Is This How You Want to Live Your Life?

Life is short and we only live once.

I’m staying at an airBnb with a kitchen that comes well-equipped. It has two stove top ranges, a cutting board, a knife, a non-stick pot and pan, a set of utensils and two sets of dinnerware. For a short-term renter to the average cook, it’s more than enough, but for me, someone who cooks religiously and shoots cooking videos for it, it’s far from complete.

At the very least, I’ll need a heavy-bottomed pot I can use for deep frying, a can opener, a sieve, a much better chef’s knife, a blender for soup and sauces and a ton of miscellaneous herb, spices and sauces. Could I do without, especially since I’m staying for only 3 months? I could, it’ll mean skipping out on making a lot of the dishes I want, but I could. It doesn’t mean that I should though.

The way I see it is that although these kitchen tools will eventually have to be thrown out or handed down to the next lucky apartment renter, I would’ve benefitted and achieved my purpose already in buying them. Buying them isn’t just an investment towards better food and a higher range of content for my videos, but an investment towards the continuance of my culinary skills.

We invest in much greater things at a much higher cost, all the time. We go to college for the sake of investing towards a future that’s still unsure, non-guaranteed even after we’ve graduated. We invest our time in jobs, relationships even when we’re unsure of whether or not it’ll have been worth our time, all for the sake of experience and the chance of it actually working it. We invest in the purchase of books and audiobooks for reading and the very sake of furthering our knowledge.

In that sense, how is buying a set of kitchen tools any different from any of the investments we’ve made? I’m investing in a set of kitchen tools that won’t only save time on my cooking but will help me improve my skill, hone it, perfect it. I’m investing in my time, a peace of mind, and my future because cooking is one of those skills that’ll be useful more often than not, and one that’ll benefit you for life.

Too often, we hold ourselves back from buying the things we truly need. This isn’t an excuse to splurge, to buy what we want. There’s a difference — the things you want aren’t always the things you need. I need a blender, but do I need one that’s top of the line if I’m going to be leaving this airBnB in 3 months anyways? I need a better chef’s knife, but do I need a paring knife and a full set of knives besides? I need storage containers, but do I really need to buy any when I can just use the disposable plastic takeout containers and plastic bags instead? We don’t need as much as we think, but when we do need it, it’s important to not hold back for the sake of saving money or for the sake of being minimal.

Our lives are short and it’s not worth it to ever hold back on the things that are most essential. Money lost can be made back, but time? Once lost, can never get back. If you can trade a bit of money for a greater peace of mind, it’ll all have been worth it. A better quality of life ensures a greater chance of success. It gives us the frame of mind we need to pursue our ambitions without hindrances or interruptions. It allows us to focus on what we need to be doing instead of the distractions that arise from the sake of saving more money.

We only live once and time is forever. The next time you find yourself holding back from buying what’s essential, ask yourself, “Is this really what I want? Is this what I deserve? Is this how I want to live my life?

“We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands. and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.” — Sheryl Sandberg

About the author

Jon Lee

I travel the world in search of lessons worth sharing. Addicted to culture shock and transparency. Currently working on heeyy and duuck.

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