Running Goodwill Deficits

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.”

― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

When you consider your life story, how you spend intangible resources such as time and goodwill constitutes a crucial theme.

Do you take time away from your family now, with the idea that you’ll make it up at some indefinite future time? When your daughter wants you to read to her or play a game, are you too busy? Do you borrow from the goodwill of friends and relatives? Are you abrupt or sometimes even rude to others because you believe they’ll always forgive you and have goodwill toward you regardless what you do? How many people regularly disappoint you, and how many do you usually disappoint?

Perhaps a personal balanced budget resolution would be a good idea—a resolve to only spend the time and goodwill that you can afford to spend, and not to borrow from the present with hopes of making it up in the future.

In regard to borrowing time and goodwill, whom do you owe? Do they hold you accountable? Who owes you? Do you hold them accountable? Consider the people who are most important in your life—perhaps your best friends, your spouse, or your children. What’s the value of the time that you could have given them but didn’t? In actuality, you might be unable to pay that time back in the future. You might not have the energy or occasion, or they may no longer want it. It’s an opportunity missed forever.

Are you happy with how you care for your intangible resources of time and goodwill? If not, consider what changes you can make. Start now.



Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD, is a retired clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst, a businessman, and a shamanic practitioner, author, and philanthropist funding over 60 charities and more than 850 past and current Greer Scholars. He has taught at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and been on staff at the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being.


Sign up for announcements

Receive the latest announcements from Carl Greer and a FREE e-Book: 8 Steps to Change Your Life by Creating a New Story.

Subscribe by May 15, 2022 for a chance to win a FREE copy of any of Carl’s three books! (U.S. and Canada only)

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.