Ignorance Fuels Procrastination

Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 14:53
A big ole pile of used up tires.

Case in point, several years ago I had to replace the rear passenger tire of our Ford Escape because the sidewalls were coming apart. Sure, the experimentalist inside of me wanted to see how far I could push it because I've never experienced a tire blow out while going 75 mph down a highway. Still, my wife did an excellent job calling me out on my semi-sarcastic plans, so off to the tire shop I went!

While I wanted to only replace one of the four, the technician told me that mixing old and new tires would be bad for my transmission given the difference in tread thickness. It could have been true. It could have been complete bullshit. Unfortunately, I know absolutely nothing about cars, which is why I'm at the mercy of whatever I'm being told. Anyway, I agreed to move forward out of fear of breaking something else as a result of trying to save a buck.

After the service was complete, the technician asked me if I wanted to keep any of the remaining tires, which still had 5 millimeters of tread (see, I was paying attention). He said I could either keep them or they could dispose of them. Now that I'm older and (arguably) wiser, I would have opted to dispose of them and move on with my life. However, even though I'm far more financially blessed than the days growing up when I qualified for free lunches at school, I've always had a hard time shaking the "there are children starving in Africa" meme. To this day, I still will polish off leftovers that are questionably beyond their due date so as to not be wasteful.

I opted to keep the tires because, well, it seemed crazy to throw away two perfectly good used tires! I might need them someday. Or I might be able to make $20 on Craigslist by hooking someone up that was in need. These future scenarios seemed reasonable, only I hadn't factored in my lack of time and motivation to do either.

This is why when we rented a dumpster several months later, I decided that it was more practical to throw them out and move on. Unfortunately, I was informed by the dumpster company that tires were one of the restricted items that I couldn't toss into the massive container I just paid $200 for! I was miffed, but I asked him what an alternative course of action would be. He mentioned that tire shops would generally charge anywhere from $5 to $10 per tire to handle their disposal.

In the grand scheme of things, paying $20 to dispose of two tires shouldn't be a big deal. However, I was upset that my goal of making a buck was costing me money AND I had to spend a few hours lugging them back to the very place I could have just left them in the first place (for free)! Fast forward two years. After staring at those two tires next to our garbage cans, I finally said enough was enough. I took them to the shop only to find there is no charge for disposal. I just dropped them off out front and was on my way. Had I just called instead of listened to the dumpster rep give me false information, I would have got rid of these two tires years ago. However, ignorance held me back.

It makes me think how many other things we procrastinate on simply because we were told false information and that the path forward is much simpler than we've complicated it in our heads. I mean, why else would it take me two years to throw away two tires!

Photo by Imthaz Ahamed on Unsplash

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: Chief Product Officer of DRUD Tech. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.