For my twelfth birthday my father took me to Abt to buy me my very first boombox, something I had been wanting for some time. This was 1989 and I will never forget walking through the door, stepping up to a massive wall of stereos of all shapes, colors, and sizes. I was in heaven.
The only thing my father said to me was, “don’t even look at the price, just find the stereo that you works the best for you”. So that’s what I did.
I spent a good hour going through each one, easily weeding out several based on style and size, playing with dials, reading the spec sheets, one deck vs. two decks, blasting music, until I whittled them down to the one I wanted. A Sony boombox of my very own. A stereo that I owned up until 2002 when it finally retired.
It had an amazing lifespan and quite a few homes. First as my entertainment centerpiece, then as a music duplication device, a recording device, a guitar instructor, a karaoke machine, then, finally, as a spare bedroom unit.
What mattered was that it was special. It wasn’t just something I bought, but something I had invested in and it gave back 100 fold.
Because of this lesson, I own very few things and have only bought things that matter, that I see as an investment. Things that would bring me more than the short lived therapeutic effects buying can often have. It is never about price.