Can Things Be Experiences? #illumedati 1

Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. As you know, one of my mantras is to “Buy experiences, not things.” I’ve said it more than once in my posts here. However, today I want to ponder the question “Can Things Be Experiences?”

Sensei’s Note: Sorry for late post, I got a little carried away looking at Ninjago Legos to buy for the birthday of one of Kylie’s Friends.

Can Things Be Experiences?

Stock Photo from: Pixabay

What do you mean? Aren’t they different?

Well yes. In the general sense they are different. However, let’s delve a little deeper into the mantra:

“Buy experiences, not things.”

What imagery comes to mind when considering this mantra? What is the prototypical “experience” that you think about?

Well, for me, it would probably be something like traveling to a different country and doing something new. Or maybe, it might be as simple as spending time with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time. I think that, in general, an “experience” in this context is something that you can’t do everyday or can’t recreate all the time.

However, if I step back from my own views of what an experience “is” then I think you begin to understand that what creates an “experience” is relative to the individual.

Let me give an example:

I used to play video games a lot back when I was in college and even medical school a bit. This has significantly decreased now, not because I don’t like them anymore, but because I don’t really have the time to put into them anymore. However, for others they would consider video games as a “waste of time” and probably consider it to be a “thing”.

However, for others, I think you could consider it an experience:


Sarkoth – 500+ hours

For me, I don’t think I can consider video games to be an “experience”. However, for Sarkoth here, who has played 500+ hours of Morrowind, I think you can argue that it is/was an experience for him. However, if I think back to when I used to play video games with my friends in high school and college… back then, it was an experience for me.

Currently Morrowind GOTY runs for $14.99 on Steam. However, on its initial release the base game (Elder Scrolls III) + Morrowind was $59.99.

So for our friend Sarkoth here, it was probably ~ $59.99 with 503 hours on record = 12 cents an hour of enjoyment. That’s a pretty high Value to Cost Ratio there. More than that, it was most likely an experience for him, not simply a “thing”. The setting of Morrowind is a fantasy setting with magic and dragons and the whole nine. So you can definitely argue that it is something that you can’t do everyday or can’t recreate all the time – as I stated above.

I see… so whether it’s a thing or experience is relative?


Remember how I talked about Cars and me not being a car guy? For someone like me, driving a car (even a nice one) is considered an everyday experience and therefore for me, a car is simply a “thing”. However, for a true “car guy” or “car girl”, then you would unable to convince them to buy anything less than what they want.

For example, let’s say I was one of those guys who takes his car to the track every weekend. Well then, driving a car (in this instance), while an everyday experience normally, is now something that I can’t do everyday or I can’t recreate all the time because it requires a track and a certain car. So for me, going out and buying a BMW M3 or tuning a Toyota FT86 so I can track it on the weekends now becomes an experience.

However, the Value to Cost Ratio still applies. Obviously, tracking your car every weekend can get expensive quickly, especially if your car is already expensive to begin with. New tires and brakes don’t run cheap.

Any more examples?


The reason I started writing this post in the first place was because my daughter started playing with Legos. If you weren’t already aware, Legos are expensive. To be honest, I’ve probably overspent on Legos a bit too much in the last few months. I’ve felt a little guilty about spending so money on “things” when my mantra is to “buy experiences, not things”. It seemed a bit hypocritical. However, after I re-evaluated what the Legos do for my daughter and I, I decided to write this post.

For my daughter and I, Legos are an experience. They allow time for me to bond with my daughter. More so than that, it’s a step on the way to her being Fulfilled. Every time she finishes building a set, she runs to my wife proudly and says “Mommy, I made it all by myself. Daddy only helped a little.” Nowadays all she talks about is “What is the next Lego set we’re going to build?”

However, Legos are expensive as I said above. It’s difficult for me to maintain my Value Cost Ratio. This becomes even more difficult when you include that a lot of Lego Sets she wants are branded (Star Wars, Disney, etc.) which increases the cost. I’m trying to steer her to the in-house brands of Lego Friends or Lego City, but she always goes back to the Disney princesses.

Here is a sneak peek at the next items on our build list:


LEGO Friends Heartlake Hospital 41318 Building Kit

I’ve already mentioned the Heartlake Hospital in a previous post. She really wanted a little hospital to play with and I wanted a set to challenge her a little.


Heartlake Puppy Daycare 41124 Building Kit (286 Piece)

Puppy Pampering 41302 Building Kit

Puppy Playground 41303 Building Kit


My daughter loves animals. Whenever she sees a dog when we’re out she wants to pet them. However, she knows to always ask first and not to use to quick motions otherwise the dog might become scared and/or try to bite her. She also loves cats more than dogs, but we don’t see as many cats around here… and well, I’m a dog person and I’m trying to convert her.

The above 3 sets I chose because I think they are good value. The first one is a little building that comes with 2 mini dolls and 2 dogs. The next one is a little “pampering” area that comes with one dog. The third one is a little playground that comes with a bunch of obstacles and a dog. Also, these are relatively “easy” so I think I am going to let her try to do these all by herself.

The reason why you should get all three is because the 2nd and 3rd items are “Add-on Items” which cost $3.99 each. They won’t ship for free unless you spend more than $25. However, the first item is $17.99. $17.99 + $3.99 + $3.99 = $25.97

So then, just enough for free shipping. SCORE!


LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V 21309 Building Kit

This one is pretty ambitious on my part. One day my daughter came home eager to tell me about the moon and how people can go there. “They are called astronauts”, she said. She went on to explain that she was going to be an astronaut someday. In order to foster that ambition, I decided to look into space Lego sets and this one came up.

To be honest, it’s way above her level. She will need a lot of help from me to build it. However, the design of the set is beautiful. It also has a lot of educational value in it because of the way the set is built and comes apart. You are actually able to recreate the launch, moon landing, and return exactly as it happened.

Here is a great Youtube video that convinced me to buy it:

Sensei’s Note:

However, currently there is a supply and demand issue with this particular set. It is out of stock pretty much everywhere, and when it comes in stock, it is almost immediately out of stock again. Nonetheless, don’t fret. Lego has said they will be continuing to offer this set for the foreseeable future (through 2018). Don’t succumb to EBay scalpers selling it for $200+. However, if you do see one for the MSRP of $119.99 and do want the set, then I wouldn’t hesitate. I doubt it will ever go down in price. 

If you consider that this set has nearly 2000 pieces (actually 1969, the year they put men on the moon), then there is good value there, in my opinion.

For those who really want it, I used a The Tracker App to be notified when it was available. It worked to tell me as soon as it was available and I was able to snag one for regular price. I don’t think it will be a huge problem come Christmas time. However, I wanted to make sure I got one for my daughter while she was still interested in space. By the way, I have an alert set up for the SNES Classic too.


I just reread this post and it makes it seem like I spend a ton of money willy-nilly on my daughter’s Legos.

I just wanted to be clear that these Lego sets will be built over the next 6+ months and this money wasn’t spent all at once.

Hmm… anything else?


Just remember that any “thing” can be an experience relative to the person. Prior to this post and my own re-evaluation, I would have never considered any piece of clothing to be an “experience”. However, after doing some introspection, I am once again wrong. 

Let’s say I took a family trip to Disneyland or Disney World and we all got matching DISNEY 2017 shirts or something, then that might be an experience. It would commemorate my time spent with my family and help us remember times when we were all together.

It’s all relative.

For completeness’s sake:

Here are the Ninjago Legos I was researching for Kylie’s Friend. If I was late, I should at least show why… right?

LEGO Ninjago Green Ninja Mech Dragon 70612 Building Kit (544 Piece)

LEGO Ninjago 70593 The Green NRG Dragon Building Kit (567 Piece)

LEGO Ninjago Samurai VXL 70625

I think these provide the best bang for your buck under $50 for the Ninjago line. I’m leaning toward the Green Ninja Mech Dragon, but we’ll see. My daughter hasn’t expressed any interest in the Ninjago line, so this was the first time I researched it.

There is a lot of cool stuff there. Maybe when my son is older he’ll like it. We’ll see. The little ninja boy still inside of me hopes so.


Experience or Thing?


Legos are still awesome — more builds and pictures of my daughter to come.

Whatever Wednesdays Sensei


Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

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