There is only one of you in this world. Economic principles of supply and demand indicate that given your limited supply, you are priceless. Trust me, I’m a psychologist, I know these things. Therefore, I would never attempt to assign anyone a price, but I will take the non-controversial position that you are worth more than a Ferrari.
At the writing of this post there are several used Ferraris for sale online in the neighborhood of $130,000. One option is the 2012 Ferrari California Roadster Convertible. It’s lovely in red. But I digress. So why am I telling you about slightly used Ferraris for sale? I’m glad you asked. I chose the price point of $130,000 because that is pretty close to the average law school debt that new lawyers are burdened with these days. Depending on where you attended law school this can range between $53,237 and $198,962.
So, let’s engage in a thought experiment. Imagine instead of spending all that money on law school (not to mention the time, energy, and sacrifices involved) you instead decided to buy a slightly used red 2012 Ferrari California. If you had made that choice, I’m willing to bet that you would take care of your investment. You would most likely garage your car, keep it clean, get it serviced regularly by a Ferrari certified mechanic, and wipe it with a clean diaper while playing classical music for the car each night. You would not mistreat your Ferrari, wouldn’t park it in a snow bank, take it off-roading, ignore check engine lights, or leave it out in the rain with the windows down. You would recognize the sacrifice involved in obtaining such a car and would protect it, so your investment would not have been in vain.
Now ask yourself, given that you have made that same investment in yourself (and much more given the other sacrifices you have had to make), have you taken care of yourself as well as you would have treated your Ferrari? Do you prioritize getting regular, quality sleep? Do you address your stress by talking to a professional? Do you address minor problems before them grow into major problems? Are your coping skills healthy, and would you recommend your coping style to your loved ones?
The thing to pay attention to is the feeling you get when you consider whether you might treat a sports car with more care than you typically treat yourself. If that is an uncomfortable feeling, that usually indicates that you don’t prioritize your own wellbeing like you should.
Remember, you’re worth more than a Ferrari, so treat yourself at least as well as you would an expensive Italian sports car.
Shawn Healy, Ph.D.