I bought a TV yesterday. A humongous and gorgeous 65" beast. But ever since the TV is set up, I felt slight remorse. Maybe my living room is so small that I should have got a 55" TV instead? Maybe fifty five inch TVs would be cheaper and allow me to get better picture quality? etc, etc. Which led me to think about returning it. However, that’s a huge process by itself, so I didn’t really end up returning it. Slowly, I came through. So what if this big ass TV that’s way too big for my living room? My guests will be wooed by it and the movies will look amazing like in cinemas. I was experiencing a classic case of buyer’s remorse.
Buyer’s remorse can occur to anyone. Though I am not knowledgeable enough to definitively say what kind of personality would be more susceptible to the influence of it, I would guess it is those people who are cautious about money and wanting the best bang for the buck. People in not so optimal financial situations are a victim of it as well.
The phenomenon of buyer’s remorse is so prevalent that it extends into the government’s contract as well. Countless projects are cut only after the cost benefit analysis and feasibility study shows that it is desirable for the community. The government is always playing a game of dedicated shuffling and careful allocation of resources to benefit the greatest number of people. However, even they sometimes cannot carry out the whole project and realise its benefit to society.
The buyer’s remorse stems from us humans constantly analysing the pros and cons of a decision. When the benefit and cost of a choice comes too close, the slightest weight will tip the scale and cause us to desire what’s on the other side of the decision (not buying). It is adequately described in an age old adage that ‘grass is always greener on the other side’. We are always fearful of missing out on the potentially rewarding results.
But the cold hard fact is that we cannot have our cake and eat them. We have to learn to live with the consequences of our decisions and don’t let anyone, even ourselves, convince us otherwise. Because in doing so, an individual loses his or her drive to push through and results in abandonment of half baked projects. Consider the full consequence of a decision, such as how it would affect your daily life, how it would affect your financial standing and how much effect it requires you to commit.
Change is inevitable. When the changes in projects occur, it might increase the cost of the project to an unbearable level. Knowing when to abandon the project is important. Because after all, what’s the point of pushing through the project if it means utter destruction of its purpose? Just remember that abandoning a project also comes with a ‘sinking cost’ (sinking cost here has slightly different meaning to the traditional sinking cost, here means the cost of proper finalization cost of the project). Taking that into the calculation of the decision will help immensely. Learning from why the project is abandoned or failed also form an important part of the reduction of buyer’s remorse. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of the choices and consequences will help you make more informed decisions in the future and the will power to push through whatever obstacles that come with it.