You know the thing when someone you like but don't love invites you to a party, and you say yes because you like them! Or someone invites you to some experimental thing that you wouldn't normally go to, but it would be cool to expand your horizons a bit.
And then when the day actually rolls around, when it's not hypothetical and you have to fit it in with your other plans or with your tiredness or your desire to spend time with your loved ones, you are like "oh my god why did I say Yes to that".
The problem is that when something is months in advance, you're comparing "Experimental Event" to "Nothing" and nothing of course seems more fun. But by the time you get there, there's a tonne of other things on, and you're now comparing the Experimental Event that you already committed to, to "dinner with beloved friend" or something you really love.
So here are two methods:
When someone invites you to something in the distant future, ask: Would I say Yes to it if it was this weekend?
That's the simple heuristic.
The more complicated one: Instead of comparing the event to doing nothing, compare it to the kind of nice event that you might do pretty typically. Like coffee with a good friend - you can't predict if some crazy opportunity will come up, but you can pretty reliably assume that if you go to this Event, that is one 'normal plan with nice friend' you won't be able to do. So that's what you should be weighing any future plans up against.
This piece was originally published in The Whippet #91 – subscribe to get the next one in your inbox!
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