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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog archive > 21-Oct-05


Friday 21-Oct-05

Changing your own mind

As I write this, I'm sitting on the train home from London, one mild Autumn day in England. I travel an hour there and an hour back each day, so I treated myself to a first-class season ticket. It costs more, but it means I get a seat (I can see people squashed like sardines beyond the first-class compartment door). It also means I can relax more, so when I get home to my family I have poured away much of stress of the day. And, dear reader, it means I get a table, where I can add pages to the website for you. Ten hours a week extra at the coal-face of my notebook adds up to many pages per year.

And so I have changed my own mind. I have persuaded myself to shell out about 35% extra for these marvelous benefits. I have also betrayed my centre-left past, but I mollify my demons by telling myself that it's not really about feeling superior and that after all those hard years of work (and with the prospect of plenty more), I deserve it. And hey--I'm not taking up a seat in standard class, where maybe an old lady could now sit!

How often have you given yourself a present -- maybe quite an expensive one -- and spent a good amount of time persuading yourself that you deserved it. After all the things you do for others, treating yourself is a good thing to do.

Interesting, isn't it? How we have to persuade ourselves as well as others. It's a maxim in sales as well, that first person you have to sell your product to is yourself. If you don't really and genuinely think it's wonderful, then sure as eggs your customers won't either.

The great thing about being able to change our own minds is that we not only can justify our more extravagant purchases, but that we can use this skill (and it is a skill) to have a really great life. If you can change your mind about why you buy, then you can change your mind about what makes you happy. And you can be happy about pretty much anything you set your mind to.

So I'm happy that I spend two hours a day (that's ten hours a week and around 450 hours a year) sitting on a train. I watch the other people and marvel at humanity. I look out of the window and wonder at the green countryside and the vastness of our cities. And I happily type away at web pages for this site.

And, of course, I'm happy to be traveling first class.

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