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Balancing Supply and Demand in Life

The very thought of Supply and Demand will create anxiety among readers. Right off the bat, let me make it clear that I am not espousing any economic theory or political views or anything else. I am just relating my experiences related to this - before my stroke 4.5 years ago and after. These are just my observations and nothing else.

The theory of Supply and Demand which is the most basic of economic principles states that whether for goods and services, both work against each other till an equilibrium price is achieved – meaning price at which Supply=Demand. We all have experienced this – when demand for anything is high, prices will go up, if there is a large supply of anything, prices go down. Demand theory suggests that if price of anything goes up, there will be less demand and the Supply Theory suggests higher prices will motivate producers to produce more and supply more quantity to the market.

Before my stroke, like many, I was influenced by ‘supply’ of everything, any product or service, more and more of everything- thinking was, I had a need for it. This perceived need (created for sure by consumer companies) for things led to accumulating things whether I needed them or no. I am not critical of this behavior of mine or others but just stating the fact the way it is. Supply was more than Demand (Supply>Demand) by a lot. After I survived a massive and a rare stroke, this second lease on life made me rethink about my needs and priorities.

What I started to observe was that there were many things I did not need (it was a perceived need). To figure out whether I really needed a product or service, I started to stop using some of them and see if I could survive without them – And to my biggest surprise, I found out for many of those things, I survived without them. That to me was a defining moment. I started following this theory, only get things if I had a real need (not a perceived need). Supply now was more in line with demand. (Supply=Demand)

This was an eye-opening discovery for me. And this applied not just to a need for a product or service but for any emotional or mental needs. Many of our needs are perceived needs for whatever reasons. Only when you question them, you realize what the real need is and then act accordingly. So, over the last four and half years, I have been following this theory. Two examples of what I did: I challenged myself to eat only what I had in the fridge and the pantry before ordering groceries. It was amazing how much stuff I had. It felt good to not waste food and to save money. I do this every couple of months as a regular practice. The other thing I did was I stopped “auto renewal” of many things such as magazines, websites, software etc.

Balancing Supply and Demand is what this world needs more of now - no matter where one falls on the political spectrum. Due to the new normal created by the pandemic, the rebalancing of Supply and Demand has started a little bit. Many folks are reevaluating their lives, choices and priorities and are making some positive changes. Now it is up to each one of us to sustain these gains.

It constantly reminds me of the lyrics to my favorite Michael Jackson song “Man in the Mirror.” It is up to all of us to change ourselves first and then transform the world.


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