Be cautious of what society teaches you.
You got to love it, modern society. It has many pros, and I feel grateful to be part of it. I feel equally thankful to be alive in this day and age with all its advances, a new era of possibilities.
The internet, AI, cryptocurrencies, drone delivery and bunny ear filters.
But if you are not careful, it will leave you in a miserable, broke funk.
Photo by Angel Balashev on Unsplash
The cons can put a spanner in the works. Even the best of us get it wrong sometimes. It's all twisted up.
On the one hand, our modern world is urgent, noisy screaming at us to BUY, BUY, BUY! As influencers and Youtubers grin inanely through our screens, touting this week's must-have item.
Meanwhile, over on the other hand, we find ourselves riding the delayed gratification machine:
"Work now, reap the rewards later."
"Save, save, save now, don't spend ANYTHING, enjoy it later."
"Work hard now, head down until you forget the world outside, retire later."
And we strain our ears into the noise, following the loudest vessel hoping to become rich and happy. It's exhausting not knowing which sound to follow.
Let's face it, though, money is a huge driver, even if we don't want to admit it.
But why is it? What is it all about?
Writer Gurwinder Bhogal asks a brilliant question:
If all the possessions you've accumulated so far haven't made you happy, what makes you think future possessions will?
Think deeply about that one.
You already own a lot of stuff.
Did it do the trick?
Are you deliriously happy in your surroundings? Do you get eternal peace from your life work so far?
No? Really? Did the things you parted your money for not fulfil their promises?
So how does buying more stuff make the daily grind worth it?
But here's a truth, a little secret that society doesn't tell you.
It doesn't tell you is the less you own, the happier you feel.
Why? Every possession requires mental bandwidth. All that energy your mind has to stay ahead of the game each day is sapped a little more with everything that you own.
The more things you own, the more your battery drains. That takes a toll and slows everything down.
Your house needs to be clean, maintained, and maybe even renovated. That takes energy.
Your car could get damaged. That takes energy.
Your Karen Millen bag could get stolen. That takes energy.
Your fancy job could get taken away. That takes energy.
Every possession, status, or title you cherish depletes your precious bandwidth.
Worry and chronic anxiety lead to stress, and stress is the biggest energy sucker of them all.
When you don't own lots of stuff, there's not as much to consider. As a result, your battery isn't as overloaded, so it can run better and recharge faster.
So you become stronger, clearer and smarter.
As a surprise bonus, when you're not focused on accumulating more stuff. That gives back even more energy and money too. There's less of your hard-earned cash leeching out to buy, store maintain, add to or replace all the time.
When your focus shifts to owning less stuff, you are free to stock up on experiences and double down on the things that light you up.
You can focus on hoarding experiences instead of possessions.
According to society, wealth is:
A lavish lifestyle
Being BBF with a Kardashian
In my world, true wealth is:
Peace of mind
A life with options
And the freedom and choice that comes with choosing true wealth.
In this world, things are quieter and calmer. The pace is the same, but it feels slower and more peaceful because the noise, clutter and urgency are stripped away, and you are left with the good stuff.
The stuff that joy springs from and the ingredients of what our best memories are cooked from.
In this world, we have the space to excel at what we choose and, by excelling, grow in ways we could only dream of in our bustling demanding modern world.
Our modern society and the worth of true wealth can co-exist. It is possible to walk hand in hand with both. But to do so, you need to shift the lens a little.
Take a moment to step back and turn the volume down.
Question what is seen as normal because when we question our normal, we can distinguish normal as society portrays from the true reality.
Choose the reality that is right for you.
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