In some crapy job years ago I used to have to get three quotes for every piece of maintenance work for the property I was looking after. It was dull, and it was pointless because I always went with who I had preferred the whole time.
For some reason, i hung on to this habit once I had my own home. Bathrooms, Kitchens work on my car I visit, and I wait, and I make comparison tables. Then I do what I was always going to do.
My wife and I just started to compare schools for my son to start at next year. I know which school I would like him to go to. I know which school I really hope he doesn’t have to go to and there is one that we know less about that were going to visit to give them a chance to impress us. We’re arranging tours because I want to feel better about the fact he probably has to go to the school I would rather not use. I don’t really want to compare and chose, I want to look back and say that I compared and chose.
Right now in life what I get from the process is some level of peace in my decisions and a rather dull story about filling out a table and making a smart choice.
I am starting to wonder though, what if? What if I once or twice let myself chose what I think I want all along? What if I did away with the process? What if I were to go to the body shop they tell me how much to fix the scratch on my car and I decide there and then at that moment whether to proceed with the work or live with the scratch? Maybe my feeling becomes one of trusting myself? Maybe my story becomes ‘I just like the guy and the body shop near my house.’
Everything we do is becoming. Every action has its primary impact and its learning legacy. (I can’t remember right now where I learned this or whether I am making up some gold for you right now) The learning legacy i give myself each time I use three quotes on a decision that doesn’t actually require it is one that says ‘hey Benjamin there’s still so much you still don’t know. It says your feelings are not to be trusted, it tells me my time and that of the service persons I waist is a small value compared to the few hundred quid I save from time to time.
How bad could it be if I got a quote and went with it? Maybe I get stung, perhaps one day in the future I find out I could have got the same work done for less. Maybe also I would have been riding around it car without scratches, showering with hot water, cooking in a finished kitchen maybe even having friends over to a house that’s respectable and telling a story about the nice guy who finished the surfaces for us and how come I just liked him.
I have a ton of habits like this that are mild sensible things I have hung on to just slightly longer than is helpful. I wonder what do you still do just cause it seems grown up and sensible? What would be the alternative? Is the alternative potentially better?