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July 12, 2021

If You Don't Use It, You Lose It

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If we want to continue benefiting from certain things in our lives we need to consciously control the way we access it. We’ve been trained to think that there’s not enough to go around, and the responsible thing to do is save it for when you need it. Quotes like “save it for a rainy day” and “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” really encourage this idea that what we have exists in finite quantities.

But I believe this idea is out of place and that we should think more abundantly about that which we have access to, which is why I’m posing an alternative quote - “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” In fact, there are many everyday examples that abide by this more welcoming principle. Think about your muscles - if you don’t exercise or workout, they decrease in size and begin to atrophy. Or a company budget - if you don’t spend the amount you’ve been allotted you’ll receive less next year. If you don’t use it you lose it. But what I think is more compelling, and the real nugget to today’s thought, are the more subtle ways this concept exists in the world.

First it applies to your creativity. If you don’t actively pursue creative thinking on a consistent basis you will become less creative. And second, which may seem backwards, is your energy. It takes energy to make energy, and being more active throughout the day actually helps you to be be more energized. It’s not that you’re dipping into the well and pulling out finite resources, your creativity and energy are strengthened by being used.

So if the first half is about losing these qualities if you don’t use them, then the second half is that you can grow these qualities if you actively participate in them. If you want more love in your life give more love. If you want to make more money, spend money and invest in developing skills. We’re not meant to protect our resources, we’re meant to share them and exercise them, because then they’ll return in numbers. Reject scarcity for abundance.

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