Friday, October 10, 2008

Debt Clock

In several US cities there are National Debt Clocks which are electric billboards that show the money owed by the government, the most famous being located in Times Square. This particular clock was created by Seymore Durst and is now owned by his son Douglas Durst. The reason this clock is of interest is because recently the clock has run out of digits and cannot properly display the amount of debt we currently are in. In true US fashion, our solution is to add digits to the clock so that it can remain accurate, instead of trying to find ways to eliminate digits from the clock.

The relevance of adding a digit on to the clock instead of figuring a way to take off digits is that this is exactly how we live our lives on a daily basis; we continually add on things before we look at how to lighten our load.

Think about how something as simple as a clock that counts our debt and compare it to how we live our everyday lives. At work we take on new responsibilities before we ever check anything off of our lists therefore adding hours to our workdays. Socially we over commit ourselves and add more functions than we can handle therefore burdening ourselves with a herculean schedule that can’t possibly be kept up. Emotionally we take on the role of “fixer” to the point that we never really take care of our own needs. Educationally we add on extra work for our children and selves so that we never truly master any one subject. Physically we add on extra work in less time so that we never allow ourselves to experience the true physiological benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Continually in any sphere of life we spread ourselves so thin that we become transparent and fail to add depth to who we potentially can become.

Adding an extra digit to the National Debt Clock is a microcosm of life in North America where taking something off of our plate is not an option because we are too worried about being everything to everyone.

What our focus needs to be is on how we can eliminate responsibilities; actually see something through completion before we make the decision to take on more. In our quest to become everything, we never become something because we fail to actually take care of what is most important, us.

By continuing to add on, we eventually reach a point where we will collapse, much like the market, and are left to speculate how far that fall will be until we are able to pick ourselves up off the ground. Our reality dictates that the heavier the load we carry the further we will ultimately fall. If your intention is to excel, it is essential that we stop looking for things that we can add onto our lives in order to enhance them, and actually decide to take things off so that we can thrive. Remember, it wasn’t long ago that the Durst’s clock was deactivated because we were in a surplus. How much better would your life be if your personal debt clock was in a surplus as well?

1 comment:

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