The First Time

25 Jul

In Economics we study the Law of Diminishing Returns. A textbook once told me that it is defined as “in all productive processes, adding more of one factor of production, while holding all others constant, will at some point yield lower per-unit returns.” Basically, this means that the first time you have or get something, you like it the most and as time goes by, you like it less.

This law works for things like food (how many of us enjoy steak #6 as much as steak #1), buying a home (there aren’t a lot of programs for third time home buyers), weddings (no one seems to attend someone’s fourth wedding), impressions (how much do we really rely on 15th impressions), paychecks (I’ve never seen anyone save their 254th paycheck), or mistakes (I still remember the stupid things I did in my youth, but now they happen so frequently…).

A quick search means there are at least ten popular songs that have “The First Time” in the title and they romanticize at least seven different things. I think it is safe to say that when we speak of the first time we do anything, we romanticize that event. For example, my kids are still excited about their first hotel room. My son talks about his first year in school and my daughter is excited about it. I have a friend who recently got his first job. Someone the other day was asking me about my first kiss.

There is a natural excitement that comes along with doing anything for the first time. The question always is, “Am I going to let the fear of what might happen override my potential excitement of doing something for the first time?” And, as I have lamented before, we often let the fear of change keep us from new experiences for the first time. Fortunately, I have a wife and kids who pushed me to try all kinds of things for the first time on a recent trip. I can tout all the wonderful things I’ve done once.

What I hope, however, is that I do not allow the fact that trying new things won’t be as exciting in the future as it was the first time from actually trying. Regardless, however, there is a magic to doing something you’ve never done before. So, I encourage you all to pack up your loved ones and do new and grand things for The First Time and appreciate the wonder, awe, and amazement that comes with doing something for The First Time!


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