Walking With Pete: Ride It Into The Ground

In today’s episode of Walking With Pete I talk to you guys about the importance of using up, finishing, completing, etc. your resources for whatever skill you’re trying to master before upgrading to the next set of resources. For instance, with regards to me and skateboarding at the moment I aim to ride my new board into the ground, that is ride it until it’s ruined, broken, unusable, before I upgrade to a new one. And I use wanting to get a new board as motivation to train hard so I can get there sooner!

Walking With Pete: Ride It Into The Ground

Hey guys, welcome to this episode of Walking With Pete even though I’m sitting on my butt at the moment, sitting on my skateboard. I thought I’d video this one on my iPhone, see how the sound comes out. It’s not too windy today, so hopefully it’s ok, and I’m in a… I’m in a nice sort of corner near the museum where I work that’s away from the wind. So, it’s pretty nice to… to sit and record here. And I guess today I wanted to talk about using things until they are totally ruined. And I was going to call this episode Ride It Into The Ground because I’m trying to have this attitude at the moment with a lot of resources that I get when I’m trying to learn something. So, like at the moment with the skateboard I’m really really trying to use it until everything on it breaks, just until it’s literally ruined, it’s ridden into the ground and I can’t use it anymore. So, one, I get my money’s worth, and “to get your money’s worth” is a way of saying you pay for something and you get the whole value of that thing by using it literally until you can’t use it anymore. Whereas, if say, one small thing broke on the skateboard and I threw it away and bought another one, that’s not getting my money’s worth, from the one that I bought originally at least.

And so, I sort of view this the same way with language learning resources. It’s so easy especially in our consumer driven society these days, and I’m going to get a bit political I guess but it’s so easy to just buy something, by something else, use it a little bit, buy something else, buy something else, use it a little bit, buy something else, and this almost gets into a habit, you know. We update our phones all the time when our iPhone 4 is still perfectly fine we upgrade to an iPhone 5 or an iPhone 6. We always want the next thing, and I feel like it’s a shame because one, you don’t get your money’s worth out of the original item, and two, you don’t really value that original item as much as you would if you used it completely and wholly until it was absolutely ruined, right? So, if I buy a Ferrari tomorrow and get bored driving it around within a week and then buy another car, one, I’m not going to appreciate how much… how much that Ferrari was originally worth, you know, and appreciate it for what it is and for what I can get out of it. If I can just buy another one any day then what is it to me? You know, it’s just trash effectively. It doesn’t mean anything. And the same goes for the thing you upgrade to right? If you buy something else that’s better when you didn’t really need to upgrade to it yet and you could’ve in the future you’re not really going to appreciate it for what it’s worth and how much you’ve spent on it to be honest. And I feel like it’s… it’s the same with language learning resources. I noticed that I wanted to do that with French and Portuguese quite a lot. I’d buy one thing, I would use it for a little bit, I’d buy another thing, I’d use that for a little bit. I’d never finish the say, language book, the grammar book. I would do a little bit out of it and then move onto the next one and I think I never really got as much done as I do now where my aim is to really use the first thing that I get, say that… that first Portuguese grammar book, use it until I finished it or until it’s unusable, and then use having finished using that item as a reward for buying the next one. And I think by doing this you set yourself up with motivations to work harder. So, you’re more likely to… if you really really really want the next thing you’re really a lot more likely to finish the first, and um… thus get a lot more experience, get your money’s worth out of that first one and use the second one as a reward. Whereas, if you’re able to just upgrade to the next one at any point in time you never really, one, going to work as hard, at least initially using that first one that you got, and two, you’re not going to appreciate that second one that you get, and you’re not going to use it to its full potential either. And it’s the same with skateboards. If I say to myself with this skateboard that I’ve bought that’s you know, it’s probably medium range. It’s not the best, it’s not the worst. If I say, you know, after a week of skateboarding, I really enjoy myself and I decide ok I’m going to buy a $1000 skateboard, the best of the best of the best, and then use that from here on out, it’s kind of not… one, I’m not good enough to use it yet, it’s a waste on me to be honest, and two, I’m not getting my money’s worth out of the first one. I could’ve used the first one and just ruined it. Ridden it every single day and used that motivation of trying to use it until it’s completely ruined as a motivation to… well sorry, to buy the next one as motivation to finish using the first one and then overall I’m going to really improve my ability. So, you could apply this to anything I feel. If you get… if it’s working at work and you want a promotion, if it’s learning a language, if it’s skateboard, if it’s surfing, try and set up rewards where even if you can afford to upgrade and you can afford to get the next thing try and set it up so that it is a reward as opposed to your feeding your boredom and… or just jumping the gun. “Jumping the gun” is like if you’re having a race, a running race, and they have that starter’s gun that they set off, if you jump the gun it means that you start before the gun has gone off. So, if you jump the gun with regards to upgrading your skateboard or getting the next set of resources for your language learning, whatever it is, it means that you have gotten those things before you’re ready or before you deserve them or before it’s worth getting.

Anyway, that was effectively the message for today. It was, try and set up those kinds of rewards. Any time you want to upgrade or you’re thinking about upgrading, try and make sure that the thing you’re going to upgrade has really been used to completeness, that you’re not getting anything else out of it, that it is now ruined and a waste to keep using it. You need that next thing. And yeah… just use it, use it, use it, use it, use it until it’s ridden into the ground.

Anyway, that’s long enough for today guys. I’m going to go do a bit of skating at the museum out in the sun. Well, behind some clouds as you can probably see or not see it’s behind some clouds, and let’s see if I can ride this stupid skateboard into the ground. See you guys!

Check out all the other recent Walking With Pete episodes below.