You Could Save Thousands of Dollars with this One Weird Trick

Greatness can be as simple as changing the way you see the world.

Your friends and family will tell you that you get what you pay for.

I’m here to let you in on a little secret. It’s what gets Olympic athletes out of bed and Nobel laureates out of bed. It’s the secret sauce that differentiates the ambitious from the resultious.

The truth is, you don’t get what you pay for. You pay what you get for.

Don’t get it? Keep reading.

It’s like this: when you want to get for something, you pay for it: in time, money, sweat, and tears. When you really want something, the price you’re willing to pay isn’t determined by the thing you’re getting; it’s the what you’re getting it for.

Most people have it backwards. They thinking of the what they’re paying for and then try to go out and get it. But they should think of what they’re getting for and then go out and pay it.

Classic example: Dude wants to get ripped. What does he do? He shops around for a gym membership, looking for the right price. Mistake number one. From that point, brosef will view his training in terms of what he paid. “Is this worth $20 a month?” he’ll ask. I call this phenomenon #VASAllationTM. It’s tragic.

If you really want something, you’ve gotta pay what you get for.

Here’s another example: Young professor wants to help first-generation college kids. She figures if she can help them get a handle on college-level reading and math, they’ll have a springboard to launch them to success. Solid dream, lady-friend.

But what does she do? She starts shopping, hoping passively for the invisible hand of the market to point her to her destiny. She assigns two $90 textbooks, because her students need solid resources. And you get what you pay for, right?

Wrong. You pay what you get for.

What is this lady getting for? What is it that gets her out of bed?

She wants to change the world on an epic scale. She wants to make learning as accessible as air and customized to her students’ context, because she can. She wants her students to get out of bed like the Olympians and Nobelians they can become. That’s what she’s getting for.

So she should pay it. It will take time, sweat, and tears. It will take changing the way she thinks about the world.

But it won’t cost a lot of money. In her case, there are loads of freely available open textbooks and resources for entry-level college course. Studies suggest that they typically perform at a comparable level to conventional textbooks (and sometimes better). Some educators feel that it adopting open educational resources even helps them innovate and reflect on their practice.

Sorry, poor kids. Turns out $0 for the same thing is better than $90.

When you pay what you get for, that’s just common sense.

You don't get what you pay for; you pay what you get for.

Author: Zane

Zane is a learning experience designer passionate about the intersection of education, software development, and human-centered design. He manages a language acquisition app for missionaries and studies instructional psych & tech at Brigham Young University.

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