Peter Block, American Author
Remember the days when you were young and saved your money to buy something you really wanted? When you brought it home it was yours. You could repair it if it broke. The inner parts were relatively easy to understand. After you used it for a while it did not become obsolete; you could sell it to one of your friends, so he could enjoy it too.
Times have changed. Our cell phones now contain software that is not ours and we sign a licensing agreement to use it. We may own the shell of the phone, but we rent the technology. We don’t even wait for the phone to become obsolete. Many consumers crave the technology so much, they line up in droves for the next new upgrade.
In today’s world of planned obsolescence and digital wizardry, ownership has become more multi-dimensional, i.e., more abstract, ephemeral, elusive and more connected to the internet of things birthed from the bosom of Silicon Valley. Even our concepts of freedom, democracy, science, and capitalism have been washed clean by the waters of technological innovation.
Our automobiles have advanced to the point where the manufacturer will warn the driver of potential hazards and service requirements. Who could get along without Google maps or Waze!
But in this ever-changing world, we have not lost the ability to make an ongoing evaluation of our choices and our commitments. Keep in mind the observation I have shared so many times with clients and associates; what worked for us in the past may not work for us now. This includes the houses we bought to raise our families years ago or a car we intended to keep for a decade and everything in between.
Many things in life need to be redefined. Especially when we are deciding what is the most important thing to do, when is the best time to do it and who are the most important people in our lives.
So, the next time your phone has important software to install remember that you also have a software licensing agreement with yourself. It entitles you to complete ownership to take charge of the next best ten years of your life. Remember, time and tide wait for no (wo)man!