When you’re at a restaurant and look at the menu, how do you choose what to order?
What you’re in the mood for, or to satisfy a craving, perhaps? I usually try to pick something healthy, but don’t always succeed. I used to know this guy who had a tough childhood and always picked whatever was cheapest. Hey, we all have our rules.
Maybe it feels good to save some cash and order the least expensive dish on the menu, but not so much if it’s poorly prepared or tastes terrible (sometimes, the same holds true even for the most expensive item). Not all of us are chasing palatal bliss at every meal, but a culinary let down is disappointing either way.
What about clothes? If you find a great shirt when you weren’t even looking, do you go for it? Sometimes a good sale is all it takes. I don’t like to shop, but proceed to stare at my wardrobe, despairing, waiting for style inspiration that rarely comes.
Some rules are smarter than others.
I had a friend in college who loved to “save money” (that was her rule) but had a closet full—and I mean FULL—of clothes she got for a deal, yet complained she never had anything to wear, or didn’t feel good in what she did.
Sometimes we forgo the experiences we seek in the name of habits we’ve built to create and savor those experiences.
Like how we say we’re too busy to do what feeds us on the inside and fill it with the superficial, when we dismiss what’s important and choose what’s urgent or cheap or easy.
These subtle, lightning-fast thoughts on which we base decisions and make choices seem practically automatic. How often do we stop and see if they’re working for us?
What are we getting for (not) spending the time and money and energy we do have?
If it’s not for the experience: the joy, the learning, the connection or to fulfill the need to feel something deeper, then we’ve missed the point.