Alexandru Huțu: Detaching Yourself from Consumerism

We all buy heaps of stuff to satisfy our never-ending wants. These things we trade for our hard-earned cash give us nothing more than shallow, temporary happiness. I’ve heard the following statement many times: Look at this new iPhone I got, it’s ten percent faster than the one I bought last October and it makes my life sooo much better! I might be paraphrasing a little, but the main point is still there. We live in a society where people are so far beyond satisfying their basic survival needs that they can only get gratification from buying as many things as they can fit inside their house, and then some.

As the main character in Fight Club said:

“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”

People are so blindfolded that they truly believe they need all these things; however, they end up being owned by their possessions. One of my favourite writers on this topic, Colin Wright, came up with these wise words:

“Possessing is a responsibility, and things are a burden.”

Keeping up with the Joneses shouldn’t be your life goal. You should rid yourself of this unnecessary responsibility of owning more than you actually need. I’m not telling you to become a monk and live the rest of your life in a forest with only the clothes on your back, but just think about downsizing, about decluttering your life for a moment. Try going through a drawer and throw away whatever little item you haven’t used in years and don’t see yourself needing anytime soon. If you’re comfortable with that, you can then try to refrain from buying something just because it’s a nice-to-have the next time you go to the mall.

If you can see the benefits of a simpler lifestyle and choose to follow one, you are infinitely more likely to experience the true joys of life and find happiness where it actually matters.