Paying to be ‘me’ – affording our discomforts

by Captain Walker

Categories: Humanities

It has been rather interesting thinking about this. What is it to be ‘me’? How do I pay for that?

What I mean is that each one of us (extrapolating from myself) has a fairly good idea about our likes and dislikes. So we gravitate to certain things, and we avoid certain other things. We like certain things and activities, and we detest other ‘things’ and ‘activities’. The stuff we like to do, we do them quickly, we prioritise so that they are taken care off with greater efficiency. The things we do not like we avoid, and leave to one side as much as possible.

However, the way we make our life’s preferences carry certain costs. Those costs may be tangible in terms of material things e.g. money, or the things money can buy – or intangible in terms of what cannot be quantified e.g. stress, disappointment, loss of opportunity.

For example, someone may dislike intensely the stress of moving home. So, either consciously or unconsciously that dislike is factored into decisions about a new job offer. Because ‘stress’ is the thing to be protected from – the dread of adjusting to a new town, influences decisions – the person might say “Well for £10,000/yr more, it doesn’t make a big difference to me.”

Perhaps a more down-to-earth example is dieting – which is difficult for many. It is easier not to diet. “What’s a few pounds or kilogramme only live once” – some say.

Which of us truly wouldn’t want an extra million (in any of the big 5 currencies)? People in general crave for money – that’s the truth. Few admit it. But strangely there is an amazing contradiction i.e. those who need money the most,  do not work the hardest or the smartest in order to achieve greater financial security.

What, for example, is the cost of disorganisation? Everybody needs to be more organised. Yet we have people who live in utter chaos and mis-prioritisation. They convince themselves that the chaos surrounding them is organised, and they know where everything is. Not true! I’m not talking about the average disorganisation, I’m talking serious disorganisation.

Or take examinations. An important examination (or similar decisive event) is approaching, but the priority becomes larking around with friends.

Which of us have never been in any of those kinds of situations? Few.  So my observation is that many of us make choices and decisions that do not match a hierarchy of priorities in our lives. This costs us in tangible and non-tangible ways – yet we are content to pay. So basically we afford our discomforts!

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