5 Ways to Develop a Mindset of Quality
One of the central components of a first class life is recognizing quality. Many of us were raised in and subsequently live in a scarcity mindset that prioritizes item price over all other factors. If you automatically opt for the cheaper price without digging deeper, you probably have a scarcity mindset.
What is a Scarcity Mindset and Where Did It Come From?
For many people, I believe this may be a legacy from the Great Depression. The situation was so bad that penny pinching during those difficult years became a permanent world view, even after the economy improved. Children inherited that paradigm, who then passed it on to their children, etc.
I believe this is a factor in why SO MUCH STUFF is made in China (under circumstances of questionable human and environmental safety, I might add) so that it can be sold to Americans – still the richest population on the planet – for super cheap prices. This way we can amass more and more and more without spending a fortune. Paradoxically, this is part of a scarcity mindset because the desire to gather more and more “stuff” is the result of a fear that in the future, there will not be enough. Therefore we need to get it now while we can.
Unfortunately, much of what we are amassing is garbage. “Made in China” doesn’t exactly scream high quality, and it shouldn’t. It’s made there in order to reduce production costs, not because Chinese workers produce better products. The cheaper products often don’t last as long, creating repeat business as customers have to replace broken, worn out and poorly functioning products sooner and more often compared to a higher quality product that lasts longer and works better.
Overcoming a scarcity mindset is essential on a journey to understanding and appreciating quality. You have to be willing to look at overall cost and not just price. Only then can you really determine if the extra $2 or $20 or $20,000 is worth it or if the cheaper product is just as good as the more expensive one.
If you find that you are stuck in a scarcity mindset, how do you get out of it? Here are five ways to start training yourself to get in the mindset of true cost and value (quality) over the number on the price tag.
1.Spend time in high end stores.
While I believe many name brand products are overpriced, they do tend to be of higher quality. By handling products that are produced with greater care, you begin to develop a “feel” for quality. How does this shirt look and feel compared with another, cheaper one? Look at the stitching on clothes. Is it tight or loose? Sloppy or precise?
Lift things. Often quality comes with a little heavier weight. My $500 blender that I’ll use for the rest of my life and can puree just about anything is much heavier than my old $50 one that could barely crush ice. Even if you are not ready to buy any of these things, getting your hands on these premium products will help train your mind to look beyond price and get to the root of real value.
2.Go sit in a luxury car.
Certain makes of car are expensive for a reason, and it’s not (necessarily) because of a “brand name.” It’s because they are the result of high-level engineering, premium parts and cater to an audience who expects the very best. Go to your local Infiniti or Jaguar or Lexus dealership and peruse the lot.
You don’t have to be pre-qualified to sit in a car in the showroom. Run your hands over the leather. Feel the firmness of the wheel and gear shift. See the little details that make this product superior. Surround yourself with something awesome and then hold on to how that made you FEEL. That way you can recognize it when something else makes you feel the same way. That is a key that you are shifting into a quality mindset over a scarcity mindset.
3.Spend time with quality minded people.
You may have heard that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I believe this is true, and this is actually pretty exciting! It means you can get on the road to elevating whoever you are and into what you want to be just by choosing your friends.
When you spend time with people who are interested in quality, you can learn from their experiences and grow into a quality mindset just by being around them. You can even help each other out by sharing high quality items so you can each benefit from using them and getting into the feeling.
Contrast this with hanging out with people who are complaining about what things cost without researching alternatives, trashing people who do buy and use high end products and generally spend their time feeling miserable. Who would you rather be? If it’s not the second group, move away from those people and shift into a new circle of quality-minded friends.
4.Carefully research a high quality item that you want, then buy it.
It doesn’t have to be an item with a huge price tag, but it should be something you truly want and love. Maybe you enjoy jewelry but have been stuck in a rut buying costume jewelry that irritates your skin, falls apart after a few wearings or just “looks cheap.” Investing in a nice string of pearls or a gold and sapphire pendant could be just what you need. Or perhaps you’re a coffee junkie and love lattes. Buy a high quality espresso machine and learn how to make your own gourmet drinks. (It will look great sitting on your kitchen counter, too!)
I guarantee incorporating a single high quality item that you adore into your life will improve your self-image and you will begin to see yourself as a person who understands, appreciates and HAS nice things. This is the first big step to bringing more of that into your life. Allow yourself to own something really, really nice and then love the heck out of it. Every time you use it or wear it or even look at it you will elevate your mindset to be focused on value and quality.
5.Appreciate endlessly everything you already have.
If you treat your belongings like garbage or don’t appreciate what you’ve already got, don’t bother wishing for more. (Read more on this idea here.)
A spirit of ingratitude only cultivates more things for you to be ungrateful toward. Any high-end product you buy will be a lemon, or it will get stolen, damaged or otherwise disappoint you. Don’t waste your money on quality until you have generated an attitude of gratitude first. There is much to be grateful for in any situation if you train yourself to look for it. This skill, above anything else you learn about any subject, will improve the quality of your WHOLE LIFE faster and better. Genuine appreciation is the first class quality you will treasure the most.