Have you every realized that we as humans are extremely good at not solving the core problem (i.e. the root cause), but rather stick a Band-Aid on it? What make this really bad is that we do this with almost everything! A couple of random examples (feel free to add a couple more in the comments section):
- More and more people are distracted in traffic by mobile devices, so let’s make an app for that. Really? Why not just shut it off or ignore the phone when you are behind the wheel.
- You’re suffering from high blood pressure, let’s take some medication for that. Really? Why not stop eating products with added salt (which is pretty much anything processed), meats (which stiffens arteries in the hours after consuming), eat more greens and beans and work out more? The previous few items are actually proven to be a lot more effective and much better for your overall health.
- You are having a piece of month left at the end of your money. Take out a loan or pay with a credit card! Really? Why not cut back on expenses, make a budget, evaluate your life priorities, find ways to earn more, etc.
- I need to clean my yard, of all the leaves that have fallen recently, with an obnoxiously loud leaf blower. Really? Why not get a rake and get a bit of exercise and not annoy your neighbours.
- I need a bigger house, because I cannot fit all my stuff and toys in it. Really? Why not sell/donate/recycle all the things you don’t use, clean up the place and enjoy the same place for many more years to come.
- I need to buy X, X and X on black Friday because it’s on sale, Really? If you actually need it, you would have bought it before and would be using it already. If you do have time, and have done your (price) research (and could not find it used or at your local thrift store), black Friday might be an okay time to buy (assuming the item actually is cheaper).
- I don’t like where my country is going, let’s elect an “interesting” real estate businessman for president, really? Well, you see where this is going 🙂
- Etc., etc., etc.
But why do we do this? Because it is the path of least resistance, it takes very little effort. If you actually want to solve the problem you have to work hard, be dedicated, be informed, want to improve and, most of all, are willing to change. Without the aforementioned you will just go for the quick fix, which in reality does not solve the problem, it masks the problem and often makes it even worse.
We are obviously not immune for this, and we keep reminding ourselves not to fall into the convenience trap. For example, instead of buying a second-hand compressor and accessories to inflate car tires, we used the bicycle pump to inflate our car tires to the optimum pressure (potential savings €50). This obviously takes more effort and time, but you get a bit of a workout and savings in return.
Moral of the story, take the long hard road, it will make you happier and improve your life!