I was walking on the streets, and I saw an advertisement for the new Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone that said: “Think big.” What if we embraced the opposite— and “think small”?
Why do we always think that ‘bigger is better’?
We want bigger TV’s. We want bigger cars. We want bigger phones. We want bigger screens. We want bigger homes. We want bigger cameras. We want bigger bank accounts. We want bigger muscles. We want bigger boobs. We want bigger garages, bigger pools, and bigger back yards.
Why are we so obsessed with “big”?
I think it is because we equate big with power, with status, and with influence/success.
We equate a big fancy home that someone has “made it” in life, and they use it as an external marker for “success.”
We equate bigger things with more value, because it has more weight, size, and more atoms.
I think thinking that ‘bigger is better’ is just a fallacy of our monkey-like minds. We look at bigger fruit and bigger steaks, and think that it will bring us more nutrition, satisfaction, and therefore we will not die.
But the problem is that bigger is often worse.
For anyone who lives in a crowded downtown area, you know that you don’t want a big car. They are a pain to find parking for, difficult to drive (horrible turning radius), and often are more expensive to maintain (and feed with gas).
For anyone who has lived in a big house — it looks pretty on the outside, but it is a pain in the ass to clean, maintain, and fill with furniture. More space means more opportunities for dust to accumulate. More space means more things to sweep and clean. A bigger home means more stuff, means more stuff more likely to break down (toilets breaking down, sinks getting clogged, doorknobs becoming loose).
A bigger camera might have better image resolution, but it is a pain in the ass to carry around, heavier when traveling, and also more expensive.
What are the benefits of small?
We’re obsessed with having bigger smartphones. But are there benefits of having a smaller smartphone?
A smaller smartphone means that we can actually use our phone with one hand. Remember back in the day, we could actually text-message with one hand?
A smaller smartphone might have worse battery life, but that might be a hidden benefit— we end up using our phone less often.
A smaller smartphone has a smaller screen — but maybe that means we will spend less time staring at it, and more time focused on our friends and family.
A smaller camera might have worse image quality, but because it is smaller, we are more likely to carry it with us everywhere we go. Which means we end up taking more photos. And a smaller camera is lighter, which means it is easier to travel with, walk around with, without fatigue.
Also smaller cameras usually mean fewer megapixels, and smaller image size. Smaller images are easier to backup, quicker to upload online, and less expensive (in terms of buying more hard drives, and cloud storage).
Smaller homes are easier to clean, maintain, and force us to edit down our belongings. We also learn how to use our space more effectively. Also having a smaller home might mean we spend more time outside of the house— socializing with friends and family we care about.
A smaller car is easier to drive, cheaper to maintain, less gas costs, and easier to park.
Small is good
Good things happen in small packages.
An espresso, versus a Venti starbucks frappucino.
A sporty mini cooper, versus a hideous over-sized SUV.
A Ricoh GR camera, instead of a bulky DSLR, with camera-grip, and huge telephoto lens.
A lightweight travel backpack, instead of heavy rolly-wheel luggage.
Let us flip the equation on its head — don’t think big; think small.
The smaller you make your possessions, the smaller you make your ambitions, the bigger your joy, the bigger your freedom, and the bigger your satisfaction.
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