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Tools and Motivations

I was doing some research on Air Fryers. Note however that halfway into my research I realized that I didn't really need it. My minimalism and a realization that other tools I already own have the potential to accomplish the same outcomes won out. The key word there being "potential"; there are steps, time, and effort that must be spent to achieve our goals no matter the tool producing the outcome we seek.

The whole thing got me thinking about the tools we use, the ones we feel we need, and the likelihood that we in fact don't need them. As noted in my last post and quite apropos to this thought process, I am reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, who delves into the dream versus the journey to get there. Only those who are willing to take the journey will achieve the dream; if you don't want to engage on the journey due to the challenges inherent, you didn't want the dream in the first place. In the case of the Air Fryer, the tool may make something seem more achievable, but if you are unwilling to put in the time to learn to use the tool well, will it fix your cooking?

Between Air Fryers and InstantPots, kitchen tools have captured the attention of a large swath of home cooks, especially during the pandemic, as quintessential for getting what you need out of raw ingredients. But the funny thing is, they don't do anything that can't already be done by other means that already exist in every home kitchen. Convenience and speed is the name of their game and that leads them to be desirable to an increasingly large group of people that are too busy for their own good.

Motivation is a funny thing. My motivation in the kitchen stems from the challenges of making good food, not on the time spent doing so. I am not fixated on the clock when I am vibing in the kitchen. In fact, the best food takes time and effort to make, no matter what YouTube cooks show you can be done in ten minutes or less. The other piece is that food is, for everyone, a means to an end. No matter how much you enjoy the food on the table, you would die without it, so you are motivated to eat.

So too are things like Snow Blowers. If I am busy or in a rush, it would make my life easier, for sure. If I want to play with my kids in the snow and forget to do that due to the pressing need to blow the snow from one place to another more convenient place, am I living my best life? The tool doesn't make the memory nor should I put my energy into making every part of life less uncomfortable or more convenient because you miss out on what makes life worth living. Extrinsic and legal motivations aside, I have little need to clear sidewalks "for fun".

So what motivates me is more and more about the outcomes I seek and less and less about the tools that bring me to that outcome.

UPDATE (1/31/23): I attempted to post this last night and GitHub Pages kept failing on me inexplicably. I was not in a place to fix the issue at the time. It was perfect timing, though, because it made me think about the tools I am using even for keeping this space afloat. A simple text editor (iA Writer), Working Copy on iOS and GitHub Desktop on Mac, and GitHub Pages. Would it have been better if everything had worked out perfectly and the post had not errored, sure. Would it have demonstrably changed my life or even my day, no. Keeping context and clarity of priorities is important in a time when the world keeps spinning and humans keep overcomplicating life with unimportant things that take precedence over living.