Monday, May 1, 2017

Obsessing over Perfection in Judgments of Comparison

Do I sometimes get obsessed, possessed or am I just or practical when it comes to buying stuff? I don’t recall exactly when I began to insist upon only (for the best for the money of course), but I guess it has to do with attempting to avoid buyer's regret. In some ways I appreciate this character trait, while in other ways it is often a hassle for me complete even the simplest of purchases. Perhaps, the hassle part is somewhat of an overstatement; for, I do sometimes enjoy the process of researching to buy something, at least when I have the time. However, I also realize that, there’s  a line between practical considerations and obsessing over getting the purchases right the first time.

For example, over the last few weeks, I had been considering which smartphone mount to buy for my new motorcycle. Now, the new motorscooter is in itself a whole other story wherein I could have bought one  months or a couple of years ago if didn’t “have to” research everything about the latest in scooters in order to be certain that I was getting the most suitable motorcycle for my needs and desires, one that I would be satisfied with for at least the next ten to twenty years. Thankfully I’m still satisfied with the one I purchased a few months ago. However, rarely does a day go by that I don’t look at other motorcycles in a form of comparison questioning to reassure myself that I  bought the correct/best one for me.

As for the smartphone mount, I initially bought one at Costco for about $33.00 because I had planned to use Google Maps on the scooter very soon. Still, I wasn’t sure if it were the one that I really wanted, so I didn’t even unpack it while I followed up on another option. The other option consisted of letting a local Yamaha dealer/mechanic handle the whole thing for me, including purchasing and installing it - total cost $66,00. I figured that, as these guys seemed to have the coolest add ons for their scooters, they would probably be using the best. Unfortunately, the best for them I guess was a mount that only supported Iphone 6. Therefore, when it came to using my Samsung, I ended up having buying an additional hard case and using 3M VHB adhesive tape to adhere the case of my phone to the lock which secured it onto the motorcycle mount with nothing more than a strip of strong adhesive tape. I turns out that, the back of my new case was just a piece of plastic, glued onto more plastic. Even though the motorcycle guy assured me that it would be secure, I didn’t consider it very safe. I’ve heard such assurances before and often ended up paying for my faith in them - either in worrying about something happening or something really happening. Thus, after only two days, I decided to try out the I had bought at Costco, which cost only half the price. As it turns out, that one works fine, looks better and is waterproof. Total cost for both mounts, $99.00 instead of $33.00.

I’m not beating myself up over the money, yet I consider I have a slight problem. Is it that I’m not deliberate or detailed enough when it comes to researching and buying something or is it that I’m too fastidious when it comes to the things I’ve bought? BTW, the $7.00 ones at the local hardware stores seem to do almost exactly the same thing.

In minding this point, the self-judgment that comes up is, I didn’t follow the simple logical steps of decision making. In other words, as the Costco product is easily returnable even after I’ve tried it out, I should have first, at least tried it out. Furthermore, having to use adhesive tape between my phone and the mount should have been a red flag  that I noticed right away. Am I getting slower, is my mind not what it used to be, or do I just not care that much anymore about such things - which is kind of the way I’d like to be, as in not so concerned or preoccupied with the little things.

Therefore, I have been directing myself as of late, to be less fastidious, letting the little things go while focusing on my priorities. For example, nowadays when I visit my partner in our home in the north of the island, I don’t nag her as I used to  about a few dirty dishes being left in the sink or the floor not being swept. Instead, I simply wash the dishes and sweep the floor. In the same way, I’ve directed myself to stop cleaning and organizing things all the time around my apartment. This has reduced the amount of time I spend tidying up my apartment, yet it has also let to a slightly messier apartment. What is the best way to be; where do I set my standards for doing things?

The answer is clear: it’s not about the things that I buy, the layout, cleanliness or quality of my environment, but who I am in relation my environment. There are too many variables, too much information for me to realistically ensure that every decision I make will lead to the best outcome in hopes of being perfectly equipped and having perfect surroundings. However, I am able to remain constant in determining who I am in relation to everything and not participate in judgment so not to fall into The Trap of Comparison. I redefine for myself the word, comparison. In terms of people, comparison is to look for the strengths and/or potential in others and bring these points back to myself as examples of how to better myself. In terms of products, comparison is to look for the strength and weaknesses for the purpose of understanding things better.

I see that there’s never going to be absolute certainty other than in that I am always able to stop participating in energetic definitions or judgments of the things that I buy and use. Herein, it’s all about letting go of my perceptions.
  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to worry about buying and/or having items that are less than the best that I am able to purchase, instead of committing to determine my actual needs, doing reasonable research on what will fit those needs and buying with the certainty that I will not judge myself once it’s done.
  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear being stuck with something, as i’ve judged myself to be stuck with a second smartphone mount that I’m probably not going to use unless I buy an Iphone.
  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to judge myself as not being thorough or diligent enough in researching and buying things.
  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to obsess over decisions of which product to buy, in reaction to the fear of being stuck with products that I’ve judged to be less than the best.
  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to compare/judg things  that I bought or could buy, instead of letting go of the energetic judgments and using comparison to assist me in making decisions based on the strengths and weaknesses of the products.
  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define myself as not wanting to be wasteful; therein fearing being stuck with products that I have bought.
  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to judge myself as having to live with something once I’ve bought, because I define buying another as wasteful.
I now see that, in buying stuff, there is no guarantee that I will get the best product for my needs. However, I am able to stop participating in self judgments in relation having bought or not having made the best decision. And this is what I’m going to do - stop judging myself. Additionally, I’m changing myself within and as the word, comparison. In terms of people, comparison is to look for the strengths and/or potential in others and bring these points back to myself as examples of how to better myself. In terms of products, comparison is to look for the strength and weaknesses for the purpose of understanding things better.


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