keep having kids forever. But why not? If you love kids, why isn’t “one more” always the right number? You can probably intuitively sense that it isn’t, but can you define why?

The costs, drawbacks, and problems that come with any good thing don’t always grow at the same rate as the good thing itself. Finding the balance – and it’s different for everyone – is key. Look for the space you want to fill, and don’t just chase “up” forever.

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