When I moved to the US from India, five years back, one thing that caught my attention was how relatively abundant the US was. Huge cars, minivans, large mansions in the suburbs, bigger and wider roads, plenty of uninterrupted water and power supply and plenty of free lands with no civilization to name a few. No wonder they call this place the land of opportunities, I thought.
Over time I started taking all this abundance for granted, and abundance became the new norm since I have been desensitized to the lack of resourcefulness on a daily basis. I was talking to my friend in India, the other day and she took me down the memory lane. It brought back vivid memories and images of how I used to live back in India. That’s when it occurred to me that I am not only currently, residing in the land of opportunities and dreams but also, living a lifestyle that’s an outlier compared to the rest of the world. My consumption rate has increased by at least 20 times after coming here. In short, I forgot what resourcefulness was. I forgot what my needs and wants were. I started mistaking my wants for my needs, and it became overwhelming as my stress levels increased.
That’s when I stumbled upon this gem of a book called The Dip. I figured that this book is primarily for people living in a country like the US, where there is access to many opportunities and plenty of resources.
When we have access to many things, we tend to be constantly on an ‘exploring choices’ mode not knowing when it’s enough to simply stop exploring and commit to a few things. When we are constantly in an exploring mode to avoid FOMO, there is a higher chance of us becoming a wandering generality. This book was a wake-up call to me regarding committing to a few things in life and be a meaningful specific instead. The advice from this book is applicable in many areas of our life ranging from work and personal relationships to leading a simple and frugal lifestyle.
The Dip teaches you to anticipate elements of obstacles, boredom, and dead-ends of different things we enroll ourselves, well in advance, so we are aware that such elements exist, at the pre-commitment stage itself. Not only does it prevent sunk costs from occurring, but the plain awareness of these truths will help us decide when to quit something and move on the next thing and when to stop exploring and commit to building something meaningful over time. The book teaches us to not only manage our finite resources such as time, energy, and money effectively but also, to leave a footprint that we are proud of.