Brought up in a consumption-driven economic system, we’ve been brainwashed by economists, politicians and the advertising industry into believing that we need to constantly consume in order to be happy and feel well about ourselves.
We’ve been convinced to think that buying stuff is the only way to prove our worth to ourselves and others, to such an extent that we look down upon those who have less and look up to those who have more.
Of course, the reality is very different and it’s obvious to those who observe the world around them. No matter how many possessions people might have, they seem to be never satisfied with them and are always thirsty to acquire more. Even the richest of the rich, who look shiny and successful and possess anything that one can have, are starving souls seeking happiness, but, having fallen victims to the materialism trap, can’t find it.
Now you might ask: Why is that so? Why can’t buying things bring happiness into our lives? Well, here are some of the main reasons why buying stuff won’t and can’t make you happy:
1. Material things can’t satisfy your emotional needs. What we truly desire in life are experiences of freedom, peace, love and friendship and material objects cannot provide you with any of those. Material objects can satisfy your basic physical needs, but beyond that they can barely make you fulfilled in any way.
2. Possessions can make you insecure. To be attached to possessions means to be constantly worried that they will decay and to be preoccupied with maintaining them. Therefore, the more possessions you desire in your life, the more anxious you’ll be.
3. Collecting stuff will fill you with distractions. To live well means to live simply, but the more stuff you acquire, the more complicated your life is going to be. Instead of acquiring possessions that you don’ truly need, start decluttering and I assure you that this will do wonders to help you find peace of mind.
4. There is always something new around the corner. No matter how good and expensive the products you possess right now are, it’s most likely that they will soon become obsolete, with newer, upgraded versions of them always coming out in the market.
5. You will waste your money. Throwing away your hard-earned money buying things that don’t contribute to your well-being is not the wisest thing to do. Why not spend it in exchange for something that will truly benefit you and the world instead?
6. You will waste your time. Being constantly focused on acquiring more possessions will not allow you to focus on what truly matters in life. Life’s journey is short, so be sure to make the most out of it.
7. Someone else has more. Having more than others might seem like a great way to boost your ego, but the truth is that you can’t have the best all the time. There will always be others who have more than you, and if your happiness depends on having more than others, you’ll always be disappointed and unhappy.
8. Consumption contributes to environmental pollution. You might think that consumption is good for the economy, but where do you think the products you buy end up? They end up as toxic waste in landfills, poisoning the planet that we inhabit and sustains us.
From now on, don’t seek happiness in products — you won’t find it there. Instead, seek it in experiences that fill your heart with joy and which money can’t buy.