We all excess in our lives, and yesterday a smart man made me remember this fact.
This week, I had another amazing time at Catalyst, a great leadership conference that takes place a few times a year in various cities. While in Orange County for the event, I got to spend a lovely evening at the headquarters of Sevenly, an incredibly innovative company started by Dale Partridge, a guy with an amazing story.
Sevenly, called the fastest growing social good startup in the USA, is awesome company known for its hip gear and its incredible generosity. Seven dollars of every product go towards the chosen non-profit cause of the week, and Sevenly has already given away $2 million to non-profits through their work. Sevenly also happens to have one of the coolest offices ever. Dales works out of this office (below). No, there’s no desk. Because he’s that cool.
Sevenly also invites in interesting folks to come talk to employees and their friends, and on the night I was there they brought in Jeff Shinabarger, pastor and author of More or Less, a book I read and loved. In the book, Jeff talks about his journey to become a more generous person, realize what he really needed in life, and learn to thrive on less.
Despite the fact that I read and absorbed his entire book months ago, I was still newly struck during his talk by one particular question he asked everyone in the audience to ponder. And ponder I did.
Where do you have excess?
As Jeff said, this may be in an area you may not initially think about. We often think of negative things in “excess”, but that’s not how it works. Excess is anything beyond what we don’t need.
As Jeff said, “Anything more than enough is excess, and anything less than enough is suffering.” It’s true. Eat too much? Excess. Eat too little? Starve.
So the question begs itself: Where do you have excess?
Do you earn more than your family needs to live each year? Consider giving some away. Earn just enough, but think that maybe you could save $20 a month and give to someone else who needs it more? Try that.
And, importantly, please think beyond monetary riches when you think about what you have too much of, as that can be the first place our mind goes when we think of the word. Are you out of a job? You have time. Think of ways you can give it. Do you have more clothes/books/shoes than you need? Give.
You get the idea.
So, to you. Where do you have excess?