It’s my favourite mind-hack, something that I developed (definitely not through osmosis, I must have read it somewhere) over the past several years. And I use it almost every day. Particularly when I have to make an important financial decision. Some of you already know this — I’m a recovering spendthrift, well past the danger zone but that’s subject to an argument.
It goes something like this:
- See something, click on that ‘add to cart’ button
- Checkout and review the amount you’re about to spend
- Ask yourself, “what else can you buy with this money?”
99% of the time you’ll end up aborting the operation (er, purchase) because you forced yourself to pause and think deeply about the bigger picture. This momentary pause is usually good enough to make you reconsider and rationalize yourself out of the shopping cart!
This could sound silly but it works because if you think about it, you wouldn’t worry about making a purchase or even stop at #3 above if the amount weren’t significant enough. Yet, if we don’t pause we just go right ahead with a purchase, only to regret it later. Sure you can always cancel the order and ask for a refund but why go there when you have a chance to develop your rational mind to bulletproof you against stupidity?
You can argue with me or pause right here and ask what else can this (your time) be useful for right now?