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The rewards of restraint

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When you get it into your mind that you want a new tool, do you immediately begin obsessing about it? Yeah, me too.

This most commonly arises when I’m working in the shop and perform some specific action that makes me think, “Hey, there’s a tool for that.” In these cases, one of two things happens: The first is that I wisely realize that although there is indeed a tool for that, I’d use it only rarely and so I just go ahead and finish what I’m doing and forget about it. The other thing that can happen is that I recall I’ve had the same thought dozens of times before while doing this same activity, in which case I realize that it might just be a good thing to look into purchasing one after all.

Bingo. Obsession kicks into overdrive and I hit the Internet – Amazon, eBay, the usual range of mail-order woodworking places, online woodworking forums to search posted threads on the subject of whatever tool it is.

Now, that may sound more like careful shopping than obsession, but the thing of it is, is that I’ll do this for days on end before buying. If, after several days I’ve not ordered it, then the obsession fades until the next time I’m in the shop and that activity is once again required, and the whole process starts over again. Then I sometimes just get the darned thing; other times I exercise restraint (read: I procrastinate), and put it off again.

Earlier this week I stumbled across not one, but two of the things I’d repeatedly obsessed about in the past but never bought. Turns out that my restraint paid off: Both items were deeply discounted; so much so, in fact, that I ended up getting both for less than half of what just one of them would have cost if I had bought it during some previous bout of obsession.

Who says procrastination doesn’t pay?

Till next time,


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