Changing Your Outlook

Hot Wheels from my childhood collectionWell, I did it.  I sold my childhood Hot Wheels collection last week.

Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it was still somewhat of an emotional roller coaster ride, which had a big dip for me this week.

When I was a kid, I used to spend most of my free money on Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.  Every sale one of the local stores had, I was in there looking for ones I didn't have.  Luckily I could ride my bike to most of them.

From time to time, I actually played with them, but mostly I collected, and admired them.  So much so that I even build a special stepped stand for them.  We're talking something like 300+ cars!  So the stand was either 8' or 10' long, with something like 4 two inch wide steps.

I'd sold the matchbox cars, and some of the newer, non "red line" cars for pennies on the dollar when I was a little older.  Probably not one of my better moves, but whatever.  This left me with a little over 100 cars left.  The oldest, and most interesting ones.

About a year ago I started pricing them out on ebay, and found that I had some rare/valuable ones.  Hmm...  I could continue to keep them in the garage, or sell them and make a few bucks.

A year later.  Last week, that's just what I did.

OVERNIGHT via buy-it-now.

Now, normally I might take that as good news, but I was actually somewhat distraught.  My thoughts kept going to the fact that I probably drastically under priced them, as anyone on ebay can tell you when something sells that fast--it's probably the case.

Then there's the packing up, individually wrapping each car, and getting the box ready to ship.  I misjudged the shipping price as well...


Ok, so I get it shipped out, and put it towards the back of my mind.

Then, I get what I at first interpreted to be one of the absolute worst notes I could have received from the buyer:


I got the box today no problems.

I have just two words………………..UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

These cars are much better than expected.

These are the best group of cars I have come across in a long time.

I am very happy and glad I splurged on myself.

I will be leaving positive feedback for you and would appreciate the same.

Hopefully you're having a good laugh, but let me explain.

You may have figured out why I at first considered this to be horrible.  I already suspected that I did a piss poor job of pricing the collection, and I still felt a strong emotional connection to the cars.  This just confirmed that I probably could have received substantially more for them, and my lack of knowledge in the condition grading process probably ruined any chance I had of getting a better price.

But what's really going on here?  Realistically, this:

  • I made some pretty good money for something that was sitting in my garage
  • I made someone extremely happy for splurging on them self
  • I learned a valuable lesson about how to sell collectibles on ebay
  • I freed up some room in the garage
  • I got some positive ebay feedback
  • I have a unique story and lesson to talk about on this site

Instead of bitching and moaning that through my own fault, I got ripped off, instead I realized that I really got a lot of benefit from the experience.  I reframed things in the positive, and most importantly in my mind, I made some ones day!

Sometimes it's not easy to do when there are emotional attachments.

What helped me in this case was realizing a few things.  The first of which was that it made more sense for someone who would continue to admire and enjoy them to own them.  Additionally, I tend to be pretty altruistic in nature, and there are many times I've done things with no expectation of payment at all, just to help someone out, or to make someone happy.  These things come easily for me.

There's no reason I can't change my outlook, and view this as a super win-win, so that's what I've done.  I'm glad to have passed them on to the right person!

Similarly, you can do this in all kinds of outwardly negative or challenging situations...

  • Car brakes need replacing? -- good thing you had them checked, and even better that you didn't lose control because they failed on the road
  • Lost your job? -- Now you have time and motivation to create your own ideal business
  • Having trouble finding time to do *all* of the things you *want* to do? -- You have a creative mind, and will stay mentally young because you'll always be keeping active!
  • fill in your own blanks here (it's late and this was an impromptu post!) _______
  • ________________

The easiest way to do this (for me) is to make a list of the positives and the negatives, and then simply chose to focus on the positive, and consider the negatives as just noise trying to get in my way.  Another good way is to step back and look at yourself as you would a friend (you are you own best friend, are you not?) and follow through with what you would say to them--but tell it to yourself.

I'm sure these are just tips of the iceberg.

Check out Tim Borwnson's A Daring Adventure blog and coaching for many more (and potentially better) examples if this line of thought resonates with you.  I can't do justice to him and the amount of awesome content is on his site.


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