Tuesday, 29 April 2014

More Is Less

We are bombarded each and every day by a thousand adverts. Television, radio, billboards, buses, magazines, newspapers, websites, email, social media. The assault is incessant, relentless, inescapable. From every angle, at every given opportunity we are presented with temptation and reminded of our inadequacies.

Still wearing last years fashion? Loser. Driving around in a beat-up old car? Life must have dealt you a bad hand. Leaving the house with no make up? Have you no self respect? These are the types of messages that are drilled into us by society. This is a modern phenomenon. Marketers of the 20th century have not only conquered our cities and towns, but also our minds. Go back just a few generations and the attitude of modern man would have been considered wasteful, flippant and downright crazy.

As a society we are more reckless, more lazy and more demanding than ever before. Those who see the insanity in what has become the new norm are regarded as insane themselves. Could it be though, that those who are more reserved with their spending, more cautious with their possessions are actually on to something?

I think so. If you are able to filter out the noise of modern life, able to stop judging your success by measure of your possessions, able to stop comparing yourself to others, you will likely find a greater contentment. You will find that it is much more rewarding to concentrate on the things you really value, and strip away that which you do not.

I'm not saying you should reject all forms of consumption. I am just saying; take a step back and think about why you choose to buy what you buy. Chances are, many of your purchases don't actually add anything to your life. You might get a short lived buzz upon indulging in a new pair of shoes or a new car you didn't need, but the real winners in this situation are the companies that have persuaded you to buy these things.

If you adopt this mindset it becomes easier to save, and less stressful to live. Saving money doesn't have to be a painful experience, it can actually be quite liberating. It gives you time to re-evaluate your spending. It gives you time to re-evaluate your priorities.

Our most cherished memories are not of things, but of people, of places, of experiences. The rest is really just trivial.

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