What you own, will own you back – Episode 128

Before we start a business, commit to a project, or even just buy something, we only picture how it will be ours. Like, “I’ll buy this thing and then it’ll belong to me. I’ll start this business and then it’ll belong to me. I’ll create this work of art and it’ll belong to me.” But have you considered, you will also belong to it?!

Wondering what that means? This episode is all about how whatever we own owns us back.

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I used to love my old blue sneakers

I bought them a few years ago and they served me very, very well. Perfectly comfortable to walk around in, do long walks. They were also a little wide, just right for my feet. I hadn’t spent a lot of money to buy them, but they lasted…Right until May, when I was in Dharamshala, walking around, and suddenly I noticed that the black grippy rubber thingy that’s at the sole of the shoe had started coming off.

It was off only at one edge of the shoe, so I thought I could just stick it back and plod around the place. I mean, it was a working trip after all. There was a lot of hiking to be done in the wild. I couldn’t afford to not have a shoe with proper grips on it. So I bought superglue and stuck back that black part. Done and dusted! It lasted me for the rest of the trip quite loyally. But…

As soon as I got back home, I noticed that it started to fall apart more and more and more

The shoe itself was still in great condition. I didn’t want to let it go. I didn’t want to buy a new one. So I did more supergluing, I uses some very strong tape and taped it up. I tried all kinds of things.

Maybe all of that would have worked if it had been the top part of the shoe. But because this was the sole, well, it had to keep rubbing against the ground, against the road, against the rough Indian sidewalks, the grass, wherever I walked. So it kept coming off and off and off.

So finally, last week, I thought, “you know what? It’s time to buy a new pair of shoes”

My sister took me shopping for it. She’s great with shoes, she loves shoes, and my husband also came along with us. The three of us walked to a store nearby.

The store is new. It’s not the place I’ve previously bought any of my footwear at. But I wanted to try it out because they had these measuring thingies. They said they do a gait test and then suggest shoes to you accordingly, and some other fancy stuff like that. I’m like, “okay, let me try it out.”

I should have known, all this fancy stuff means fancy pricing also! I tried on a couple of pairs, and there was this one pair that I really liked.

I’d already felt attached to the shoes before I found out about the price. Rookie mistake!

So I thought hundred times. I’m like, “is it really worth spending so much on a pair of shoes?” I discussed it with my husband and my sister also, and they gave me their points of view.

Ultimately we all decided that, you know, I don’t buy shoes all the time. This purchase happens once in several years. And I walk a lot. I enjoy working. So I will put them to good use. They won’t be left lying around somewhere.

So I splurged and bought this expensive pair of shoes. Well, expensive by my standards.

It’s after that, that the problem started. The shoes didn’t give me any problem. They’re awesome. Oh, it’s heavenly to wear them and walk around! It feels so good on the feet. The grip is great. The curve is great. And I’m thinking, because it’s an expensive product, it’s also going to last for quite some time, through lots of rough terrain.

So the problem wasn’t with the shoes. The problem was, where would I leave the shoes?

Here’s the thing that happens – you invest in something expensive, then you’re gonna to be worried about it

Normally, I just leave my shoes outside our house on this wooden stand. I just placed my shoes, my slippers, whatever, there and I don’t even bother about it.

But yeah, that wouldn’t work for these shoes would it? What if somebody walked into the apartment and just swiped the shoes away? So I had to figure out a place to store them inside the house.

I don’t like bringing shoes inside the house, but I compromised. I figured out a little place for it just inside the main door, in a closed box, so we’re not looking at the shoes when we’re inside the house.

Then the next problem…

In India, wherever we go, when we go to people’s houses or many other locations also, we leave the shoes outside. We don’t drag all the dirt and crap on the shoes into the house.

So I started obsessing over my shoes, like I’ve never done before!

Earlier, whenever I’d go to a friend’s house, even if their house was outside (not even in an apartment), I’d happily leave my shoes or slippers outside and walk in.

But now the brain goes, “oh will you wear your shoes to their house? Because you have to leave it outside. Are you comfortable leaving it outside? If not, you’ll have to request them and place it inside the house. You want to put them in that awkward position?” And so on and on and on this stream of thoughts go. Unnecessarily using my brain power, and focusing on something I should not be focused on…shoes!

I’m supposed to not think about them the moment I wear them. I’m supposed to be able to work anywhere in them, then leave them anywhere, walk away, come back, wear them without giving them another thought. Yet here they were, occupying my brain.

Last month in my weekly class that I attend, one of the other participants brought up this point…

She said, “whatever we own, owns us”

Ha! It’s so true, isn’t it? Ever since then, I’ve been noticing. I’m already very mindful before I purchase things, I don’t like simply shopping and just hoarding stuff.

I don’t mind spending if I know it’s going to be really useful to me, make my life easier, save time, be good for my health or my comfort, and all that. In that case, I don’t worry about it. I spend, I splurge, I buy things, I treat myself to them. You can listen to more about my thoughts on that on episode 55 where I speak about the importance of investing in yourself, your business and all that.

But today, I’m talking about being very, very mindful before you invest in something. Things are things, they shouldn’t occupy our mind so much. And once we own something, like my friend in class said, it owns us.

So before I buy anything now I ask myself, “hmm, would I be okay with this thing owning me?”

Oh, this flipping of the point of view, how much of a difference it makes!

This is something to consider in your life, yes, but also in your business. Where are you investing money? Where are you investing time and effort?

You know, before we buy something, before we start or create something, we only picture how it will be ours. Like, “I’ll buy this thing, and then it will belong to me.” Or, “I’ll start this business, and then it will belong to me.” “I’ll create this work of art, and it will belong to me.” But you will also belong to it!

So before you start something, would you be okay to belong to it? That project, that business, that solid material thing? Would you be okay to belong to it?

Would you be okay to keep giving your constant attention to it? Is it worth paying that much attention to it?

Ask yourself all these questions, it’s really going to help you reconsider before you impulse buy, or impulse commit, or impulse invest yourself or your money into something. Makes a world of difference!

So can you think of things in your life which, before you bought you’re like, “oh, it’s my dream. I want to own this thing. I want to have this thing in my life. It needs to belong to me.” And then once you bought it, you realise that it’s the other way around? You’re constantly worried about it, thinking about it.

In fact, it’s also applicable to making money! You make money, then you know, your thought goes into, “how do I protect this money? save this money?” All these things right?

So every single thing that you want for yourself, every single ambition you have, every single desire you have, always question it, always flip it around and see how much of yourself you’re willing to give to it

I have actually been having a lot of fun applying this question to every single thing in my life. And it’s stopped me from getting too excited about something and just jumping into a commitment or buying something. Buying even a course, or starting something new, like a new project. How much of myself am I willing to give into it? Because it is going to own me.

Asking these questions has helped me make really wise decisions. I’m not perfect yet. Haha It’s a long way to go before we become perfect, and we probably never will. But let’s keep telling ourselves this, and remembering, “What I own owns me. So do I want to own this, because it’s going to own me.”

Alright, I hope I gave you a different perspective today. Something to contemplate about. Take care. Talk to you again next week. Bye.

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Susmitha Veganosaurus

Shorth haired Indian lady, beaming a wide smile. Flowers in the background. Vegan business coach and chef Susmitha Veganosaurus

“I’m a Spiritual Vegan Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur. I read voraciously, find humour in most things, and believe kindness and authenticity can make this world a happier, loving place.

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