I found myself looking around telling myself how I wanted this, I wanted that. I liked the idea of ‘having’ everything I looked at. I could have bought a few items today and I decided not to. Not because I wouldn’t use them, but because I knew I didn’t need them and I knew they weren’t going to provide any value to my life. My happiness wouldn’t change from having them.
Consumerism consumes us in ways that overshadows the reality of what we’re doing. What we’re doing is buying and buying not because of necessity or purpose, but because it’s what we’ve been taught to do.
Our possessions become a part of us. The things we have identify the type of people we are. We put a monetary value in what we have and try to place that value on ourself. You may have a brand new Corvette and that one object in your eyes puts a number on your life. I’m worth this. I’m worth that.
We’ve all heard the saying, “To feel like a million dollars.” I’ve never had a million dollars nor will I probably ever own that much money at one time. Most of the world will never know that feeling so how do we begin to compare a price with feeling? Are millionaires even happy?
This rich and famous culture changes our perception on how we should live and feel. We want what they have because they ‘look’ happy. Media portrays people in the ‘good light’ and we rarely see inside the actual feelings of the rich and famous. Social media provides many filters in the lives of people. We can filter our life to look how we want others to see it, but behind the cell phone and behind the computer how do you really feel? Is that happiness because of the items in your house or because you have made a decision to be happy with who you are and not what you have or don’t have?
I’m reminded of the quote from Jim Cary that I heard from Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things.
“I wish everyone could experience being rich and famous so they could realize it’s not the answer.”
What is your goal when buying new things? Do you buy things just because you can and have they money to do it? Do you replace the old item with the new item? Do you find true non-monetary value in the items you buy? Do they make you happy? Do they increase YOUR value because of the price tag?
You’re valuable, your things are not. Your things serve a purpose, but things were never created to specifically provide happiness. They’re created to fill a need. A use. A tool. A resource. I love coffee, but just because I like the taste or how it gives me a boost doesn’t mean that if I never had it again I’d be unhappy. I’m valuable because of who I am, not what I have. You’re valuable because of who you are, not what you have. Though, there are some unique items that do become a part of us and do impact who we are, not every item provides us with that type of worth. Know what does and what doesn’t.