If Steve Jobs only knew

If Steve Jobs only knew

Sunday Martina, my older daughter, did her first communion. It was such a beautiful, exciting and touching event.
Among the many presents she received, were two ipod touch. TWO! (I got the little regular ipod for my 43rd birthday!). So we decided to keep one and our friend would exchange the other one for something else. All good until now.

A couple of hours after she got it, she came to me in tears, desperate because her ipod had fallen and the glass was broken! Fortunately it was still working, but what do you think was her first reaction? (after her initial despair?) Can I ask tia Olga if she can give me hers and I give this one to Carolina? (her little sister). Olga, thank God, said no and advised us to try to change the broken one.

My friends and I started a whole reasoning about how un-educational it would have been to give the other ipod to Martina at that moment.
It worked.
Martina ‘suffered’ while waiting to know what would happen to her new precious gift. I told her I would do my best to change it, but if they didn’t, tough luck!
Of course the apple store didn’t change it as it was evident it had fallen and my story was terrible cause I said I didn’t know what happened as I wasn’t with her when she opened it…sure! They gave me the film that protects the screen for the broken glass and I bought the plastic protector that you put in the back.

That lesson worked. Now she takes care of it as if it was the queen’s crown! Not only this gadget, but her attitude towards other things. She thinks before taking it with her to the kitchen or the bathroom for example.

The other lesson this experience has taught me is how to apply the law of scarcity with my daughters!
Robert Cialdini, in his book ‘Influence – the Psychology of Persuasion’, an excellent book for anyone that is into sales, talks about the Law of Scarcity: The more scarce something is the more valuable it is. Basic offer and demand. In fact, it’s said that Apple applies this to their iphone distribution.
In sales in general it’s used as a technique to sell by saying, ‘this is the last one in stock’, or ‘we only have a limited amount’ or ‘the sale applies until such a date’.

In and every day life it could be, only the best performing workers or sportspeople get a bonus. There’s one prize and you need to do what it takes to deserve it. There’s only one toy, so you better learn to agree on how you will share it. Instead of ‘being fair’ and getting the same for all.

My husband Claudio has an ipad which the girls always want to play with, especially Carolina. It’s usually a constant negotiation on how long each one uses it. Now, Carolina wants to use Martina’s ipod and is totally ignoring the ipad…amazing!! On top of it, the ipad has most of the games she knows and likes, and the ipod just has two or three. BUT, the grass is always greener in the neighbors yard!

As my friend Olga pointed out. At the end of the skiing courses here, all kids get the same trophy. Why is that? So no one’s feelings get hurt. I don’t agree with this. Life is not like that! At least the first one should get a bigger trophy. This will probably make the other ones want it and perform better in the future, so they’ll appreciate it more when they finally earn it.

When the neighbors grass is really greener is probably because they work on it more. Simple. Doing what you need to do to get what you want, pays off. Doing things right, pays.

Kids don’t really appreciate what they have. So do we adults. We have so much of everything that we take everything for granted. In a moment when things are really changing, some other things will probably be scarce, including the love and attention that surrounds us.

We better really think different.

Have a great day!



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