Wasted Effort?

There are three key things or concepts on which most people spend a great deal of time, effort and energy which are, in fact, a complete waste of that time, effort and energy.

You may be surprised to know what they are:

Money is worthless.

I have said this before, but I reiterate that money is absolutely useless unless you circulate it.

I suppose you could melt it down and turn it into something else, light fires with it or perhaps, as during the Weimar Republic in Germany, paper the walls with it.

Many people spend their lives in pursuit of the accumulation of money. Sometimes they call it wealth, but money itself has little to do with wealth.

Wealth is the result of using, circulating or deploying money – it only becomes useful when you and I use it – or circulate it.

Just hold that thought of ‘circulation’ – I’ll come back to it.

You and I know that keeping money ‘in the bank’ or a savings scheme is not really that good an idea.

While we get paid ‘interest’ on our money the amount we get is usually less than the rate of inflation so despite the seeming increase in the amount of money we have, it’s value, its purchasing power falls.

The amount of money increases, but our ‘wealth’ or the usability of our money decreases.

Yes, it’s a good idea to keep enough money readily available to meet the needs of our ‘cashflow’ or ‘working capital’ but no more.

Most people like to have a ‘cushion’ but often the cushions are too plump and deteriorate in value over time, defeating the object of the exercise.

Money needs to flow or circulate in order to do its ‘job’ and unless it is moving then it actually begins to become a burden.

If we accumulate a surplus of money, more coming in than is going out, we either need to put the money to ‘work’ by investing in something or someone that will provide a return of additional money or ‘spend’ it on something or someone.

This of course goes against the grain of sayings that encourage people to save and not spend but if we stopped spending then everything would grind to a halt, but let’s move on.

Knowledge is a waste

This may be surprising, but knowledge is completely useless without two further things.

Understanding and Action.

Some people ‘know’ an awful lot but sadly the only time they seem to use it is in a quiz or game show – ‘general knowledge’

You and I may, and probably do, know a lot of stuff between us, much of which was fed to us during our ‘education’, but there is much of it we don’t need or really understand, or don’t understand enough to be able to apply it or put it into practice.

You see, the only purpose of knowledge is to stimulate and facilitate action of some kind – otherwise what’s the point?

It’s just like having shelves of books that you’ve never read, or only read once rather than studying their contents and understanding how the knowledge being put across can be employed to your or others’ advantage.

If we, as a society, don’t use the knowledge we have in this way then why bother in the first place.

There is of course a difference between knowledge and basic skills. We need to be taught how to read and write and so on, but rather than giving children bookfulls of ‘facts’ they should be taught how to discover knowledge, how to understand it and how to use it – the ‘subject’ doesn’t really matter.

When working with master’s degree level students I was amazed that they had (in most cases) no idea about how to apply their extensive knowledge to a simple problem.

There really is little point in accumulation knowledge unless you’re going to fully understand it and take some action on that understanding.

The third ‘thing’ I want to consider is thought.

Thinking is useless.

Unless you do something with it.

Viktor Frankl said from his experience in the concentration camps that the oppressors could take everything away from a person except their ability to think – all they could do with that was to prevent anyone from expressing their thought, and that’s what it’s all about.

You and I think all the time. Thought processes are going on even while we sleep. We know this because many people keep a pad by the bed and when they wake up in the middle of the night, they’ll write a note about something that has just come into their mind.

There are generally two purposes of thinking, which are closely related, one is problem solving and the other is philosophy. These encompass pretty much everything; activities, feelings, ambitions and so on including the ‘what if’ type of thoughts that can go either way on the energy scale into what some people might call positive and negative or good and pad.

But the ‘thinking’ is all very well – you and I have to take action on it if it’s not just going to be a waste of time.

We have to go ahead and do what needs to be done to solve the problem or we have to take action to broadcast our philosophy or our ‘take’ on things to others – which of course is what I’m doing now.

Circulation is key

To make them useful all three of these have something in common – circulation, movement, flow.

Without it they just ‘stop’ – they don’t go anywhere.

Money sits in a bank and decays in value, Knowledge fades and eventually expires in its usefulness and Thought just becomes mindless. You and I must circulate our money, our knowledge and our thoughts to make them vital and useful to ourselves and others.

Otherwise we’re just wasting our time effort and energy and really need to rethink our lives and make a new start.

The Law of Circulation is very interesting. It’s not just ‘what goes around comes around’ because it ties up with the Law of Increase.

Whatever circulates properly also increases.

You circulate money, you get more money, you use your knowledge, you gain more knowledge, you express your thoughts, you get feedback and think better.

The opposite of circulation is stagnation – and unless that’s where you want to go, keep circulating!