Listening to some rockin’ tunes the other day I felt the inspiration to upgrade my sound system. I’ve had my speakers for almost 20 years now and while they still get the job done, I notice that my system does not thrill me the way it used to.
As a result I find that I listen to more music on my iPod or on the computer than on my stereo system. But nothing compares to a room full of music, where you can pick out all the crisp high sounds, soaring vocals, and feel the bass rumble in your belly.
Plus, I consider music to me such an important environment; it inspires me, connects me, energizes me.
So new speakers it is!
Now, what to get? I’ve not been in the market for a couple decades now. After firing up my trusty internets, it did not take long to read some reviews and feel a pull toward a particular model.
I decided on buying a pair of Polk speakers and did some price shopping across the web. From what I learned, I could spend 500 bucks or so and get a pretty cool set of speakers and this became the budget in my head. The ones I really wanted were $500 a piece, but I had already negotiated with myself and decided I could live with the next model down.
Before I was willing to pull the trigger, I hoped to hear the speaker in a local store and I would wait until the weekend to make the trip. However, later that evening, I stumbled across the model I really wanted, priced at $174 a speaker, down from over $400 a piece.
In disbelief (I could find no one else who would come close to touching that price), I clicked the item in my cart. And then I did nothing.
I decided I would sit on my decision for the night and buy them in the morning.
And you know what happened next.
In the morning, all pumped up to pimp out my soundsystem and breathe new life into my music and home, the speakers were back at $400 each. I blew it.
After cursing my computer screen, I turned my frustration inward. Why did I hesitate on such a great opportunity? What was I afraid of? Why…
And then I caught myself.
Sometimes at moments like this, a line by the character Walter Sobchak from my favorite movie, “The Big Lebowski” starts to play in my head:
“Nothing is fucked here, Dude. Come on, you’re being very un-Dude. They’ll call back.”
(L to R. Dude, Donny, Walter)
Indeed, nothing was fucked here. Maybe I missed a sale. So what? Not worth getting twisted over. And maybe, just maybe things would still work out if I let them.
I did some more research and found the company who was selling them through Amazon at such a great price. Before calling them, I decided that things would work in my favor.
Did they have any more of those speakers, I asked?
The man with the pleasant voice told me he thought they had one more pair in the back and put me on hold.
Yes! He would find them and they would be mine.
Nope. Sorry, he said. But they are great speakers. Great price, he added.
As the air left my chest cavity, he broke the silence between us.
You know, if you give me your information, I can order you some at that price.
Done and done.
I tell the story because yesterday I had some time to kill before going to a wake so I stopped in a local ski store to see what kind of sales they were offering. Talked to the ski dude and he told me the ski he liked best of them all. I felt the hit of inspiration, the desire for the skis, but I wanted to read up on them at home.
The skis had nothing by rave reviews and I found them online for $300 cheaper than their sale price in the store. Once again, no one else came close to this price. I put the skis in my virtual shopping cart… and, yup, I did it again.
Better wait until morning, my little brain said. Somehow I let my thinking seduce me once again into the place of not fully trusting my desire. And of course, in the morning the skis were $230 more than a few hours before.
I heard the voice of Walter in my head again and had a nice cup of coffee. Everything would work out.
If I let it.
I called the company and bingo bango, the nice man was shipping me my new skis at the lower price.
Done and done.
I share the stories for a couple reasons.
1) A big reminder not to let your thinking trump your desire. In both cases, I knew what I wanted and those things showed up in ways (low prices) that were better than I had imagined. And yet I let my conditioning (“it’s safer to wait a bit”) almost cost me the opportunity at hand. When the doorway appears, it’s your responsibility to walk through it.
2) I’ll call this “the Walter Rule.”
Yes, things happen in life. Opportunities are missed. Failures realized. But nothing is fucked, dude. Nothing. Not unless you decide to start thinking that way. The other choice is to decide that things will work out. Even when you’re not sure how. Rather, you just decide that you are one of the people in the world that things fall into place for. You’re special in that way. Cool. Lucky. Whatever. But life bedns to YOUR desire. Just because you want it to.
There’s no place for getting all dark, dramatic, or histrionic when things don’t seem to be going your way. First, it’s exhausting for you and anyone around you. Second, that would be very un-Dude.
3) Be sure to watch The Big Lebowski. I beseech you to watch it 3 times. Not once. Not twice. Three times. It’s a commitment, I know. But you’ll be a better, happier person for it. And then we can get together, share a beverage, and trade movie quotes.
Now to rip it up on the mountain with some cool tunes. Let’s meet for lunch?