“It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day’s toil of any human being.” – John Stuart Mill
Never underestimate the power of convenience.
Quietly it looms over everything you do.
I know people (me) who end up dating people in their apartment buildings. People who are willing to pay an 5 bucks for an ice-cream sandwich from a street vendor on a sunny walk, instead of from the store.
What’s the markup on movie theater popcorn 4444% or so? Buying bottled water at a concert or sporting event. How about paying a few extra bucks (not including a tip) to have your take out ordered instead of claiming off your couch changing your pj’s and trekking through the snow? Those are some of the more noticeable things.
I have a bunch of songs I play over and over on the piano, not because I’m all that fond of them or would rather play something else but because I have the sheet music on hand sitting beside me. Often when choosing a book to read on taking public transit do I take what I’m most eager to read? No, just whatever is small enough to fit in my pocket. So my brain is filled with the ideas of Cicero instead of where to find things in an ISpy book. In our speech how often do we have to correct ourselves because we were too lazy to add in more words. Have you ever been to the grocery store and your D’Anjou pears ring up at 89 cents rather than 79, and instead of causing a fuss to the cashier you just pay the extra price?
In many ways we as a species strive to make our lives more convenient, we have automated peeling potatoes, we have robots who sweep, sprinklers which water lawn on timers, lights that clap on, coffeepots which brew in the morning; instant rice, Jello and oatmeal.
And how nice, to have hydraulic backhoes so we don’t have to dig ditches by hand-shovel; To have outboard motors and sails so we don’t have to paddle through water, steam engines, automated drills etc..
I suspect we will keep carrying on like this, till we have our Wall-E floating chairs and drinks we wear on our head to slurp from, our own movie theaters and gyms in the basement so we don’t have to leave the house, anti-gravity grabbers so we don’t have to bend over to pick things up.
And people will keep on making money off every activity we’d like to shorten or eliminate all together. If you’re in the mood to make some money off someone just try thinking of what you can do to make their life more convenient. What can they outsource to you?
I’d also suggest you move things around and take note of your behavioral changes. I’ve heard it said that the best way to stay active in the garden is to have it nearby you’re house. Try putting your gym clothes at the foot of your bed. See what happens if you add more empty table space to you’re rooms. I bet you’ll find more things to put on them. Want to eat healthier? See what happens when you prepare a meal ahead of time, set to go, just reheat. Change your Internet browser homepage. Wear more pockets.
And finally, as it concerns money, take a moment to think of all the ways you’re paying for it. Convince that is. Fast Food. Hygiene and Spa care. Home renovations. Cleaning. Transportation. Internet shopping. Boarding airplanes quicker. As I say, it lurks everywhere. Just think to yourself “Can I do this cheaper myself? Will it take longer? Does Bill gates do this or does he probably pay someone to do it? ”
On the one hand you’ll likey save some good cash eliminating some excesses from you’re life. On they other, you may find you’re “wasting” too much time on trying to repair or launder something, and you’ll pay the premium. Please feel free to let me (and other’s) know below in the comments, what sorts of things you find. How has convenience been costing you? Did you end up saving or spending money?
Do you buy individual soap dispensers for your bathroom or do you refill them from a big tub of soap?