Several weeks ago, my cell phone service provider sent me a message about a possible internet package upgrade. During this time, my internet offer included only 5 GB per month. In the new upgrade, the internet limit will be 10 GB per month.
In the beginning, when I saw this offer, I thought about neglecting it. Because it was only a few weeks after I upgraded already to the 5 GB package and I rarely consumed all of them. My average usage was between 1 GB and 3 GB per month. But in the end, I decided to take the offer and what happened later was a shocking surprise for me.
Few days after upgrading to 10 GB per month, my internet usage increased. I found myself consuming 7 and sometimes 9 GBs. And for a month I even crossed the 10 GB range.
And now, and during the past few months after I upgraded, I never consumed 1 GB or 3 GB as I was normally consuming in the past. My usage increased, and it remained as it is.
What went wrong here? And how did this happen? How did I consume suddenly all this extra internet on my cell phone?
And the answer is simple. Expanding the internet limit changed my behavior.
In the past, when I had the 5 GB internet package, the number seemed low, logic and consumable. So, I was always trying to control and to monitor my usage so that the 5 GB are not consumed.
But when I upgraded to 10 GB, the number seemed huge to be consumed in one month, so I stopped monitoring my usage, and I started watching more and more content online while saying to myself ‘’hey come on, I have 10 GB. I can never consume them.’’
But this is not everything. In the past when I used to find a video that I am interested in on the internet, I used to bookmark it and say ‘’OK. I will watch it at home using my wireless LAN.’’
Now, when I find a video that I like, I start playing it using my cell phone internet. In the end, what is the worst thing that can happen? I have 10 GB per month. I can never consume all this amount.
Do you want to see how this phenomenon is affecting your life?
Ask yourself, how do you start gaining weight? It starts the same way. You eat different small things -most probably snacks or fast food- while giving yourself the illusion that they are small things that can never harm you. And you stop monitoring your weight or even checking the number of calories written on the snack itself. Until you get accustomed to this new way of eating and you wake up few months or years to discover that you are 20 KGs overweight.
Let me give you even another example that massively impacts your life. Do you know why most people refuse to change their jobs if they are not happy? Or why people are afraid to start a business or take any risk? Because of the same reason.
You finish university, and you start your career earning a low salary. After 2 or 3 years, your salary starts to increase and with this increase your spending increases and your standard of living increases. And the month that you used to live with 1000 Euro now you are living with 2000. In fact, you even remember the days of the 1000 Euro/month and ask yourself ‘’how I was living with this low income?’’
But the problem that you are not aware of is that this increase in income and simultaneously the increase in your spending became like a chain. If you want to change your job because you do not like it, then you will search for a job which is offering the same or higher income. And if no company is offering you this, then you will stay at your current company.
Same if you decided to leave your job to start a business that you are dreaming of. During the first years of your business, your income will not be that high, and most probably it will not match what you were earning as an employee. So, you sacrifice your dream of starting this business because you do not know how you will survive this drop in your income.
And the examples are a lot more. In fact, I want you right now to think about other examples and to share with me in the comments section below.
So what are the lessons learned from this story and what can we do?
1- Always monitor anything that is important to you. No matter if these things are calories, income or anything else.
2- Never underestimate the power of small things compounded together. Gram after gram and you find yourself 10 KGs overweight. 1 Euro after 1 Euro and you find yourself overspending and living in a very high standard.
3- Final lesson, and by the way, this lesson is very specific and not relevant to the internet usage story that I shared with you, but it is important to share because the next years of your life will depend on it. And this lesson is: keep your financial commitments to the bare minimum. The minimum will encourage you to feel free and to take a risk if needed later in your life.
Share with me your experience and if you ever passed through a similar situation in your life in the comments section below.