Someone stole my car this week. I even surprised myself at how relaxed I was. This is the secret…
So I’m getting ready to come into work Monday morning, I head down to the drive… no car.
I go back inside and ask Connie, “Babe, did you move the merc?” (She knows I don’t like her driving it. Not since that incident at Safeway.)
I start scratching my head. Did I lend it to someone? Did I blackout on tequila and lose it in a round of poker with Asian gangsters again?
Then it drops. Someone has nicked my car. Ahhh.
Not that I can blame them. It was a very sweet ride. Top of the line Mercedes, $150K off the floor. Here’s a picture.
(I’ll miss that number plate too.)
At this point I’m feeling fairly relaxed about the whole business. The only thing that’s annoying is that I now know that this will chew up most of my Monday morning. I like to use Mondays to power into the week. Filling out the paper work for a stolen vehicle doesn’t feel like such a good use of time.
It’s more of a Friday arvo type task, you know.
So anyway, the police come round to take a statement. Connie makes us coffee and I run them through the details – make, model etc.
Connie was surprised at how well I was taking it. And it’s true, I wasn’t upset at all, and I was trying out my line of gags to make with a policeman.
The policeman starts to get a little suspicious. The line of questioning changes. “When did you buy it? Where did you buy it from? Did you just use cash? What do you do for a living? Do you have any ‘debts’ to people that we should know about?”
I realise that he thinks I’m some sort of drug dealer who doesn’t care about losing a $150,000 car because I’ve got a shipping container full of cash down at Port Melbourne.
I humour him – run him through the basics of my business and how I made my money.
But it makes me realise that I probably am having an unusual reaction to losing such a nice car. I mean, even Connie is surprised.
It gets me wondering. I know I do have unusual reactions to things (hellooo subdivision with two-storey townhouse development potential), and those points of difference often seem to be why I’ve done so well in life.
So I think there’s two reasons why I was so chill.
1. Material things vs experiences
First up, the car is just a car. It’s just a thing.
I know that sounds trite, and every Christmas we’re flooded with television specials reminding us of the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas. It’s something that everyone agrees with.
But it is not a truth that everyone lives.
I think it requires a certain level of maturity. I mean, I remember when the kids were young. Christmas ended up being quite stressful for us because we had to make sure that the kids presents were precisely balanced.
If there was even the smallest perception of imbalance and “unfairness”, then oh, there’d be dramas – tears of anger and frustration at the injustice of it all.
We grow out of it eventually. We come into the world primed to believe that our happiness is directly connected to things that we own. In time, and with a certain level of self-awareness, we come to realise that it’s not really ‘things’ that make us happy – it’s our experiences.
(And the experience of being in relationship with a loved one is probably the most important experience.)
And for me, where I’m at in life right now, when I dream about the future, it just doesn’t involve ‘things’ anymore. These days, my life goals are all experiences.
So when I lose a car, I lose a thing, and so what? In fact, if anything it opens me up to new experiences – maybe I’ll just let Uber take care of all my transport needs. Maybe I’ll see how a Porsche drives.
I realise that it might be easier for me to feel unattached to my material possessions because I live in such material abundance. But the truth of the lesson is the same no matter what stage of life you’re in – realise that experiences are the flavour of life, and give your energy to creating experiences, not accumulating things.
This is the true meaning of Christmas shopping.
2. Abundance Mentality
The other lesson I’m taking from this is that an abundance mentality really insulates you from suffering.
When they stole my car, I didn’t have a sense of ‘loss’. Rather, it just felt like things were moving around. My car goes to someone else. A new car will come to me, or other ways will emerge.
Maybe I’ll end up on a tram, striking up a conversation with my next business partner. Who knows what the universe has in mind?
The point is that with a scarcity worldview, your loss is someone else’s gain and it means less for you. You perceive it as a disadvantage and a kind of suffering.
In an abundance worldview, there’s no shortage of things to go around. If someone takes your car, there are other cars, there are other opportunities brewing. There’s no need to get upset. It’s just the universe engineering more awesomeness for your benefit.
I think the discipline of an abundance worldview is letting go of the idea that you know what is best – that you know which material things at which time are going to maximise your happiness.
Seriously the world is just too complex, (and in my mind, too intelligent). One door closes and another door opens. Just trust it and follow where it leads you.
Anyway, that’s my thoughts on how to deal with a stolen car. Love to know how you deal with loss.
Oh, and I was going to say if you see my car out on the road, let me know. But in fact, don’t worry about. Give the new driver a wave and wish them all the best from me.
It really was a sweet ride.