My father called me yesterday asking me which operating system would be the best to go with for video and sound editing. And instead of answering him directly, I asked him what it was for and why he wanted to edit film and sound to begin with?
The long short of it was that he wanted to get passionate about making videos and music come alive for other people. He said he wanted to go into the mania of the process. And he wanted that process to start with purchasing a computer with a good operating system.
My advice to my father on which operating system was really to first check his personal operating system, his personal creative process. So I asked him if he would create content every single day and upload it to a platform of his choice for thirty days? He said no way, and gave me a slew of reasons why he couldn’t. So the question I asked him was simply if you can’t create content every day, what good is any of those tools you want to buy?
In not wanting to be a hypocrite, I told him I would start a channel and add content to it every single day for thirty days. I told him it would be a secret channel that I wasn’t actively trying to get the word out about. And if in that thirty days, I could keep up the habit and there was a need to upgrade the tools that habit is using, I would do it.
The point I was trying to make to my dad was that we often we want to fill the void where our passion goes with the best that materialism has to offer. These kinds of actions are easy to make, but yield little in the way of results. And why is that? I call it The Fat Man’s Fitness Dilemma.
The fat man knows that he wants to make a change in his life, he knows that he has seen others do it and there is nothing holding him back from making the change. So he goes and buys nice running shoes, a nice work out outfit, a ton of work out equipment and 10 weeks of personal training and diet coaching. He goes on his first run and he loves it, he goes to his first coaching session and he loves it, and he stands on his brand new scale, sees he lost a pound and he loves it. Things are looking bright for him, right?
But then the next day he is sore, tired, and not in the mood to eat what he has in the fridge. You can probably guess what happens next. He goes out to eat, feels bad about it. He misses his run, feels bad about it. Stops going to training, feels bad about it. Never touches his gym clothes again, and feels bad about it.
In the end we are left asking what did all of his purchase do?
They made him feel good, and that’s it.
The key is to take small, consistent actions towards a larger goal until you need to reassess and make a new goal. And if along the way to achieving that goal you need to make a purchase to take the next step, do it. Just don’t make purchasing the latest and greatest to mark the start of your journey, otherwise you may find your self right back where you started and now with less money.