- Thoughts for inspired living

July 31, 2009

Rent vs. Own

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:46 am

Are you a renter or an owner? Before you answer, this is not about housing.

This is about beliefs and behaviors.

What beliefs and behaviors do you rent and which ones do you have a deed to?

Many people claim they’re owners when, in fact, they only rent.

We all have beliefs and behaviors that we own – valuable and not so valuable. The ones that are serving us well deserve a place of high honor. When we recognize the ones that aren’t so revered, it’s time for some remodeling.

Those of us that rent beliefs are trying them on for size to see if they’re a fit.

Here’s the difficulty I’ve run into in the past and that you may be experiencing now – pretending.

When you continually pretend owning things that you actually rent, you build a reputation as someone who is a talker and not a do-er. People stop paying attention to you and tune you out.

It’s wonderful to be enthused about something new and want to talk about your new found discovery. It’s another thing to become a preacher of the practice while you’re in rent mode. You may get some followers the first few times you give your sermon, but the collection plate soon becomes filled with dust. Reminds me of a story . . .

Many years ago when all the boys were still at home, I was invited to a birthday party in Pennsylvania where a lot of the people I grew up with would be attending. It was about a 5 hour ride and the whole family was coming. We would visit and stay with relatives in the area and my wife and I could attend the party.

All five of us could have all fit in my Pontiac Grand-Am but it would have been a tight squeeze for such a long ride. I decided to rent a brand new Lincoln Town Car for the trip. It was big and roomy and it looked sweet! We had a smooth, comfortable ride down and back. It was during the party that things got bumpy.

The husband of one of my old classmates took notice of the car and engaged me in conversation about it. I made no effort to explain that I didn’t own it. I let the assumption of ownership hang in the air and started to talk about some of my accomplishments in hyperbolic terms. I was pretending and bragging. I should mention here that I dated his wife in high school. My chest was inflated and his ego had a giant pin prick in it.

The party ended and eight of us continued to celebrate at a nearby bar. The guy I had been regaling with my accomplishments earlier engaged my wife in conversation and it eventually got around to the luxury car. She said, “Oh that thing, honey, it’s just a rental.” With that, this guy in a loud voice announced to our group, “The drinks are on me!”

The jig was up. I was exposed as a pretender.

Had I continued to make a practice of this sort of behavior, I would own the reputation of a renter and not an owner – a talker not a do-er. It was a lesson well learned.

People eventually tune talkers out, even when they have something valuable to say. It’s the boy who cried “Wolf” one too many times syndrome.

If your complaint is that people don’t take you seriously, take a look at your preaching track record. Were you putting out something you didn’t own? That’s called renting self-esteem – pretending.

A bible phrase says, Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” The interpretation is to do your good deeds in silence and you will be rewarded for them exponentially.

Silence the preaching of what you rent. No one is paying attention. When you own something of value, you no longer need to pretend and people will listen with rapt attention.

All the best,



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