Minimalism And Personal Improvement
There’s a movement out there called minimalism where advocates are suggesting that we simplify our lives in a way so that our lifestyles are much less complicated, stressful and expensive. They say we should cut out costly indulgences like unnecessary luxuries and be free of demanding schedules.
In many ways, I think this is a good idea, especially during these tough economic times. Minimalism can be much healthier too as we cut out the junk food we eat outside as well as inside our homes. I can see how simplifying our lives can fit in with personal improvement.
After all, if we become healthier and less stressed out, that’s pretty good personal improvement to me. However, I think there are cases where we don’t always have to be a minimalist as we are allowed some indulgences.
Where Minimalism Doesn’t Jive With Me
For example, I have one indulgence that I will never give up. I like hot cars. I’m a bit of a car snob. To me, cars are not just transportation tools to help me get from point A to point B. Instead, a car is an expression of my own personality.
I also want to have pleasure from driving and for me, I can’t get any driving pleasure out of a minivan or family sedan. Sorry folks, they are nice vehicles but they don’t fit my personal style. I don’t even like SUVs. The only cars I drive are manual shift sports cars, even during the Canadian winter.
My first car I ever owned was a black Toyota Supra. This was a hot car and I went to black cars before they actually become in style. I think it was the original Miami Vice influence. Even the company cars I drove during my pharmaceutical career were usually black even though they were not sports cars – by the way, if you aspire to get into the pharmaceutical sales field, see my free webinar on drug representative careers. If I remember correctly, there was a Honda Accord, Gran Prix, Cutluss Supreme, and a Malibu for company cars — all black.
After my Supra, I went to a black Eagle Talon for my personal car. When its lease was over, I didn’t really see anything in the market I liked within my price range so I ended up leasing a newer model black Eagle Talon. This was in 1997 and the newer Talon was a meaner looking model than its predecessor. If I was behind you on the road and you looked at your rearview mirror, it was like Darth Vader creeping up behind you!
Personal Improvement Can Include Financial Skills
I’m a big believer that personal improvement should include both health and financial skills, especially during these times. So how does a sports car fit in with personal improvement and financial skills?
It’s quite easy actually. I initially leased my last three vehicles and they were nice business expenses. Then when the lease of my second Eagle Talon came up, I decided to buy the car outright since it was still a very hot car for a decent price.
In fact, I liked this car so much that I kept it ever since 1997. Through the years, its hotness was still competitive with newer model sports cars out there in the same price range. That’s how I made my indulgence affordable. A hot car relatively well maintained will last many years so its costs are spread out.
This Eagle Talon still turns heads and drives well as I even made some pretty long trips with it to college conferences and speaking engagements in the US – see my speaking programs if you need a speaker for a future event.
End Of An Era
However, like they say, all good things come to and end. My Talon has over 305,000 kilometres now and things are starting to fall apart. I’ve had some major repairs in the last few years and it now has an oil leak. An honest mechanic in my neighbourhood actually told me that it wasn’t even worth fixing anymore as he didn’t even want to give me an estimate for repairing it after inspecting the car. The car also just failed an emissions test and it would be too costly to repair it just to pass it.
Any repairs would now cost more than its value and I’m starting to lose the heating system which is not something I want for the upcoming winter during my long drives up to the ski slopes. So it’s time to say goodbye to my Talon after a very satisfying long run since 1997. The photo above is of an Eagle Talon that is very similar to my black one.
Not What The Minimalists Would Suggest
I’ve already secured my next car and the minimalists as well as the environmentalists would not be happy with me. I’m all for going green in general but so far, there isn’t a hybrid, electric or compact car out there I like yet.
I still love the roar of a nice sports car engine so I decided to get a muscle car this time — a red Mustang to be exact. It is still an end of an era, the era of a long line of black cars for me. But since the red Mustang is a pretty darn sexy car, I thought that I would be receptive to the change.
Yes, a muscle car in this day and age is an indulgence but again, it’s one that I’m not ashamed of. It’s one that I get a lot of pleasure out of and from a personal improvement point of view, one that I can manage.
The model is a V6, which is still a mighty 210 horsepower vehicle. I test drove three V6 Mustangs so far and they are a beast on the road. At least I didn’t spring for the GT or Shelby models which are over 300 and even 400 horsepower. Now that would be excessive in my mind.
I still subscribe to many aspects of minimalism and simplifying lifestyles for personal improvement but as far as cars as concerned, I’m not feeling guilty at all when I rev up that Mustang engine!