I often ask myself important questions. Given all the benefits of owning only what you need, who would choose to own a lot of things they don’t need?
I do not ask questions in an atmosphere of superiority, pride, or morality.
I discovered minimalism in my mid-thirties. Living in the middle class on a low income, I was able to get a room full of things I didn’t need. This became very clear when a neighbor introduced me to minimalism and our family of four began minimizing their home possessions.
Our first vanload to Goodwill felt great. His second van in clutter to the Salvation Army his load felt great. So was the third.
But while loading four vans of unnecessary things at the local donation center, I started asking myself some serious questions. A house I didn’t need? why did i buy all this?
Why do we buy things we don’t need in the first place?
The more I immersed my mind and soul in search of the answer to this question, the less I enjoyed what I found… selfishness, greed, jealousy, the desire to impress, fear (just to name a few). ) became apparent to me as an unhealthy motivation that forced me to acquire and consume.
I now understand that we must recognize our innate human desires and strive to overcome them. is prevalent in
However, we are not entirely responsible. The outside world plots against us.
In one of the most famous descriptions of modern society’s obsession with consumption, Lehman Brothers’ Paul Mazur said in 1927: Wrote for Harvard Business Review, “We must transform America from a need culture to a desire culture. People must be trained to want the new even before the old is fully consumed.” We must form a new way of thinking in America Man’s desires must overshadow his needs”
Thus began a new era in advertising. It seeks to manipulate the masses, not by providing the goods necessary for life and well-being. by manipulating desires.
Everything from cars and clothing to cigarettes and electronics has become a status symbol. And 100 years later, the operation continues.
At last night’s Super Bowl, just to name a few, fashion apps can make us feel rich, software companies can turn us into rock stars, buying a car can save the environment, and a can of potato chips. was able to connect us with us. others.
In either case, we are “trained to want more than we need.”
My grandfather was born in 1921 and passed away in December 2020 at the age of 99. deliberately change strategy.
But I was born in 1974 and am 48 years old. And you probably have too.
We knew nothing but a world where business leaders, Wall Street moguls, politicians (and now tech giants) dominated the airwaves and the culture we live in.
We have come to expect that this way of life is normal and how life should be lived.
This is what life is all about… wanting more than you need and buying… right?
Like a fish oblivious to the water around it, oblivious to the level of corporate manipulation and even its impact.
But make no mistake. we are deceived We are sold promises that retailers and manufacturers can never deliver. Their external manipulations appeal to our inner insecurities, forcing us to pursue, buy, and accumulate more than we need.
So how do we overcome this manipulation?
I hope this is an easy answer, but it turns out it’s not.
Overcoming manipulation requires constant vigilance. However, here are some important steps you can take to achieve it.
1. Recognize that there are selfish motives all around us.
Not all companies or all advertisements benefit us. Some are there for profit.
2. Work to confirm the operation.
The emphasis in advertising has shifted away from factual statements to creating associations in the viewer’s mind.
Most advertising appeals to our unconscious desires (status, gender, fame, happiness, appearance, self-esteem, identity, or reputation) and fears (loneliness, safety, weakness, uncertainty). Be careful with their strategy so you don’t get tricked.
3. Remember that happiness cannot be bought.
Beware of destination addiction, the belief that your next purchase will bring you happiness. The dopamine rush from a new purchase is soon fleeting. Happiness is a decision we can all make…not sold on Amazon.
4. Respect the finiteness of our lives.
Life is finite, including time, money, and energy. For this reason, learning where to direct your attention and affection is very important.
5. Buy things for utility, not status.
Buy items for their ability to meet your needs, not their ability to impress your neighbors.
Apply this principle everywhere. Homes, cars, and clothing are all great starting points. You don’t have to live like everyone else. In fact, you’ll be happier if you don’t.
6. Remind yourself that there are greater pursuits in life.
There are always things you can do with your money rather than buying things you don’t need. We can help others, solve problems, and make a difference in the world. The value of our money is determined by what we spend it on. Use it wisely.
7. Calms the mind.
For me, this is one of the reasons why meditation and devotion are so important in my life. Being aware of our life purpose helps us overcome the manipulation of the world around us. is one of
The only way to get out of the influence of marketers and the consumer society is to really get out. To decide that enough is enough and that the relentless pursuit of possessions will never lead to a purposeful life. The first step is to be intentional to overcome it.