I assume that I had a similar experience as most college kids in the U.S. — that experience goes something like this:
- I don’t have much money.
- I need/want XYZ
- I am going to settle on ABC because I don’t want to try and (or can’t) shell out the money for XYZ
- ABC is not as good as XYZ, but I have ABC
I couldn’t afford anything other than a base model 12” Powerbook G4 and even though it was dog slow with only 256mb of RAM, well, it was my dog slow Powerbook G4. I could have worked at getting more RAM quickly, because I did use the machine all the time, but at that time this concept so succinctly put by Marco Arment was largely a mystery to me:
If you sit on, sleep on, stare at, or touch something for more than an hour a day, spend whatever it takes to get the best. -@marcoarment
It’s a statement that makes so much sense once you have done just that, spend whatever it takes, but a concept that is foreign to many as they are starting out in life.
I used to think: “A bed is a bed” and now I know “all beds are not equal”.
Luckily I found this out long before Marco tweeted it, but it’s something that is an ongoing pursuit in my life: to get the best X that I can get.
That doesn’t always mean the most expensive, just the best for me. I started this with the things that I use, or interact with, the most each day. That means I started with my bed and the difference was amazing.
What I have found is that by doing this I am incrementally making my life more enjoyable each and everyday. It really is the little things that count, because if you improve enough of the little things (and the big things don’t suck) then pretty soon you are going to have a lot of great things going for you and thus you will be happier.
This is the reason I often write about recurring topics on this site — it’s a documentation of my pursuit to find the perfect thing for me.
It’s why I have over 18 bottles of partially consumed whiskey in my house.
Why I constantly am trying weather and note taking apps.
The reason behind my obsession with finding a perfect bag and now my obsession with talking about my perfect bag.
Or why I endlessly write about knives, much to the annoyance of many readers.
This is the reason why I bought a BMW when I owned a perfectly good car (that I owed no money on).
You can get by with less than great all you want, but you can’t be happy with less than great — at least I don’t know many people that can be.
‘Great’ is subjective and highly personal.
What is great for me may not be great for you. For my great thing to be great for you, we must hold similar values and live a similar life.
This post marks the start of an ongoing series about those little things that I have found to be great for me. It may be a nice light switch, a new Keyboard Maestro macro, or even a really great shirt. I am not going to just talk about the products that I chose, but I am going to try to focus a bit on both: how I chose the item, and why I chose to make this item a priority in my life.
Stay tuned. 1
- I am going to title each of these posts starting with “Little Thing:”, so that you know what you are getting into when I post it.↩