Let’s say you are standing in a desert. You are standing next to a gigantic tank that holds 30,000 gallons of water. The tank is 11 or 12 feet in diameter and about 40 feet tall. The tank is full to the brim. This is your drinking water. Every day you drink about a gallon of water.
Let’s say that someone walks up to you and says, "Hey, can I have a gallon of water?" Your response would probably be, "Sure, why not?" In fact, if someone asked you for 100 gallons of water, your reaction might be the same. You’ve got 30,000 gallons after all, and there is nothing for you to do with it but drink it. What do you care? If you spill a little water, it doesn’t matter either.
As you go through life drinking about a gallon of water a day, you begin to notice something. Each day it doesn’t seem like you are taking anything out of the tank, but over time you can see that the level in the tank is getting lower. You look in one day and the tank is only half-full. Then it is only a quarter full. Then there is only an inch in the bottom of the tank. At that point, how much would a gallon of water be worth to you? Quite a bit, because now you can see that your water is scarce: you can see the end of the supply looming in the near future. One fateful day you extract the last drop from the tank, and you realize that today is the day you will die. You are, after all, standing in a desert. And that night you die.
The number 30,000 is significant. If you assume you will live to be about 82, there are 30,000 days in your life. Right now your tank of water is full. If you are 15 you have only used about 5,500 gallons, so water seems to be plentiful. In fact, the supply of water seems to be infinite and you feel immortal. However, each day you live you drink a gallon from your tank, and there is no way to add any more once you use it. When you are 40, you will have used up about 14,700 gallons of water. Then, you will be more conscious of the level of water and more cautious about life.
What you often don’t realize as a young person growing up is that there are a lot of easy ways to put holes in your tank or spill large quantities of water on the ground. As you are spilling the water you don’t really care because you have so much water it seems infinite. However, you can easily spill 20 or 30 years of water as a young man or woman. That water will be extremely valuable later in life. When you get older there are going to be lots of important things that you will want to enjoy: your children, your grandchildren, your spouse, your friends, your retirement. At that point water will be extremely valuable to you, and you will realize how foolish you were to spill it as a young man or woman. But at that point there will be absolutely nothing that you can do to get it back.
In the 2nd part of this article, i will be sharing with you things that can consciously or unconsciously diminish the water in your tank.
Until then, stay right on top! There is enough room there.