Tuning 'Possessions' Into Inventory to Share
--by behappyrightnow, posted Jul 25, 2011
Ever since my new laptop arrived, I held on to my older one thinking it would serve me some day. In the last few months, every time I opened the closet and saw it, I felt depressed. Here was a perfectly good laptop gathering dust, and I had turned it into inventory. Cutting-edge inventory control systems encourage us to shed our inventory because it takes up space without creating any value. :) I got the chance to change that a few days back, when we had a visitor who was having a crummy time in life.
After helping this friend with ideas on how to start a massage business and spread the word, I suggested, "You need to get out there on the Internet and set up your homepage." My friend replied, "For that, I need a good machine. My machine is so slow that I can't really do anything on it." A light bulb went off, followed by a big smile.
I asked my wife in our native tongue what she thought of the idea, and she responded in the affirmative. I ran upstairs, got the laptop, and brought it down for our friend, "We want you to have this so you can do what you need to." Our friend was so moved, and couldn't believe it. But this was my opportunity to get the brick out of my heart, and I wasn't going to pass up on it. :) How do I explain that I was really helping myself?
I installed Ubuntu Linux (entirely community driven operating system) as my friend was not familiar with Windows, and handed over a laptop that was much needed.
Thinking through this, it is way cooler and more useful to think about what I have as inventory, rather than possession. Inventory has an explicit purpose - we are temporary guardians, protecting our inventory so that we may create future value. This immediately increases our awareness of value-creation possibilities as and when they arise. When we mistake inventory as a possession, we fall into attachments and stop creating value.
It is fun to examine this metaphor some more. For instance, state-of-the-art inventory control is about "just-in-time" value creation. That fits nicely with the belief, "I have just the right amount of time and resources" to do what I can to serve.