There is an idiom that warns us not to throw good money after bad. It refers to the idea of futilely spending more money to fix a problem after you’ve already initially out so much money. If you’ve ever watched a bad movie because you didn’t want to waste the cost of admission or bought a car that turned out to need more repairs than the car cost, you’ve been guilty of throwing good money after bad.
This concept doesn’t just apply to money; it also applies to time and energy. Have you ever finished reading a bad book just because you had already invested so much time into it? Have you ever finished a project that wasn’t quite what you expected, but you didn’t want to waste the money you had spent on supplies or the time you’ve already devoted? There is a sense of obligation…you start it, you should finish it. Don’t be wasteful.
How many of us are wasting time, money and energy on stuff that we really don’t want? Maybe in the beginning it seemed like a good idea or we had a strong passion but over time, as reality has set in, it doesn’t seem like such a great idea anymore. Yet we trudge on…finishing because we “should” not because we “want to.”
There are some things that are worth pressing into and completing. A job training program. A marriage. An exercise regimen. Finishing the basement. The value they’ll add and their impact on your quality of life make it worth it. But many of the things we feel obligated to finish are not that important. Who cares if you never finish a book? So what if that sewing project gets abandoned? If you quit working on that piece of furniture you’re trying to refurbished, the world will not end.
Reality is pretty simple: you only get so much time. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Life is too short and too precious to waste time. Take a moment to reflect on how you spend your time. Weed out things that don’t bring you closer to your real goals. Start deleting a few things from your “ought to” list.