Upgrades

It is consistently impressed on us that it is better to have the latest, newest, most modern version of our items. Whether it’s clothes, TVs, laptops, phones, appliances, etc, new = better. But that inherently inscribes some kind of arbitrary value to some metric we have invented to compare different products with each other. Eventually, what really matters is not how new something is, but how much value it adds to our lives.

I was reminded of this idea when I was checking my MacBook serial number. In the window where it shows this (About this Mac) it also displays which version of MacBook I have. It’s from early 2014, which means as I’m writing this in 2019, it’s nearly 5 years old. Considering the usual reported “laptop lifetimes range from 3-4 years”, I’m quite amazed that it still performs as well as I can remember. In fact, its battery (which is one of the first components of laptops to start dropping off) is still working quite well according to a system check I did.

As usual, after the latest Apple release, I had a peruse of the website to see the new MacBook Air. After a look at the cost and the specs, I decided it wasn’t my time to upgrade. The higher “specs” (aka. numbers) no longer made a strong impression on me (which is their purpose - to make you feel that your current numbers are not enough).

Next time you are thinking about upgrading, whatever it might be, think about the intention behind it - do you want the newest version of it? Have you subconsciously ascribed some value to a 13.2 MP camera over a 10 MP? It’s an extremely easy trap to fall into because this is what advertising is designed to do. It’s hard to avoid being exposed to this, but we can deal with this problem by shopping consciously and with intention. Taking this first step doesn’t take a lot of time and could seriously save your bank account/debt/life from a huge downgrade.

I strongly recommend listening to The Minimalist’s podcast on Upgrades. (available online or on any podcast app).

What you can achieve in 10 years

You overestimate what you an achieve in a year and underestimate what you can achieve in 10 years.

  • When we set new years resolutions, we set a deadline for ourselves, which is 1 year. (often it’s 2 months, because after that we tend to give up).

  • As humans that are now quite accustomed to short term rewards over long term, we want results sooner rather than later.

  • It’s hard for us to realise and accept that small activities done consistently is much easier to maintain and continue than large changes in one sudden go.

  • We are creatures of habit - changing them takes effort and TIME.

  • If you look back to where you were 10 years ago, a LOT has probably changed without you consciously trying.

What is possible to achieve in 10 years?

It’s pretty simple math. You multiply an effort, no matter how small, by the frequency you will have done something for 10 years.

I'm on track to read 52 books this year. In 10 years, I’ll have read 520 books.

I try to exercise or be active 2-3 times a week. In 10 years, I’ll have done 1300 workouts.

I try to complete a small-to-medium creative side projects about once every two months. In 10 years, that’s a portfolio of 60 projects; far more than actually goes into a polished portfolio required for a job interview.

I study a new language, putting in about 1-2 hours a week. In 10 years, I’ll have studied that language for 780 hours.

In one year, we always overestimate what is possible to change/transform. In extreme cases it’s possible, but you need resources, time and considerable motivation. Without all these driving forces, it can be incredibly hard to build new habits or make changes that you want to make.

Instead of focussing on what you want to achieve in a year, which could be extremely difficult, think 10 years ahead. Think about how each small step you make will accumulate and build (sometimes exponentially for some things) and how much of a positive change all that accumulated effort will make. It will make it a bit easier to get out of bed and go to the gym, to cook that extra meal once a week or to cut out that extra cup of coffee. 10x anything makes it seem a lot bigger and that will help motivate you to do something, no matter how small it is.

One less thing

Imagine if you could make a real difference in the world and set into motion sustainable, economic and ethical changes. 

I've recently become more and more convinced that if I want things to change, it has to start with me and you. It has to start with taking control of the infinite small decisions we make everyday, and make conscious, thoughtful decisions in our daily lives. It has to start with taking little steps and just a little extra effort everyday.

It starts with us.

I moved to a new country

At Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest - super hot day but so gorgeous!!

At Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest - super hot day but so gorgeous!!

 I'm writing from a place extremely far away from Sydney - Poland actually! Poznań to be more precise. I have moved here to live with my boyfriend for the time being, and in the mean time looking for job opportunities and basically trying to explore something different in my life.

So far, I haven't had much time in the city yet, as I've just been travelling through the Balkans, followed by a one-week family trip to the Baltic Sea, which I will definitely share some photos of in some blog posts! 

I just wanted to start this new chapter off with a blog post so I can start documenting what's been happening and stay on top of my blog, which I really want to now pay more attention to because it's something I've been thinking about for a while but never really acting on it. Fingers crossed for the coming months! 

In the other news, I've submitted my PhD thesis! So that's no longer my position anymore. I've received my examination report back so I will be getting to work on those corrections, but so far so good. It looks like I will probably be graduating next year in April or so, which means at least a visit back to Australia then. :)