Andy’s mom let him have popsicles, kool-aide and soda. My mom gave us carob instead of chocolate in our Easter baskets. So I chased sugar.
I planned the time when I was an adult and I could eat and drink what I wanted. My scheme was to add just a drop of water to an entire bag of sugar. Each crystal would liquify, then liquify the next. My drink would be more sugary than anything Andy’s mom gave him. Sugar was the thing of my childhood dream.
It also kept me up at night.
Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle. – Proverbs 23.4-5
Step One: Unpack
In high school I learned about saturation in science class. There was no way I could make things as sugary as I dreamed. My scheme for my super sugar drink stopped.
Later I realized my body had a saturation point of sorts. Too much sugar, I got cranky and crashed.
At some point I stoped chasing sugar.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy. I just don’t chase it anymore.
People say, money can’t buy you happiness, but that’s only partially true. Depending where you live in North America, making between $86K – $105K a year is the saturation point. After that happiness actually declines. Money has a saturation point. That’s what Saying 8 is getting at.
I talked to one man, who makes a lot more than that. He can makes hundreds of thousands of dollars in the stock market some days. My friend also admits that he loses hundreds of thousands of dollars other days. The key to his happiness is the work, not the money.
He has learned not to chase it.
He knows that making more, will not make him happy and making less will not make him miserable. Although he “makes” all this money, he has capped what he’ll take home, so he doesn’t get super saturated.
Most people I talk to want to be happier and less controlled by money. Deep down they want to live Saying 8.
Step Two: Apply
In Christianity, there is a tradition of tithing, or giving away 10% of what you earn. I’ve watched people try this. I’ve noticed when they do something cool happens.
First you have to figure out where to give 10% away to. Even if you’re just tithing for a month, as an experiment, it forces the question of what matters to me.
As people realize they can live on 90% of what they make, they start to ask some really interesting questions. Usually it’s things like, what if I could live on 80%… maybe save 10%, give 10%? What if I could pay my mortgage off faster, or get out of debt?
It’s coming in through the side door, but tithing is a great way to realize the saturation point of money. As I’ve watched, it’s way under 100K a year.