Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Aiming For Infinity

I had a very interesting dinner conversation tonight.

(We ate at Rai Rai Ramen in Franklin Township, NJ, which, along with neighboring Somerset, is the most promising and fertile chow zone in the Tristate area. Rai Rai is another instance of Taiwanese fascination with Japanese food, but while the ramen's pretty good, their short Taiwanese menu is super - even better than can be found in Flushing.)

Over pork rolls and fried chicken pieces, we discussed the sort of people who spend their lives pushing like crazy to make more and more money, even long after they have more than they need. My dining companion had an interesting perspective: that raising and supporting a family is such a formidable challenge that people can easily get stuck in a panicky sense of aspiration.

This reminded me of a great insight from my yoga teacher, who's observed that students working to achieve a difficult stretch often aim for infinity. That's a big mistake. If you don't aim toward a specific arrival point, you will, over time, wind up overdoing, pushing your body to do things it's not made to do, as you stretch further and further toward infinity like an out-of-control robot.

I think that's the mistake people make with money. They get so lost in struggling toward infinity that they shoot unknowingly past the "enough" point. That's why some people never experience any sense of enough-ness, and remain weirdly money crazy till the end of their days.

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