It is not the greatness of a man’s means that makes him independent, so much as the smallness of his wants.

Do you own your possessions or do your possessions own you?

So many people spend their entire lives working around the clock to support a lifestyle of purchasing goods to impress others for no defined purpose.

We live in a society that values things (as much if not more) than values. We are conditioned from our earliest impressions that many of life‘s greatest joys comes from owning things. But if you look at the price that is really paid in order to earn some of these things, we recognize that we are sacrificing so many other important aspect of our lives in the prospect of securing them.

The cost of any item must take into consideration both the hours spent working to pay for them, as well as the hours lost in spending time pursuing things that really matter to you, or spending time with friends and loved ones. 

The older you get, the more you recognize that the true payment for anything is time. Time is clearly the finite variable. Time is the metric by which we are most accountable for our efforts. Time is what is expended as our means of sharing of ourselves, learning new things, experiencing new experiences and developing our higher being.

Over time, we are able to witness our growth, our joys, our triumphs, as well as weather our sorrows, lick our wounds, and regroup in our efforts to bounce back faster with resilience. 

Some of the most enlightened people will share that part of what enabled them to achieve this degree of happiness was their willingness to detach from wanting so many material items. Some will even share that they felt the most rich when they let go of all material items and lived life just for their basic needs.

I can see the world from both perspectives. I would hardly say I am capable of viewing life through the filter zero possessions equals happiness. To the contrary, I am more likely to still be on the other side of the fence. But, as I have grown to absorb this lesson, during times of reduced personal income in favor of building Sizzle, I have been given a chance to live far more humbly than in prior years, and found it not to be as disappointing as I might have imagined. 

We are all searching for happiness. It is an elusive state of existence. It can be pervasive, just as readily as elusive. It can be present in a single moment and disappear just as quickly. We can discover that happiness may come with the newest possession, or find that just sharing a sunrise or sunset with someone you care about brings equal or greater contentment.

In the end, it is peace of mind. If you can find your joy through things that are of true value, instead of assuaging yourself with trinkets of perceived value, you may discover that wealth is already on your front door…. You just need to open the door and greet it with a deep understanding of what wealth truly is.

I leave you on this Monday with George Carlin. If anyone understood owning stuff, it was unquestionably him!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!