Why Do We Do What We Do?

We all make decisions. Every day. Every hour. Every minute. The fact that you’re reading this means that you made a decision to open my weekly letter. 

Why’d you do it? 

Hopefully it’s because you enjoy the writing, or that you learn something new, or that it helps you think about something differently. Or maybe you just clicked by mistake. Or maybe it was even a default reaction. 

There are countless other things that we do over the course of our lives. Some more intentional than others.

Our jobs. 
Our meals. 
Our reading. 
Our activities.
Our expenses. 
Our investments. 
Our conversations.

It’s valuable to ask ourselves WHY we do these things. And there very well could be good reasons for a majority of the things we do regularly.

However, maybe not for all of them. Maybe we do some Things in life by mistake. Or by default. Or by lack of awareness. Or by existing inertia. Or maybe even by fear. 

Here’s some Why’s that I’m personally asking myself, and maybe they’ll trigger a Why of your own:

Why do I write Fident Fridays?
Why do I continually struggle with not exercising? 
Why do I continue to avoid social media? 
Why do I obsess over our personal budget? 
Why do I benchmark Fident’s growth to other firms? 
Why do I allocate my investments the way I do?

It’s helpful to wear a No Shame, No Blame hat with these internal dialogues. 

No judging here, just trying to understand ourselves more. Maybe we decide to stop doing things - maybe we decide to keep doing them. 

But let’s at least be able to answer the question: Why? 

Interesting Resources

Kenneth Boa
"A godly hope is also achieved through adversity. We are more likely to come into contact with our hope during times of trial and affliction than during times of success and prosperity, since the latter has a way of knitting our hearts to the promises of this world rather than the promises of the Word."

How Money Forever Changed Us
32 min read | More to That
This is a beast of a piece - but well worth the read. Fascinating insight into what money really is in this world. Although the author attempts to answer some big questions from a different worldview than I would answer them, I appreciated this work. A few favorite lines:

"Money’s greatest achievement is its ability to standardize value across otherwise incomparable realities. For example, there’s no way I could tell you how many clocks I’d give for your car, or how many clocks I’d give for your house. But communicate those objects of desire through the language of money, and I’ll be able to calculate some relationship between the two."

"The Great Abstraction separated money from having any intrinsic value of its own, largely so money could capture value across an infinite range of desires. It needed to be formless so it could mold to any individual desire, while being universally transferable so the whole world could agree upon what it represented."

"Money is a necessary part of every means, but it can never be an end in itself... It’s the realization that money is useless on its own; that its utility is determined solely by what it is able to do, and not what it is in its final form."

"Today it’s important not just to cap material consumption, but to also hone in one’s individuality. To encourage us to go deeper, not wider."

"In a world where neither scarcity nor abundance will do, perhaps the closest solution to the great paradox comes down to one principle: The ability to recognize when we have enough." 

The Air Conditioning Effect 
4 min read | A Wealth of Common Sense 
Did you know that the invention of air conditioning led to the South becoming more politically Conservative? Neither did I. But it's one example of how innovation leads to unforeseen results. When railroads and trains came about, most people thought the need for horses would plummet. That was wrong, as MORE horses were actually needed to move stuff around the rail yards. Which leads us into the topics of today with Covid. We really don't know what - if any - long-term impact will happen. And it'll really only be identifiable with certainty in retrospect. 

Fun in the Dirt 
1 min view | YouTube
The other night I took my boys over to a friends house to play. My friend took our 6 year old for a ride on his excavator, and I was doing something else when I looked over a few minutes later to see this. And then hit record on my phone in a stunned amazement. 
Thanks again for reading. See you next week!

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