Clothes, shoes, iPhones, go pros, the list goes on. On a daily basis we are bombarded with an assault of tantalising temptations that cleverly try to steal our attention and our hard earned money. As a reformed shopaholic myself, I am all too familiar with the lure of shiny, pink things in every shop I see. Stationary and suitcases are some of my more customised weaknesses. But what are our possessions really saying about us? I am what I have? Are we defined by our material purchases? Furthermore, does society evaluate our worthiness based on what we wear, what car we drive and what we own?
In fact, it is apparent that our own self worth is intrinsically bound to these material aspects of our lives. Indeed retail therapy is a not a new trend. A bad day in the office is often cured by a new dress or pair of shoes. Another issue with this consumer lifestyle is how it satiates our dangerously growing need for instant gratification. Attaining those desired, yet equally unnecessary purchases with a credit card,when you can’t really afford it, equals short term happiness at a very high price. We do feel better if we look good but to what extent are our experiences of happiness correlated with the accumulation of paraphanelia in our lives. Travelling is one of the best things you can do to gain perspective on this. By observing the poverty in other countries we can begin to fully appreciate how fortunate we are and also realise that life is just as satisfying only having one (pink!) suitcase of clothes to choose from.
Why is it that we are constantly seeking happiness from the environment around us when what we really should be doing is looking within? The answers to all our questions, thoughts, fears, the inspirations and ideas we need to move forward, everything we need can be found within ourselves. Fill your shopping basket with friends, activities that you enjoy, time to be alone to reflect on all the amazing gifts you are given each day and most importantly fill it with love. These are the most valuable commodities you can attain in life.
Wealth is not in possessions… but in time. It is the only thing we cannot buy. When our time is up it’s up and as most of us will not be given a warning as to when that will be, it is imperative that we make the most of now. Many of the generation x abide by the unstated law that you must work hard your whole life to enjoy a well deserved retirement. That may seem the sensible thing to do but is it the best that we can do? Considering that we can take nothing for granted, not even tomorrow, today is the most precious gift we can be given. Appreciate today. Enjoy the now. Whatever small task you are completing, do it with love and attention. Life is made of small, insignificant moments but when you appreciate each of those precious moments they become your greatest life.