Derek Sivers

Daydreaming the downside, for once

2019-10-02

A few years ago, I thought it would be fun to get into camping.

I live in New Zealand! How can I not? I daydreamed about it, picturing how much fun it could be. I read a book about it.

I carefully picked out then bought some highly-recommended gear: a tent, two sleeping bags, two air mattresses, and a light backpack.

We used it once. It’s still in my garage.

Last year, I thought it would be fun to get a Maschine.

A new way of making music! I daydreamed about it, picturing how much fun it could be. I read about it and watched videos about it.

After a few weeks of this, I felt the time was right. I bought one. I played with it a while for the first day, then got back to my normal life, intending to spend more time with it. But I never did.

Every day I would look at it, thinking I should use it. After half a year, I gave up, and gave it to a friend.

Last week, I thought it would be fun to get a new bicycle.

I’ve never tried a carbon frame, modern gearing, or any of the cool new developments in bicycle tech. I live in Oxford, a cycling city! How can I not?

I’ve been daydreaming about it, picturing how much fun it could be.

Wait! Hold on. Have I learned nothing?

So I tried picturing the downside, instead.

I pictured myself not using it, like the camping gear, Maschine, and other things I didn’t mention here. I remembered the pain of guilt, regret, and waste. The conflicted feelings of wanting this thing, but not quite enough.

And I decided against it.

That said, I'm not sure what to conclude.