We love to believe stuff will make us happy. Things will fulfill us. Material possessions provide satisfaction. As if we’ll suddenly be complete and experience lasting happiness thanks to what we own.
(Do you agree or disagree with this idea? Share your first thoughts in a comment.)
But I just don’t buy it. I can’t buy it.
Let’s discuss why.
If stuff can make you happy, then the person with the most stuff should be happiest, right?
Ha! Have you ever met miserable rich people? They’re everywhere. Think of the people with huge incomes, multiple houses, many cars, and even fame. Yet they are far from happy.
Likewise, owning less stuff won’t make you miserable. I’ve met families with little money and few possessions. Yet happiness in the home is overflowing.
(Greed and envy can be part of the problem, but let’s leave those for another post.)
When we put pressure on stuff to make us happy and it fails to deliver, the stuff is not the problem. Stuff is neutral.
Poor expectations are a common reason for unhappiness.
So what is the remedy?
Let’s not over-simplify the answer, but do take it with a grain of salt.
Being grateful for what you have — contentment — is a breath of fresh air. Thankfulness is a powerful antidote to keeping up with the Joneses.
By the way, the Joneses are insecure, depressed, and are a couple of paychecks away from bankruptcy.
Sadly, it’s because they’re too busy keeping up with the Andersons.
The only way to win is not to play.
What is something you can do, right now, to embrace contentment?