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Trying It Out

August 11, 2018

Author: Bianca Yang
Email: ipacifics@gmail.com

I read something with similar sentiment to the following statement on Reddit recently:

“The first time around, buy as frugally as you can. Once you break it, buy as nice as you can afford.”

I can’t find the quote again, but please ping me if you figure out the comment and thread I’m referring to.

The logic behind this statement is that you should prove your commitment to something new before you commitment your finances to it. The way you can prove your commitment? Through use. If you say you want to start getting in shape by running and you haven’t worn through your soles in 1 year, you’ve just proven that you aren’t committed. If you say you want to start learning guitar and yet haven’t developed callouses on your fingers from long hours of practicing or haven’t needed to replace the strings or buy a new tuner or buy a capo, you haven’t advanced at all along the guitar path. If you want to get into Fortnite or LoL or other MMOs but haven’t even completed 10 rounds half a year later, I have all the evidence I need to question your commitment [1].

This post, I think, will now become part of a series of posts on living a data-driven life. If you want to improve yourself, you cannot just rely on your intuition. You know intuitively that exercising is good for you. You know intuitively that you should practice guitar every day to get to a level where you can play anything in public. You know…and yet you don’t act. So you use the data to galvanize you. Use your calendar, your Beeminder, your YNAB to shock you into action. Once you start tracking your data and start analyzing it, you’ll realize just how bad of shape you’re in. And once you get into shape, you’ll realize just how much you don’t want to stop the flywheel of staying above the line.

[1] In fact, I’m not just going to question your commitment to what new thing you said you were going to start doing; I’m going to question the quality of commitment in your character. One cannot serve two masters. One cannot split his personality into multiple pieces. One shall not split his soul into multiple pieces for the sake of immortality. You cannot be committed in one aspect of your life and uncommitted in the next.