Gasset, the hidden originator of pragmatist metaphysics, is famous for saying:
Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.
Which is certainly true, but let’s not underestimate our human capacity for materialism. Let’s not be naïve in regards to the modern consumerist culture.
If you really want to know who you are, don’t just look at what you pay attention to, look at what you pay money for.
Because that’s the fuel of life. Money isn’t everything, but it is a lubricant for other things. A marvelous mirror to reflect true identity.
As such, if you’re seeking clarity around who you are and what you believe, consider these critical investment questions.
What do you spend a disproportionate amount of money on?
For which product are you price insensitive?
Which nonnegotiable items that delight you do you always allow yourself a budget for, regardless of your financial situation?
That’s who you are.
The scary part is, that information now comes at a price.
Amazon, for example, is the most powerful company in the world because it remembers every single product you ever bought. Or want to buy. Or thought about buying but didn’t.
Which enables their custom item filtering system based on your order history, which makes its patented recommendation engine the most brilliant invention of modern retail, which ultimately allows their company to build a sophisticated and intimate relationship with the public, without being perceived as intrusive. Good for them.
And in fact, good for us too. Who doesn’t love acquiring more of that which brings them joy?
But let us never forget, if everything we buy increases our knowledge of who we are, it also increases the company’s knowledge of who we are, which makes it dangerously easy for them to quickly, seamlessly and consistently take our money.
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What is the cost of your identity?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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