Before you commit, trial the experience/item
Before you make a major financial purchase e.g. moving location, buying a large/expensive item, see if you can ‘rent’ or ‘trial’ it.
I think I’ve made this mistake a lot. Often buying items that didn’t really improve my quality of life or contentment (or of others around me) but instead became a burden
What you own ends up owning you
- I bought a cycle with the idea that I would cycle to work. I’ve cycled 3x in total
- I bought a drum kit- which is now adding the pressure of learning the drums, and taking up space
- Gaming computer. Rarely touched since I’ve lost interest at the moment
- Clothes that looked good, but I wouldn’t wear at all.
The solution is to trial things or rent them before making a dive
For example: I have this notion of living in London, and commuting to Luton. The idea is that I am missing out in some way by not being in an epicentre during my 20’s
Therefore this week I’ve trialled the idea. I rented out a small airbnb right next to St Pancras, rented out a Brompton, and trialled a commute.
It’s far less expensive than committing to it 100%, and then releasing that it made your life worse.
Trial as close to how it would be, before making a purchase
This is a subset of the advice to ignore theory. Try. Do things, don’t think. The disease of the thinking mind as Bruce Lee talked about. Obviously thinking is valuable, but often the default tendency is theory over action.
I now have practical takeaways
- I know exactly how long the commute is
- I know how annoying it is to take a bike everywhere
- I know about train delays
- I know how expensive the train ticket is and cost of living
- I know how it feels to have to be in for 8am
- I know how peaceful being on the train is
- I know that being in Central doesn’t automatically result in a network
- I know I would spend all my money on food and eating out
- I know how nice it feels to be within 20 mins of some of the most interesting activities
- I know how loud and annoying it can be
- I know how to live in a box
- I know how to fold a Brompton now
- I know that I enjoy reading, writing, silence on the commute.
- I know that I would leave behind a decent social network (at least for me) if I moved
Overall, the commute was too long. London is loud. Not a fun place to live.
Once you trial it- make a decision and make it final. You should have enough data to make an informed choice.
We know for peace of mind- make irreversible decisions.
Rent before you buy. Trial before you buy. Make notes on your experience. Then make an informed choice with real world data.
Note: I’m writing this on the train. One of the benefits of a train commute.