Highest and Best

0 606

Psychology and The IRS actually agree on something.

The Internal Revenue Service has an ideal of “highest and best use” for an asset (say a chunk of land) that could be valued at what it is currently being utilized for (say laying fallow, unused in a growing city and almost worthless).  Yet the IRS instead places the value for estate tax calculations based off of its POTENTIAL, what that asset could reasonably be used for instead of what it is (developed in line with local regulations, usages, and values).  And this is almost always a lot more than what the asset is currently doing.

You are that asset.

Dr. Jordan Peterson, best-selling author of “12 Rules for Life” and “Beyond Order” as well as a renown clinical psychologist asks “Who are you, and more importantly, who could you be, if you were everything that you could conceivably be?”  Reflect on this for a moment.

None of us jumped out of the womb as fully formed individuals embodying our maximum potential.  We all have had to determine what is important to us and invest time and money to try and clear the ground and build something of ourselves, be it a business or relationships or our physical health.  We formed a vision of our potential (making the team in high school, playing that instrument in a concert, graduating college, building a family, our career, etc.) and then had to do things to make it move from fantasy to reality. 

Some still just dream and live in a delusion and quietly despair, others visualize and execute.  The latter always struggle but can make progress towards their potential.  It inevitably hurts, “but it’s a good kind of hurt.”

We shape our own futures, and we do so by first forming a vision for what we would like that future to look like, then acting upon that.  If we have a poor image of what we want (or worse yet, nothing to guide us), we flounder.  This is why many people are aimless in their lives and relationships and careers and can end up in not good places: addictions, affaires, dead end jobs and friendships that suck their soul away.  Those who take this road to nowhere ultimately have more pain (and create more for others) than those aiming at something better in their lives.  “A people without a vision will perish” it says in the Book of Proverbs, and what applies to humanity as a whole applies equally to an individual human. 

Those who at least have an idea of where the mountain is and start in that direction are better off than those sitting on the couch eating Cheetos and watching The Bachelor, even if their progress is slow.  They stumble, they sweat, they want to give up at times but the choice to go higher is better.  The views and experiences along the way, the process of becoming better, is worth the efforts.

“Don’t underestimate the power of vision and direction. These are irresistible forces, able to transform what might appear to be unconquerable obstacles into traversable pathways and expanding opportunities.” Peterson points out in 12 Rules.

So what is your vision?

What are you trying to build of your life?

Get off the couch and start moving in the direction of your dream, start building that future because the tax bill for your psyche is coming due.  Better to build a rich life of your choosing than watch others live theirs and have the huge cost of doubting what could have been.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.