Response Crafting

Consumption: as experience or as an endpoint

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We have complex interactions with areas of our consumption:

  • How we view ourselves and our needs
  • How we view our environment
  • How we choose the items we target
  • Our relationship with them
  • How they relate to ourselves
  • How that relationship defines our habits
  • etc.

One spectrum of consumption (and there are many) is the objective of “endpoint” vs. “experience.”

  • Endpoint: The individual who perceives an act of consumption as serving the objective of reaching an endpoint wants to find or finish something; check a box, and be able to point to it or perhaps come back. They want to have a “favorite” or “the usual”
  • Experience: The individual who perceives a particular act of consumption as serving the objective of experience sees the act of consuming as never-ending. The goal is not to find a stopping point and point to it or stop, but rather build a “storyboard” or dialogue and keep going.

At initial pass, it is easy to align these tendencies with personalities:

  • The more conservative or “guardian” types are more likely to look for endpoints – tried and true favorites, to which they can return time and again.
  • While the more adventurous types are more likely to look for experience – they like innovation and experimentation, and have a higher tolerance for uncertainty or change.

The reality, however, may be that we all waver from one to the other, in line with a.) our priorities or biggest needs and b.) the way we think these particular consumption spaces and specifics expenditures satisfy them.

We all have both some “endpoint” and some “experience” habits.

The most innovative people in some spaces are some of the most “endpoint” (read: routine) in others. Many otherwise innovative people, for example, swear by strict routines in sleep habits, food, exercise and, in the case of some such as Jobs and Zuckerberg, also clothes.

The secure of “endpoints” in some realms of life – necessities in particular – may free up mental bandwidth for “worthier” pursuits, with “worthy” here defined as “whatever the individual cares most about.”

And perhaps, in the absence of “worthy” mental pursuits or in interim until they find them, people may find that “necessities” such as food or clothing (apart from real passions in this space), because they are easily accessibly in the everyday, are the easiest things to soothe the need to “experience” or “explore.”

“Experience” pursuits should be retained for passions; “endpoint” for whatever else is needed to support everyday life. 

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