Will I get bored with this layout?
It’s a question I saw online, one that reeks of magic bullet thinking. In essence the question really asks will this thing make me happy? The question reflects a myth we’ve all adopted in some form: that happiness comes from a source outside ourselves rather than from within.
Will I be happy in this job? (You might but you might not.)
Is this the right car for me? (It could be but maybe not.)
Will I like this neighborhood? (You could, or not.)
We all want the magic bullet. The guarantee that we’re making the right choice because, I mean, what if we’re wrong? (Oh the horror!)
Model railroading has a terminal case of magic bullet thinking.
Is this the right scale to work in? (Maybe. What do you want to do in that scale?)
Should I use grid or L-girder benchwork? (I don’t know. Does it really matter?)
Will more track make this plan more interesting. I’m afraid operations will get boring quickly. (Hmmm…I’m biting my lip now.)
There is no stinking magic bullet. It’s a lie and a sham.
Looking for a guarantee you’ve made the right choice is a way of avoiding the responsibility that comes from investing yourself in making something work. If things don’t pan out, well, gee, you’re off the hook. It wasn’t your fault, you got a raw deal. You should have added that extra track or chosen a different modeling scale. Anything but understand the true power in the situation is in your ability to choose whether you’re happy or not.
Of course that’s scary because once you understand that your attitude is the real determining factor in how much you enjoy the craft, you’ll quickly run out of excuses and things to blame.
I don’t know if that guy will be happy with his layout design (I hope so because it’s a very nice one) but he’s sure to receive lots of magic bullet solutions to play with.