When I talk about a limiting resource, I mean that single thing that, if you just had more of that, would instantly make you happier and/or more productive. What do you think your limiting resource is? Simple, right? Money.
Not so fast though… As we saw before, money most certainly does not bring happiness. Neither does money bring increased productivity, at least not when it is applied for pure consumer spending like in most developed nations. You see, only investment can make a country or a person more productive, while consumer spending actually hurts productivity by bringing clutter and debt.
The investment / consumer spending ratio in developed nations truly is horrendously low. This is why non-OECD countries will surpass OECD countries in GDP in 2015, why the almighty G7 countries run a trade deficit of half a trillion dollars, why OECD countries run a humongous 8% of GDP budget deficit, and why developing nations have surpassed developed nations in renewable energy investments in 2010 already.
Nope, money most certainly is not our limiting resource. For most people, the limiting resource is time. Americans sleep 8 hours, work 8 hours, eat and commute 3 hours and watch an astonishing 5 hours of TV per day. This sums to 24 hours and clearly tells you why most people live for the weekend, wishing away 5 out of every 7 days of their lives.
You can get more time by looking after your health, getting organized, removing clutter, and getting rid of huge time-sucking black holes like the TV. You can get more out of your time by staying in good shape, building your skillset, fostering your relationships and setting up simple, but effective working environments.
Doing these simple things will bring you happiness and increased productivity. Seeking to spend ever greater sums on consumer goods, however, will have the exact opposite effect.
Filed under: Introduction – Key concepts