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How To Use What You've Got To Grow What You Don't

By Brandon Schaefer May 5, 2015

One of the things that we've been hearing a lot from you lately is: "How do I grow the Five Capitals?"

What does it look like to see one of the places where I'm deficient and actually increase my capacity in that capital so that I can grow it and give it away?

As a way of review, here are the Five Capitals:
  • Spiritual: Love God; put your hope in and build your relationship with Jesus Christ. And as you love God, love people.
  • Relational: It's about integrity, building trust and creating opportunity with the people that you're in a relationship with.
  • Physical: You can't do much for God if you're dead, so it's about prioritizing your life, your day, your calendar.
  • Intellectual: All wisdom comes from God, so we have to discern and look at the ways that we can be open to new insights, new ideas.
  • Financial: It's all about being a good steward of all that God has given us so that we can use it for His goodness and His glory here in the world.

(To dive deeper, check out our previous blogpost on What Are The Five Capitals And Why Do They Matter?)

With these five capitals at our disposal, let’s talk about a real life scenario where you might need to grow your capital. Let’s say you realize you’ve been working a lot… Perhaps you've got a stressful, demanding job and young kids at home so life is REALLY busy. It is filled to the brim with staying late for work and lots of diaper changes, leaving little room for anything else. You realize the friendships you have are fading fast and life is starting to feel lonely.

You start wondering, what does it look like to actually have fruitful relationships? How do you keep your job, invest in your family AND build lasting friendships with others? How do you grow your relational capital in such a hectic season of life?

In this example, relational capital is what you feel is currently defunct or deficient in your life. Let's focus in with this...

You'd like to have more meaningful fruitfulness in your friendships. But how? The key to growing any of your capitals, is using the other four to grow the one. 

The first thing to do is use your spiritual capital and pray. "God, bring good, godly people into my life." Prayerfully consider who it is you'd like to spend more time with or ask God to bring new good friends into your life. Ask him how to find good places to meet quality friends. Ask him for creative ideas on how to spend time with these friends. We have not because we ask not and it's my experience that God is pretty good at sharing creative ideas when we ask!

Now, let's look at physical capital, maybe I'm simply spending too much time at work or on entertainment. I'm watching too many episodes of The Walking Dead or Friends. Or maybe I'm saying yes to extra projects at work and it's piling up. What does it look like to re-evaluate my schedule and the way I spend my time? How can I make sure I'm creating space to actually have the time to invest in meaningful relationships?

Next is intellectual capital -- perhaps you talk to your friends and discover you come across as a bit of a jerk! Maybe you need to get some good ideas, wisdom and insights into what it looks like to be a solid friend. Perhaps you need to pick up the book How to Make Friends and Influence People and put into practice what you're learning.

And then lastly, financial capital -- maybe you need to take some people to lunch, buy them coffee, say "Hey I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you in eight years or whatever it's been." Spend some money, say you're sorry, connect and integrate your life with more productive, higher-quality friendships and relationships.

This is just one example of many scenarios of what to do when we find ourselves lacking in a certain area in our lives. Whatever capital you find yourself deficient in, you can look at the other four and use them to grow your dwindling capital. Through this process you will become happier, healthier and live a life of impact and influence!

How have you used a capital you have to grow one you are low on? What were the results? 

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