It’s a question that naturally follows from my Best Decisions series, but none of you have actually asked it: Will there be a Worst Decisions series?
My 10-part series on the best decisions I’ve made since getting serious about simpler living ended last week. I’m sure I’ve made other good decisions that should have been mentioned, but I’ll bring those up as they come to me over the next few months.
Surely, though, at least one of you is curious about the mistakes I’ve made along the way.
There won’t be a worst decisions series, however, because I don’t look at life in negative terms. Every decision eventually leads to something amazingly good. Some decisions, however, haven’t led me directly to the level of amazingness I was expecting.
That’s not to say I haven’t made bad decisions in my life. I just like to focus on the good.
For example, when my online used bookselling business began to fail because of lower demand and lack of inventory, I was slow to accept the situation. My financial situation would be much better now if I had accepted much earlier that bookselling could no longer be my primary source of income. I suppose I’m still suffering from not identifying that problem sooner, but I don’t feel like I’m suffering. I was simply slower to react to the changes in my field than I should have been.
Fortunately, life is about more than money. I’m not very good at managing money yet, so it’s probably been for the best that I’ve had very little of it recently. I’ve been forced by finances to embrace even simpler ways of living in recent months, and that’s helping me see more clearly how simplicity really does make life better.
I’m sure I’ve also made bad decisions related to So Much More Life, including bad decisions about what to post on this blog and what not to mention. For a while, I noticed that some posts got a different group of commenters than others. Some of my posts have focused heavily on spirituality and vague concepts, drawing commenters who like that sort of things. Other posts have very specifically targeted aspects of life that can be simplified with specific steps. A different group of you commented on those posts. I should be writing for the same audience all the time.
There’s No Alternative To Quicken
When I looked over my posts from the last couple of years for ones that offered suggestions, advice or questions that turned out to be worthless pursuits in one way or another, only one post came to my attention.
In the post Toward A Simpler Replacement For Quicken, I asked you to help me find a simple-to-use, stable alternative to Quicken for tracking my business expenses. You had very few suggestions, and I told you about an application I tried that failed miserably.
After more research, I reached an important conclusion: There’s no good alternative to Quicken. I don’t like Quicken’s planned obsolescence and proprietary practices that force you to track information on their terms and only for as long as they allow. But my refusal to upgrade to a new version of Quicken eventually resulted in me having to manually type a few months of information into — you guessed it — my new Quicken 2012 software.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned other things here on So Much More Life that can’t really be classified as good ideas, but the post about Quicken is the only one I can identify that resulted in no useful alternative ideas and no value to you or to me.
One useless post in a couple of years is a pretty good record, isn’t it?
I Should Have Asked Two Years Ago
Maybe I should have asked this two years ago, but most of you weren’t here then to ask: What have you done wrong on your journey toward a simpler life?
Even if you take the same attitude that I do — that everything is a learning experience and even bad things work together for good — surely a few decisions in your life stand out as questionable.
I’m asking because I like to ask questions in my blog posts, and I do everything I can to encourage comments.
But there’s another reason. If it’s all the same to you, I’d like to avoid repeating your mistakes. And I hope you’ll avoid mine.
So keep an eye on your work and when the tide turns against it, bail out in favor of something better before the ship sinks.
Oh, and learn to love Quicken. I have.
Gip Plaster is a web content writer. Previously a journalist, online bookseller and even a corporate advertising guy, Gip now specialize in writing high-quality content for websites — his and other people’s. Learn more here.