Desire is a tricky thing to understand. You need to think hard about the desires.
You know a lot of times we are just bored and trying to get dopamine as easily as possible. There is simply no way that we can be productive in that moment. It is excruciatingly hard. We open up a tab on a web browser and enter amazon.com. And boom! There's that shiny new iPad glaring at you, asking you to click on the "Buy Now" button, but wait you are sensible and you want to make responsible financial decisions. So, you start going through various blogs, you go through tonnes of YouTube videos which start to justify your biases. Not just that, it also implants a seed in your mind of the potential of that device which you will never utilize but you'll surely get convinced that you are the target market. YOU are the person whom Apple had in mind while developing that product. YOU are mistaken. YOU are chasing dopamine. YOU are overwhelming yourself with what you could've done otherwise.
Either you don't have alternate option or your alternate option is overwhelming
What is the other thing that you can do but feels impossible? Is it writing a blog? Is it starting to go to gym? Is it learning a musical instrument? The option could be anything but if you'll keep assigning yourself a big unachievable goal then it will be inevitable for you to fallback to shopping, binge watching or binge eating to get the dopamine. And if you literally don't have any other option for your free time, you better be enjoying meditation for hours or you are set for a recursive pattern of conspicous consumption.
Make thing that you want to do so easy that you cannot not do it. Break those tasks to such miniscule levels that you cannot not do it.
But when to buy?
You should buy it when you can link a single task that you will do with that gadget, that accessory, whatever that thing is. So, lately I have been writing blog posts on some website called stoichuman.com. Sometimes, even while doing some mindless social media scrolling I felte the urge to write on my regular iPad. I would've wanted to write about some idea that I had in my mind but picking up my laptop felt too much of a task and typing long form content on iPad 6th gen without keyboard was so painful that it felt impossible. So, I went ahead and bought a device which is for consumption but as soon as I want it to be, it can turn into a productivity machine. The iPad pro 11 is bigger but still compact to carry around and the magic keyboard case gives me same keyboard as Macbooks which I love.
It has been 10 days since I purchased it and it has absolutely promoted me to write more. Now, whenever I have some idea in my mind, I just write it down using the magic keyboard. Weirdly enough my social media consumption has reduced, I'm unable to point out exactly why but maybe because I'm writing more. I've also started podcasting again as now, I don't have to have a phone and smaller ipad for recording and reading the script. Now, I can have everything in this iPad Pro and it has awesome mics which helps a lot.
Nevermind, I don't want this post to turn into an iPad Pro review but the crux of the whole situation is that I attached one task to this iPad and allowed myself to purchase. That task I was already doing but it was not best done on the older iPad and Macbook combo. If you can't really justify the purchase like this then either you lack the motivation to do the task that you want to do, so, start doing the task with whatever resources you have and upgrade as soon as you feel the need; or you just want to buy the thing because you want others to associate you with that object. That you'll realise the moment you have ended the chase.
That's it for this blog post and if you feel that you've something to add to this or you have a different perspective then share it and discuss it on r/StoicHuman or go to the Reddit discussion post for this blog post linked down below.
Stay healthy, Stay safe!
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