We seem to be living in a world where happiness can be bought if only you have the latest technology, wear the latest fashion, and drive the newest car. The TV tells us so. Social Media tells us so. Even our friends and family tell us so. Everyone is advertising something to us.
So if we have all of these things, why are we still not happy? Why is there still an emptiness in our lives that we are trying to fill?
The answer in the media seems to be more. You need more money, more clothes, newer technology. It’s not working though, is it?
Perhaps the answer is less. Certainly the minimalist movement that is starting to swell will tell us that the answer is less – and I think they might have a point.
I’m not suggesting that you get rid of everything you own and only have a mattress on your bedroom floor. Nor am I suggesting you try and live with only one set of clothes and a single knife and fork. You could do that, you’d be fine, but the kind of minimalism I’m talking about it about making your life easier and full of joy, not an endless trudge.
Have a look around the room you’re in right now (if you’re at home!). Consider each item in turn. Is that item useful to you? Does it serve a purpose? If yes it stays. Does that item bring you joy? Do you love it? If yes it stays. If you’ve answered no to those questions, why do you have that item? You don’t need it, and you don’t like it.
Look in your wardrobe. Does that piece of clothing fit you? Is it comfortable? Do you feel good wearing it? If not, why are you letting it take up valuable space in your home? It’s surely better to have 30 bits of clothing that you love to wear than 300 pieces and still nothing to wear.
Technology is massively useful, I’m writing this blog on my laptop, and I’ve got my smart phone on the table next to me – no need to go back to the dark ages! What you do need to consider is whether its essential that you keep up with the latest models…is the one you’ve got working for you? Do you need something else? Technology is a tool to be used, it’s not going to make you happy for more than it takes the thrill of the purchase to wear off. Would you buy a new garden fork every year because it had been released with a new coloured handle? No, you’d only replace it when the handle broke.
If we stopped trying to buy our way to happiness we would free up space in our homes for things that we love. We’d spend less money on things we don’t need – allowing us to do more with that money…like working less or holidaying more! We’d spend less time maintaining our stuff, giving us more time to do things that bring us joy… and maybe, just maybe we’d actually be happier.
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