Return on Life
Live Give Owe Grow
Overload vs Margin Continued– Love Inefficiently
ROL financial planning is more than a numbers-only money discussion and involves a process of self-examination. This examination includes taking a closer look at our lives —what we are experiencing, what we hope to experience—and then designing a financial plan around those life factors. In this newsletter I continue to unpack the concept of margin and how it impacts our lives.
Margin is the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations.
Overload is the disease of our time. Margin is the cure.
Because overload is the disease of our time there is more to say about margin! In the last issue I encouraged us to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry” from our lives. Here’s a depressing statistic for you: approximately 51% of the recipients of the last issue didn’t even open it. They were too busy!
To the 49% of us who did read it, I want to introduce you to Bob Goff, a guy who has become skilled at creating margin in his life. Bob is many things and his life and character defy description so I’m not going to try. There isn’t a label created that fits him. The way he lives his life inspires and challenges me. He wrote a book he called “Love Does” and I have made a habit of giving it away to people. It’s that good.
In an article entitled “10 Ways To An Extraordinary Life” Bob shares from his wit and wisdom and for this newsletter I am sharing number 3: Be Incredibly INEFFICIENT at Love (Bold, caps and italics are mine).
“Don’t do an efficient brand of love,” Goff says.
Then he does what he does best—launches into a story without missing a beat.
“The woman who lives across the street from us has cancer. She called me up and told me the bad news, and I told her, ‘I’m not going to call you ever again.’ She’s like, ‘What?’
“I went to Radio Shack and got us two walkie-talkies, and it was terrific. For the last year, we’ve been talking on walkie-talkies every night. It’s like we’re both 14-year-olds and we’re both in tree forts.
“She took a turn for the worse about four days ago, so this morning, I woke up about 5, and I went to the hospital. I sent the nurse in with a walkie-talkie, and I sat in the next room and called her up. I heard her just start crying—because there’s something inefficient and beautiful about it. We were sitting in a hospital, separated by a room, talking on walkie-talkies.”
Here he breaks off and seems choked up for a moment.
Then he continues. “Be inefficient with your love. The more inefficient, the better."
Real love flows from hearts of humility and gratitude and is sacrificial. In return on investment (ROI) terms, it is paradoxical as it costs you something – time, money, inconvenience. But when you give real love away you don’t have less of it, somehow you end up with more.
The margin principle is simply: the more space we create between ourselves and our limits, whether it is money margin or time margin, the greater the opportunity to increase our ROL. Let’s dream about how we can use newly created margin to love inefficiently!
Bob Goff in his own words (video):