Depriving yourself of things you want

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by sdilley14, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

    Feb 8, 2007
    Mesa, AZ
    This is something I have been thinking about and analyzing lately.

    I have found, more often than not, whenever I find something that I "want" and start I start fixating over it...once I finally get that item, I almost immediately feel some type of let down or feeling of "that's it?" or "now what?" with it. This applies to almost any type of "dream" item - cars, electronics, whatever.

    It seems like no matter what you have or what "level" you live on, you adapt and get "comfortable" almost immediately. I have lived in incrementally better apartments my whole life, up until finally buying my first house about 8 months ago. Every step along the way, I always yearned for a better place to live. And whenever I got that place, I got used to it and appreciated it less almost immediately.

    I think about this same thing in regards to the sports teams I follow. I'm an avid Packer/Brewer/Badger fan. Along with loving these teams comes a GREAT deal of disappointment and let down. With the exception of a Packer SB win a few years ago, we live exclusively in the "almost!!" territory (Final 4 for the Badgers but no National Championship. Rose Bowl but no win. Playoffs for the Brewers but no World Series...on and on. There is something fustrating but kind of satisfying about it in a way. I think I would rather follow teams like this as opposed to the Yankees/Patriots/Red Sox of the world, where you're winning every other year, and never really "wanting" because you always "have". I thought about it this year when the Badgers made it to the Final 4 and were one Kentucky 3 pointer away from the National Championship. As awesome as a title would have been...I would still rather be a Badger fan than, say, a Duke fan, where you have so many titles that each new title you win is "just another one".

    Circling back to my main point. Has anyone intentionally deprived themselves of "want" or "dream" items, because you perfer the feeling of wanting something as opposed to having something?? Even items that are well within your means? I feel like whether it is a high end smart phone, or a brand new Corvette...almost any item, when you finally get it, you're kinda left with "now what?" after a few days/weeks/months with it.
  2. Smeehehe macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2014
    I do find wanting better than having. But I'm very poor and that helps with the wanting. #

    I want some new day.
  3. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    Yes. Though, I wouldn't call it 'depriving' myself of anything.. I think of it more as terms of Delayed Gratification. That way, when I have something that I want, I set a goal of things I need to do to deserve that thing that I want. If I want it that badly, I will get those tasks I said I would do done, then reward myself with the prize. Not only does it make the prize rewarding and meaningful, it also gives me a sense of accomplishment.

    that type of thinking comes in very important with goal setting, which obviously has a lot of leadership principles contained in that.

  4. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    To liberate myself from 'want' is a lifelong endeavor.
  5. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    OK, I'll be contrary I get older, I am more self indulgent than when I was younger.

    My excuse (as that's what it is) is what's ahead is much shorter that what's behind...and if I can manage it, I indulge my desires.

    I've done it's some indulgence. ;)
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    While, in common with Shrink above, as I get older, I find that I am a little (did I say a little?) bit more self-indulgent than I was when I was younger, (possibly because, at times, I am in the sort of paid employment where I can afford to be, and possibly because the parents and other authority figures of our generation did not believe in indulging the idea of instant gratification), I am also a very big fan of the concept of the concept of 'deferred gratification', or, as bradl above put it, 'delayed gratification', for many of the reasons he postulates.

    Actually, I don't mind waiting for something, sometimes months, or years; in fact, the process of waiting, of deliberately denying yourself, and the concomitant anticipation, is, in itself, a very great source of pleasure, and heightens my pleasure in the product or good when I finally take delivery of it - or obtain it.


    Bradl puts it very well in this elegantly expressed post which I forgot to add a little earlier.
  7. maflynn, Apr 15, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014

    maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I find myself floating between two worlds, where I say in my mind as I get older, I don't need things and I try to impart a philosophy to my kids that avoids materialism,but my actions which speak louder seem to contradict my words, whether, I'm getting a new phone, or upgrading a computer.

    My goal is to live more simply but as of yet I'm still being ensnared by bright shiny things.
  8. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I don't let it bother me, there is always something else to want, so I can continue to get the rush and high of "wanting" anytime :D
  9. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2008
    When I first started working this was a problem. Managed to get it somewhat under control over the years. Sometimes it's just better to wait for that "high" to go and analyse a purchase rationally.

    Buying just what you need or what is sensible feels much better than overdoing it then being regretful.
  10. malman89, Apr 15, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014

    malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    All the time.

    I've wanted a new laptop for a good 3 years (current in sig). I've even hunted for deals, did configurations, and put laptops into shopping carts - only to not finish the transaction. I just find it hard to justify $X on a new laptop when my current one still works, sort of (battery doesn't, YouTube/Netflix sometimes freezes up or skips, minor issues).

    I've also wanted a gaming machine for some time as well. I used to be a big MMO/RTS gamer, but I've pretty much stopped playing games while my laptop has become more and more outdated (Portal and LoL are two games it can still play - only in XP). I've played around with parts, made posts in Toms Hardware, or looked at prebuilt, only to not go through with it.

    It's a cycle of trying to justify purchases. Why buy a Chromebook for $200-300 when you can buy a 'real' laptop for $500? But why buy a junky i3 at best laptop for $500 when you can get an i5 for $700 or one with dedicated graphics for $800-1,000+? But why buy a laptop for $1,000 that doesn't look great or can't do everything you want to do? Might as well buy a $200 Chromebook instead... and repeat. It's not like I don't have the money. Will it make a dent in my savings? Sure, but it won't break the bank or be financed on credit (well, it will, just for rewards points and immediately paid off).

    Now I'm sort of waiting on pricing for Steam Machines paired with a Chromebook to get the best of both worlds and bang for my buck, but that'll probably be another 6-12 months.
  11. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I agree that the wanting often rises expectations beyond that of the owning, but I can remember when purchasing a house, the owning was better. ;)

    Regarding the OP's blurb about sports teams, were you referring mostly to the disappointment from losing, or a let down after your team won and it was all over? I have mostly divested myself of any anticipation regarding sports teams. Too much emotional investment with high odds of disappointment. It's better for me these days to settle into the playoffs and pick a team then, because the time frame is so compressed that any dissapointment is fleeting. :)
  12. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 8, 2007
    Mesa, AZ
    I was kind of referring to both. While it is disappointing to *always* lose, I almost prefer the feeling of always losing but being on the "cusp" and having a thrilling "cinderella" ride deep into the playoffs, as opposed to following a team that wins every other year, where each of those wins feels a little less special than the one before it.

    To my larger thought, I think delayed gratification may be a better way of wording it, as opposed to depriving yourself. When I think of deprivation, I think of not having something you need (water, food, etc), as opposed to something you desire.

    I'm just thinking about this because I am considering buying a new car in the near future. The last two times I've bought cars, I've purchased cars that I really liked and really wanted...and after each purchase, I was quickly left with a feeling of "now what?". Almost like the mental preoccupation of wanting the item (thinking about it, researching it, looking at pictures, etc.) was a better feeling than when I actually got it.

    Probably not coincidentally, neither of these cars were purchased out of necessity. At the time, I was driving perfectly fine cars, and simply wanted something different. I think the fact that both cars were purchased very easily made it feel even less satisfying (no saving up for it, no financial struggle to make it happen, I wasn't driving a dying car for months/years prior to buying). Previous to all of this, I was struggling greatly financially and I drove a dying Dodge Neon for 6 years. When I was finally able to get rid of that and get a different car, it was an extremely satisfying feeling. Now that I'm not struggling anymore and I can more or less buy whatever I want/need (within reason), it just doesn't feel quite as satisfying.
  13. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    if you've all ready read this story in another thread, my apologies. The best feeling I ever had purchasing a car was graduating from college and at that time 1975, I thought most U.S. cars were crap. I went to the Fiat dealer to buy an X1/9 and the dealer said, "you don't want that, you want this gesturing towards a Fiat 128 Spider ($6200 new). Just a thing of beauty will all it's nice curves and styling. And this car was in the same price range as Corvette. In hindsight I'm wondering why I did not pop for one of those. ;) Anyway it was just as satisfying owning it after purchase as the anticipation was for acquiring it.



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