You Don’t Know What You’re Missing ‘Til You Get It

I’ll admit it, I was going to write a Robin Williams article. I’ll also admit that I don’t even know who the guy was. I just figured writing an article about his 10 greatest quotes or something of that nature would be easy to write and provide a bunch of search traffic in the midst of his death.

However, between how overplayed those articles have been, and my friend and community member here Julien mentioning how those are his least favorite type of article we’ll take things in a different direction. We’re going to be creative this morning.

We’ve all heard the saying, “You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.” It’s a beautiful quote and among all the articles being written about Robin Williams these days there’s clearly an element of truth to it. I’m a big fan of this saying.

An expression I’m not as big on, however, is the quote’s often evil sister, “You don’t know what you’re missing ‘til you get it.” Admittedly this expression sometimes has an element of truth to it. I recently experienced this as a result of starting to wake up early again. I’d forgotten the productivity and calmness the serenity of the morning brings.

That’s an example of a positive application of the quote. However, in mainstream society discovering the small pleasures of life is rarely the narrative you’re fed. Instead you’re told to consume.

You’re told that a new car with heated seats is the thing you didn’t even know you were missing, but will bring you happiness. You’re told that getting a big TV and an expensive watch is what’s going to lead to you feeling complete.

It’s possible that I just haven’t found a cool enough necklace yet, but from what I’ve experienced being a consumer rarely leads to more than a passing glimpse of fulfillment.

In fact, the fleeting happiness that occurs when one purchases a luxury good is often followed by feelings of inadequacy; either comparing yourself to others and having the urge to buy more, or feeling shameful that you’ve succumbed to your addiction of wasting money. To save you money and me sanity consider this.

From a perspective of consumerism, perhaps it’s better to practice gratefulness and appreciation for what you have before it’s gone rather than living by the philosophy, “You don’t know what you’re missing ‘til you get it.”


We’ll be back again Friday with what I feel is the best post of the week. Hope you enjoyed this post, however, and I’ll see you again in a couple days!

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