The biggest purchase you are likely to make is your house. Now, that should be one thing that gets a great deal of critical thought. I'll mention houses in a future post.
The second largest purchase is a car. As I mentioned, I didn't bother with critical thinking until late in life. So cars were bought on a whim and I have no regrets. Until I did. After university I got a car with my first job. Then a change of role without a company car. My dad sold me his well looked after executive car, (Honda Accord.) which was brilliant until it wasn't. I decided I wanted a motorbike.
My critical thinking skills led me to a brand new motorcycle. (Suzuki GS500.) However, within minutes the salesman had sold me a larger bike. (Suzuki GSF650.) Two years later, I was offered a test ride on an ugly looking bike. (Yamaha XJ6.) Which was odd because I had only gone in to buy a rucksack. I bought that very same bike that weekend. So far, no effective critical thought. Within 9 months I was trying to trade it in for yet another brand new motorcycle. (Fuoco 500. Long story.)
Wow, quite a lot to follow. Basically, not enough critical thought. It took four years critical thought before purchasing my current steed. (Kawasaki W800.) Which I have had for two years without a single thought about swapping it for something else.
So what changed? Me. I went into the dealership, stated that I wanted to swap my current bike, I pointed to a bike and said I wanted that one and firmly stated my buy price. This time there was no up selling. My mind was made up. I had considered a great many options and made my choice. It was and is the most expensive thing I own.
It was far cheaper than the combined losses on the proceeding bikes and car. More importantly, I can look at and appreciate other motorcycles without feeling that I own the wrong bike. I enjoy riding my bike. I don't believe that owning or riding any other bike would make me happier. In summary, I am content with my motorbike.
Actually, I own two. The other will be replaced, when and only when, I have decided what to replace it with. (Yamaha YBR125.) I have decided that I do need two.
What about cars, you may ask. That is easy. For local trips, where a motorbike is not suitable, I use a taxi. For longer trips, the train or a hire car. Sometimes I hire a small car, sometimes a large car.
That is my current critically thought out transportation plan. It is vastly different from my previous plans where I merely thought that I was thinking. Which is the point I am trying to make, we all think we think. Fine, let's make an effort to make even better decisions for ourselves and our loved ones.
I hope the pros and cons of critical thought are becoming clearer. Once you are able to make effective decisions life gets much easier.
In later articles I will mention global issues and how self directed research and evaluation assists in understanding what is actually happening.
Best of luck in your endeavours.
(The stuff in brackets can be ignored. You should have not paid it too much attention anyway unless you chose too. Now for the advanced critical thinkers, how come I got a negative interest rate on financing the W800 over three years? Total price to pay is well under the retail price. Anyway, I will cover this later but not soon. Feel free to recommend replacements for the YBR 125, it must be road legal and cope with UK winters. Thanks in advance.)
Have a great weekend