Sunday, December 27, 2015

On An Unexpected Purchase

I made an accidental purchase which got me thinking.

Oh, it was not accidental in that sense of the word.  I knew what I was purchasing.  It was just that I was purchasing something else other than what I thought.  Nothing less exciting than opening the package and realizing it is something of which you already had two more of which you cannot really use.

But it did get me thinking a great deal about money and investment and time and focus.

I have a problem with goal setting and goal execution.  Yes, I am a (little) bit better at it than I was in the past, but essentially I am still in two phases: one in which I still think I have all the time in the world, and the other in which I think that I can still bounce back relatively quickly from an error in judgment.

Sadly, neither of these is true anymore.  Time and resources are no longer on my side.

Which is what makes this purchase incident burn so badly.  Yes, it is a fairly minor incident - and I am going to learn from this incident if nothing.  Yes, it involved a small amount of money, relatively minor in the course of a given week.

But the money is gone.  And I have something I cannot use, something which could have been something else that I could use.

It has made me go back and look at the list I have of "Everything I Would Like" and "Goals for the Year".  The list of things I "have" to have, versus the list I should be thinking of, the list of things I need.  The lists are a little more different than I would care to admit.

As I was thinking on this, a couple of quotes from Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Elder) came to mind from his work De Agricultura (On Agriculture):

"If any thing is needed for the coming year, it should be bought; every thing which is not needed should be sold."

"The master should have the selling habit, not the buying habit."

Plans and goals have implications.  It was time I started implementing these as if I actually believed in them.

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