Here’s a Thought: Do I Have the Right Tools?

I sometimes (often) put up with minor – or major – inconveniences for a shockingly long time. I wore running sneakers for months past their expiration date when they were giving me painful blisters. I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time hunting for the one pen that works among the dozen or so cluttering up my desk.

This begs the question – do I have the right tools for the job? Chances are, if the answer is no, the solution could be quick and inexpensive.


Over the years I’ve developed a frustrating sensitivity to the sun. If exposed for too long, I get intense migraines that level me (often combined with crushing fatigue, how lovely). For years I used whatever hats we had lying around, the branded type you get in swag bags at a conference or buy at a tourist trap on vacation; they never adjusted well, weren’t comfortable, and this meant I’d often opt to go hatless – a decision I always regretted. Then a few years ago, I found a soft, slightly elasticized running hat with a fully adjustable Velcro backing. It makes running and every other outdoor activity so much more comfortable in the summer. I now rarely get migraines from being outside in the sun.

For years my parents had a malfunctioning can opener which was an endless source of frustration. It took 5 minutes, pinched fingers, and close contact with dangerously sharp metal to get the contents out of a can of corn. What a simple problem to fix. Buy a new can opener. Why did it take so long?


Most jobs are objectively more pleasant with the right materials. From a good mop for cleaning your floors to a salon-grade blowdryer that dries hair in a fraction of the time, a small investment can make a job easier, more efficient, and far more enjoyable.

And, for some healthy habits, like running or opening a can of veggies to go with your supper, they may even make you more likely to commit to good choices long-term.


Identify the problem. Then get on to the task of fixing it. More often than not, there’s a simple (and inexpensive) solution. A box of new pens, comfortable sneakers, a can opener, a hat.

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