What the eyes see, the heart desires
I came across this quote a while ago, and for some reason, it stuck in my memory and has resurfaced for me quite a few times. My brain reminded me of it when I was actively trying to curb my spending — book buying in particular. I’ve always had a weakness for purchasing books, but I noticed that I was buying way more books than I was reading. My groaning bookshelves can attest to that.
But each time I resolved to slow down, a few more would find their way into my house. It was then that I remembered the quote and thought about it. “From where am I learning about all of these books?” I asked myself. The answer was simple: from all of the bookish newsletters to which I was subscribed.
Every day (and I do mean every day), I receive several emails talking about all the new books that are coming out or “books we think you might enjoy.” I’d see a book that sounded interesting, and the next thing I knew, it was in my shopping cart.
Finally realizing that I’ll continue to buy books as long as I received these newsletters, I unsubscribed to most of them — and lo and behold, my book-buying pretty much came to a halt. Because really, there’s so much time I have available to read books.
What the eyes see, the heart desires.
I applied this concept to other areas of my life as well and unsubscribed from most marketing emails and newsletters. I’ve never been too keen anyway about constantly polluting my brain with marketing messages every day, and now I consciously try to limit the amount of advertising to which I’m exposed.
As a result, my spending these days has been drastically reduced, and really, I’m buying only essentials — and only a couple of books here and there (not boxes and boxes of them at a time as I did in the past only to sit on my bookshelves, unread). In addition, I never watch commercial television, so I’m not exposed to ads in that way. And in addition to getting rid of marketing emails, I also use ad blockers when browsing the web for my sanity’s sake.
The same goes for tech gadgets (my other weakness, next to books). I used to purchase all sorts of gizmos, chargers, SD cards, drives, etc., many of which I really didn’t need. Of course, getting rid of those marketing emails curbed my desire for them as well.
I think that for anyone trying to cut back on spending, the first step may be to drastically reduce or eliminate the marketing to which you’re exposed. It worked well for me.
If the eyes don’t see it, the heart can’t desire it.