When You’ve Spent Your Life Buying Things, What Exactly Do You Take To The Grave When You Die?
Do you collect experiences or things?
I’m a collector experiences.
I’m a dreamer of action and adventure.
I’m a doer and a feeler.
I’m live-er and a lover.
I don’t NEED or WANT the momentary happiness that comes when you buy or are gifted a new THING.
I’m not interested in pursuing and purchasing physical possessions.
Because I get to choose (and so do you):
I’ll take a bungy jump, skydive or go white-water rafting over shopping – every day and twice on Sunday.
I’ll climb a mountain rather than shell out thousands of dollars on a new handbag.
I’ll enjoy a romantic and sexy night in or weekend away with my lover before I’ll pay exorbitant amounts for a 2 hour dinner at a 3 Michelin Star restaurant.
And, don’t get me wrong.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy the IMMEDIATE GLOW I get inside when I splurge on a little something ‘just for moi’.
THE MATERIAL STUFF DOESN’T SIT VERY HIGH ON MY AGENDA
And. For sure…
Things can make us feel happier for the first few hours, days or weeks… but that kind of happiness is fleeting. It’s short-lived.
And. It offers short term feelings of fulfillment, happiness and/or contentment.
THAT’S WHY THE TERM RETAIL THERAPY WAS COINED
Shopping feels therapeutic while you’re doing it. But, that feeling fades. And, quickly.
Once you’ve made your purchase. Opened the package. It begins to fade or perish.
For example: Imagine you have just now bought a new pair of killer heels… Jimmy Choo’s.
As soon as you take them home and out of their box they begin to spoil. They lose their NEWNESS.
That new leather smell.
The perfection in their appearance.
Once you’ve worn them, they no longer feel brand new.
BECAUSE THEY AREN’T.
And, there IS ALWAYS some other NEW THING just around the corner.
A new style. A new and improved model. New features.
And, then we want that.
IT’S THE SAME STORY WITH EVERYTHING. FROM FOOTWEAR. TO TECHNOLOGY. TO CARS AND HOUSES.
Things. Possessions. NEED. To. Be. Maintained.
They need your time. Your energy. Your focus.
And, they take your FOCUS away from what the real issue is. The real problem.
Things distract us. (I’ll come back to this later.)
But. They will never. EVER. Bring us long lasting happiness.
THINGS ARE NOTHING MORE THAN BRIGHT. SHINY. OBJECTS
And. In reality. Whatever that THING is that you’ve bought that you believe will make you happy… It ultimately costs us more in the long term.
Things are measured in dollars and cents.
Henry David Thoreau tells us “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
And, that phrase alone holds more truth than many of us are Ready. Willing. Or. Prepared to admit. To ourselves AND to others.
Each time we buy a new THING we are paying far more than the money we hand over for it. We are paying with our time AND our lives.
Both of which we only get ONCE.
WE BELIEVE OTHERS WILL BE SUPER IMPRESSED
That others will want to be just like us.
That we will be looked up to. Idolised.
That we will once again feel and be significant in a world where life is all about “keeping up with the Jones’s.
But. What we fail to realise is that those people who’s adulation we’re seeking…
They’re SO FUCKING busy trying to impress you with THEIR NEW THING that they hardly notice:
Your brand spanking new $5k Jimmy Choo’s.
Your $25k Crocodile Skin Prada Shoulder Bag.
Your $150k Mercedes with all the bells and whistles
And, they’re sure as shit too fucking busy to pay any fucking attention (and I truly do mean ANY FUCKING ATTENTION) to your MILLION DOLLAR WATERFRONT MANSION.
There will always be someone out there in your ‘circle’ who has more than you do right now.
Seeking REAL HAPPINESS in NEW THINGS will always be short lived.
It’s based on unrealistic reasoning.
And, again. There is always someone out there with MORE STUFF than you have. And, trying to out-do them takes your eye… Your focus away from what REALLY matters.
So the game of comparitinitus continues… on and on… indefinitely. Until your least breath has come.
AND. WHAT. THEN?
I’ll tell you.
FUCK. ALL. AND. NOTHING.
What you are actually seeking when BUYING STUFF is contentment.
You’ll never find it in material possessions. In bright shiny objects. Or at the bottom of your OVERLY EXTRAVAGENT fucking Prada shoulder bag.
No. Matter. How. Hard. You. Try. Or. How. Closely. You. Look.
EXPERIENCES IS WHERE TRUE HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT LIES.
And, there’s ample research on the inter-webs to prove it.
Allowing yourself to enjoy life-changing experiences brings far more happiness and contentment than a pair of Jimmy Choo’s ever will.
American born spiritual healer Adyashanti offers the following theory as to why procuring new things, possessions, gives us only temporary happiness…. “When we make a purchase and/or get what we want, we are temporarily happy and fulfilled. But the reason for happiness is not because we got what we wanted, but because for a brief period of time, we stopped wanting, and thus we experience peace and happiness.”
What if we limited our wants and desires but not removed them entirely from our thinking.
Focused more on finding internal peace and happiness and…
Redirected our desires – through minimalisation…
Allowed ourselves to appreciate the simpler things in life like love, self-belief (faith), passion, compassion, gratitude, contribution and experience… and pursued these ferociously…
That’s where lasting happiness can be found.