Do you own or lease? | Life Series

The front yard of our house needed some immediate correction before the lawn cops paid their visit. Not that we didn’t take care of it, we didn’t take adequate care as necessary. All the help from a local lawn specialist along with my wife’s well-intended advice did not make a lot of difference. Finally, when the lawn specialist declared that there was no more grass to mow, it was clear for us to take control of the situation. Year’s of neglect had finally come to an end.

Read time: 2 min.

We arranged for professional help, got our lawn redone with golf course quality sod, nicely paved, flower bed and the works. We felt like new.

We all are aware that owning a house has many benefits – mental satisfaction of ownership, equity, retirement option, inheritance for kids, etc. But it also comes with a lot of responsibilities.

Before we bought our current home, we leased a house for a few months. The owner of the house did several things around the house, making sure the house remained rentable. He took care of the lawn, fixed minor stuff around the house and would also drop by for a chat and chai sometimes.

Reflecting on this, a question occurred to me – what do we own?

For us to own anything, we either have to inherit, build or buy. Let’s take relationships, for instance. We inherit relationships with our parents and siblings, We build relationships with friends and partners, but other than owning a slave, we can’t buy any relationship. If we were to buy one, then we would be the owner from that point onward, which we can’t. So, buying relationships are transaction specific, where you don’t have to manage the relationship once the engagement is complete. For instance, buying/hiring an agent for selling a house. Since you are not the owner, you are not required to maintain the relationship to make it last longer, as in this case, you may hire/buy another agent for selling your next house.

So, does it mean if you don’t own a relationship, you could go easy on its maintenance?
Let’s review the relationship with customers, where you are at the receiving end. You don’t own a customer, and the customer doesn’t own you either. However, it is in your best interest to maintain the customer relationship. If you neglect in maintaining the relationship once, then in today’s climate of change, it’s probably going to be your last neglect with that customer.

On the other hand, you can get comfortable in your building and maintaining relationships – inherited or build, assuming you own it, and it can’t be lost. 

So, you pay extra attention to leased relationships for your self-interest, and pay less attention to others?


Strangely, the answer depends on the price you are willing to pay whether you inherited, built or acquired them.  

Yes, if you are accepting the loss of an inherited or built relationships, then you are allowed to be comfortable in the maintenance space. And, if you are not worried about losing your customer, then you could do the same for your acquired relationships as well.

Regardless whether you own a relationship or rent one, without proper maintenance, it is destined to be ruined one way or another.

How about your work?

Do you own your job?
Let’s You own your career, you own the responsibilities of the job, but not the job. The job belongs to the employer. Can you slack on your job and get away with it since you are sort of on lease with your employer? For the most part, the outcome of attempting this feat will be disappointing and not suitable for your career.

How about your opinion?
Is that leased or owned? Of course, my opinion is mine I would say, well, is it? Think about your thinking. Does it reflect you or the impression you have leased from others? For instance, you may forward or share with others the opinions gathered from social apps. You may not own those opinions, but they become yours once you share them. In today’s hyper-connected world, you are judged by the opinion company you keep. So, owning them will probably urge you to be discreet about your online activities.


Own it.

It seems it’s in our best interest to cultivate an owner’s mindset and treat everything as if we own it even if you don’t. Applying this simple (not easy) principle across all aspects of our lives will earn you better relationships, health, career, and that would lead to better neighbourhoods, engaged communities and a prospering country.

It’s no longer buy or lease it and forget it. At some point, everything could break, so you have to roll up your sleeves, get on your knees and get to work, as what I will be doing on our new lawn.

Share your thoughts. 

To your success!



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