So many of us experience the strange yet completely satisfying experience of buying ‘stuff’. Yes, I said stuff.
Stuff is what I call the things that make us feel good but only for a short period of time. This is different for everyone and it’s commonly material items.
This includes things like:
- Eating at restaurants
- Gadgets and Technology
- Cars or Motorbikes
- Games or Apps
I think you get the idea…
Now you may be thinking “But it’s because I love those things. They make me feel good!”
Well, I have a question for you…
This is the same question I have asked all of my clients and workshop participants…
“Why do you love it so much? What do you feel that you’re getting from buying these things?”
The answer I receive is pretty much the same every time. I get answers like… “It makes me feel better. It alleviates some kind of pain or lack of satisfaction.”
There’s a temporary sense of satisfaction that comes from purchasing these items. The price tag can determine how long the satisfaction lasts until something else is required to fill that space.
This is called being a consumerist. Someone who spends their life working hard to make money to then go out and spend that money on plugging a hole in the heart.
But you can’t plug a hole in the heart with these items. It will only be a matter of time before the hole opens again.
Don’t worry though (not that you were). There’s an effective way to stop this from happening.
Before I explain how let me tell you why it’s important to address this.
Firstly… It costs a lot of money over the years. You may not realise it, but all of these purchases add up and 90% of the time, they depreciate in value. It’s rare that you’ll be able to sell these items for the same price you paid.
So if you plan on having a comfortable lifestyle in the future, you can be sure this kind of behaviour will ruin those chances.
Secondly… It’s only putting a band-aid on the real problem.
Here’s what I mean.
Imagine you’re chopping vegetables in the kitchen and you cut yourself with the knife. You stop, clean your finger and then pop a band-aid on it to help it heal. Then you go back to chopping the vegetables and cut yourself again in a different spot. Another band-aid and back to the chopping board.
You can keep doing the same thing and you’ll keep going through band-aids. This will continue because you’re not doing anything about the cause of the problem. You’ll need to change the way you’re chopping or change the knife you’re using, not just slapping band-aids on your fingers like it’s a carnival game.
So what do you do? How do you change it?
Ask the following questions…
- What feeling do you get from getting or buying these things?
- Why is it important that you get that feeling?
- Where do feel like that feeling is missing from?
- If you were being fulfilled in that area of your life, what would be different for you?
These questions will help you locate where the problem lies. They will help you uncover the real cause of the problem so you can begin to adjust your consumerist behaviour into becoming a creator.
People who begin to feel more and more fulfilled and inspired in what they’re doing tend to awaken a desire to create and contribute to those around them. They do that instead of looking for ways to plug the hole in their heart or cover up the wound.
Begin to find ways that fulfil you and make you feel great without being a consumerist and watch two things change in your life…
- The amount of money you spend will decrease and you’ll begin to change the way you spend your money.
- You’ll gain a deeper sense of fulfilment and energy in your day-to-day life.
I know the second one is a bit ‘woo-woo’ but being unfulfilled on a daily basis causes some interesting and self-sabotaging behaviour.
More on that another day… I promise.
So for now, ask these above questions with your spending habits and find new ways that are actually meaningful to achieve the same feelings. Before you know it you’ll be thanking yourself. Believe me.
You get to decide if you consume or create.