Since deciding to depart these shores, I’ve been getting rid of stuff like it’s going out of fashion… To be honest, most of it had.
But it did get me thinking… Why did I own a load of stuff I didn’t need? And what made me spend so much money on it in the first place? I came to the same conclusion as Tyler Durden.
But it ain’t just advertising is it, I’ll have to throw a bit of peer pressure there too. We see other people with stuff and we convince ourselves we need it too. I’ve been there – a bigger house, stuff to go in it… Do we really need all that shit, or does it just hold us back?
“You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.” Tyler Durden (Fight Club)
Psychologist will tell you that the reason we buy stuff is because it makes us happy. But they’ll also tell you – that that happiness is short lived. If you want it to last a bit longer, buy something for someone else.
The psychologists don’t stop there. They reckon new or interesting experiences makes us even happier than buying stuff. But if you share those experiences with someone else you’re happier still.
Now that I’ve had a good clear out, I feel 10 stone lighter. Some of those possessions were weighing me down… So from now on the consumer in me will be more vigilant, I’ll be spending my money on experiences instead.
I’m not about to become a monk though, after all I’m writing this on my brand new iPad Mini… Saw a fella on the train with one and thought, “I need one of those”.