It’s the acquisition, not the possession

I have a 13 year old daughter and like many teenagers she is (unfortunately) in love with stuff. As much as I’d rather keep things to a minimum I can’t begrudge her desires for items but when she does get the new shiny I’ve noticed a trend. For that matter I’ve noticed it in myself at times.

What I’m talking about is the fervent want that goes into the lead up to acquiring a new item of any sort followed soon after by the near lack of interest in the item. In other words, it’s the thought of the new item that grabs hold of us like an addiction that we think can only be cured by the acquisition of it. The trouble is though once you have it in hand it takes very little time before it starts to gather dust. Or, as the title above suggests; It’s the acquisition not the possession that really matters. Actually owning the item is nowhere near as emotionally important as acquiring it.

Now this isn’t true for everything you buy of course but if you look around your life you may well be able to see examples of this in your own life and it applies to both tangible items as well as digital. For example I’ve found myself longing for software that would complete a certain task for me to make things easier. Since it’s so easy to justify items in your mind – I’m an expert at it unfortunately – I’d run off scouring the web looking for what I needed until I found it. After some due diligence in vetting it out by way of user reviews and video demos I’d plop down my hard earned cash for the fix. The high of that acquisition wouldn’t always last though and buyers remorse would set in sometimes sooner than later.

You may have noticed that I used the word “need” above when describing the quest for the fix. Sure, I needed it for the task in mind but let’s be honest, it was a want and wants will rob you of your money.

This isn’t to say that that everything you desire should be avoided. Some items that you convince yourself that you need can be both wants and true needs that fill a niche in your life and provide the comfort and ease you expected them to provide. Those items are fine and are worth both your time in researching them as well as budgeting for them. I’m merely suggesting that you give yourself more time before pulling that trigger and getting the item.