I had breakfast today with a friend who is refreshing his private pilot license.

“So are you thinking about buying a plane?” I asked innocently.

His eyes twinkled. “Oh, yeah.” We spent the next 20 minutes talking about the possibilities ranging from a small aerobatic plane to the aircraft equivalent of the family truckster.

“How much will a plane set you back?” I asked.

“Trust me,” he said, “you can spend as much as you want on a plane.”

Luckily, this friend is wise to a False Peak question that drives so many of us: What am I acquiring?

Chasing that question leads us to buy more than we need. It pushes us to believe that we “need” (or maybe deserve) to earn a certain amount of money. It can lead us to compromise our core values and ideals so that we can add a zero or two to our bank account.

If I chase after that question, I’m going to start thinking “I am my stuff.” As soon as I think that my possessions or my bank account defines me, I’m lost. Because no object and no amount in the bank account is ever enough if that’s where we’re focused.

You can have possessions without them possessing you. But you’ll have to switch from asking “What am I acquiring?” to something better. You’ll have to focus on how you’re contributing.

Be bright

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