How self-centered shopping has made me happier with the things I buy


I’ve changed the way I shop over the past few years. And although the shift has been subtle, I’ve found that I’m much happy with the things I buy.

In the past, my approach to shopping was simple. If I wanted a new thneedI would go to a store (or, with the advent of the internet, a website) and choose from the available thneeds. I’d look at the store’s selection (or the website’s selection) and pick the one best suited for me.

If the thneed I wanted was particularly expensive or important, I might expand my search to multiple stores or multiple websites. But usually, I stuck with the first store I visited.

The key point here is that I allowed the places I shopped to impose limits on the thneeds available to me. I think of this approach as “store-centered shopping”. Whatever the store has in stock defines my universe of options.

Now that I’m older, I’ve flipped the script. Instead of allowing the marketplace to define which thneeds are available to me, I decide exactly what I want before I begin my search. I put myself and my needs first. Once I know what I want, I take the time to locate it. What I want is almost always out there somewhere — if I’m patient enough to track it down.

I think of this approach “self-centered shopping”. I’m putting me first, and that’s a Good Thing. In fact, that’s an Excellent Thing! This method consistently leads to greater satisfaction with the things I buy. Instead of picking up cheap, mass-market thneeds, I’m buying thneeds that feel as if they were specifically made for me.

Let me give you a concrete example.

Buying a Wallet

Every five years or so, I need to replace my wallet. The old one wears out (or gets lost), so I buy a new one.

The way this has always worked for me is simple. My wallet falls apart (or turns up missing), so I head to a nearby department store to look at their selection. I browse the wallets on display, pick the one I like best, then buy it. It becomes my wallet for the next five years.

This…



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