Isn’t it weird how there is always something on our wish-list? Whether its a brand new laptop so we can final play Crysis on more than 5 fps or a new pair of earbuds because ours are only “ok”. Why is it that we have all these materialistic possessions but we still want more? To be honest I have no idea… and I am attempting to find a solution to it. Everyone says we will be better off with less stuff and that we should simplify our lives, but nowadays, its much easier said than done. For me at least. I don’t think consumption is inherently bad, I just we should learn to control our urges and practice the art of mindful consumption. I mean so what if we buy ourselves a new pair of headphones once or twice a year? If we’ve been working hard and think we deserve a reward for it, why not? Now don’t take me the wrong way, this doesn’t mean every time we have the urge to buy something we think about all the hard work we’ve done and reason it out to be a reward. We just have to be in careful in differentiating our likes, wants and needs. If we need it (groceries, shampoo, tooth paste) then there should be no hesitation to buy it. The one thing I really dislike is when people say they only buy things on sale. That’s complete bullshit to me, but hey if that helps you sleep better at night, I am not one to judge. On to our wants, this category contains things that would add value to our lives, but not having them doesn’t reduce any value in our lives either. Since I’m a gym rat, I think wants to me are supplements, having them does help me reach my daily nutrient goals easily but not having them doesn’t have a major impact in my life. For wants however, we must set restrictions or rules on them, or else they can start to consume our lives. Likes are very easy to define for myself. I was just looking to get a new pair of headphones before writing this and things like “noise canceling, bass, durability” all that really helps sell the product and makes me really want a pair, but I don’t need them, they would be nice to have, but they wouldn’t be adding anymore value in my life. Sure my headphones right now sometimes turn the volume down randomly, or restart the song 15 times before they start working properly, but past those small bugs, they work great! They do exactly what they are supposed to do and that’s all I need. So a new pair of headphones would save me some frustration and maybe increase the sound quality of my music, but I really couldn’t give two fucks about that.
Mindfulness seems to be the theme of the month for me. Every podcast I’ve been listening to and every book I’ve read in the past couple of weeks says that in our to find fulfillment in our lives, one must live out a mindful life. I think that all this has really done good for me in a sense where my life isn’t as focused on financial satisfaction but rather on physical, emotional and spiritual satisfaction. At the start of this term, my head was definitely geared towards the amount of money I was making and the amount of things I could buy as result, and after almost not being able to pay rent for a month (thank you mom and dad…) I realized that i was going a little too HAM on the wrong aspects of my life. Now that doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly became a budget master… I am still pretty bad at controlling my spendings, but that event has made me much more aware of myself which is very beneficial long term, and now I can start working on a strategy to start controlling my savings. So in conclusion to all this, the reason I have been so focused on the idea of mindfulness is that once we become self aware we will be able to identify our strengths and weakness and then slowly implement strategies to overcome our weakness. I mean you don’t just go to the gym once and bench two plates… (most people at least)