It’s funny where you learn things, very often it’s in the places you least expect.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean . . .
When you move to a place like China you have to partake in certain things like getting suits, jackets and pretty much everything else tailor made. The quality at the local markets is good and it’s outrageously cheap. Having a serious jacket fetish, I was naturally in my element! I got about ten made in the first week, all different cuts, linings, lapels etc.
So after a few months when I discovered an Italian tailor who had been working in China I was intrigued as to why his same fabric suits were 4 times the price (still half of what is costs to get a jacket made at home) so I decided to get one made as a trial. When he measured me up and we had selected cuts, lapels, pockets and about 40 other things I went to put on one of my ‘market tailor’ made jackets to ask him what he thought of it.
Expecting disdain and criticism I was astonished when he responded not with it looks okay or I think its pitiful mass market produced crap but rather “How does it make you feel?” It was the first time I had ever thought about it. It made me feel, nothing, absolutely nothing.
Two weeks later when he brought my new jacket I kept in mind his previous response when I slid his jacket over my shoulders, I could for the first time understand why it cost what it does. Its hard to explain really but it made me feel like I was designed to wear that jacket, not because of the expense but for so many reasons that make the perfect suit (and I suppose you could get ones 100 times the price – I can only imagine the joy!!)
The point of the story is not the jacket, it’s about life. That when you buy something, you shouldn’t buy it just for the sake of it or for what others think of it or even because you feel like you should have it, but rather because it makes you FEEL a certain way. I’ve long said that if you spend a lot of money on a single purchase, if, every time you see it, it makes you smile then you have spent wisely, no matter what it cost.
The same applies here. Some people think certain things I buy or spend my money on seem extravagant but how many times in life can you buy a feeling? The answer is you can’t and so if a physical object, holiday, hotel, piece of art or a simply perfectly tailored jacket can do that, even if just for a moment, then I cannot think of anything in this world that is a better way to spend money.