Happiness Comes With A Price?

Happiness Comes With A Price?

Written by Ronald Coulson, Posted on

...or does it?

We live in a world where the majority of people are always looking to buy the latest and greatest, from new cars that are tricked out with all the features, to phones which are basically hand-held computers these days. People accumulate items as quickly as they can, equating material possessions with personal happiness. The question is, why would anyone continue with such a belief, especially since we all know money can’t buy happiness?

There is a study that suggests materialistic people tend to be egocentric, even ungrateful for what they may already have (e.g. family, friends, etc.). They continue to buy and buy, accumulating one meaningless item after another. The sad part is that these very items they buy in order to feel happy are the same items that end up causing them to be miserable, but then they buy more--it really is a vicious cycle.

Choosing the path less traveled.

I spent years living in that cycle. If I saw an item I wanted and I thought, even for the briefest of moments, it would bring me happiness, I would buy it. I wasted a lot of money only to come to the one simple conclusion: I wasn’t happy. More than that, however, I was tired of feeling miserable. I decided that I need to make a change.

I spent a few years reflecting on what I thought I needed in order to achieve happiness. I looked at all the stuff I'd gathered about me, seeing all of it for what it was: barriers against depression. I came to realize that it wasn’t material possessions that I needed, it was change. Granted there is a lot more to it than that, but reckless spending did seem to play a major factor.

So I decided to minimize my life. I got rid of everything I owned, save for the essentials: books, music, and clothes. Whenever I had the urge to purchase something new, I’d ask myself a few questions: Do I need this right now? Will I regret it? If the answers were yes and no, respectively, then I would proceed. If not, then I would move on.

Ultimately, material possessions are meaningless if you can't enjoy life as it is. I'm not saying everyone should give up everything they own, only that they should learn to appreciate what they already have. You never know, you might just find the happiness you were looking for.