I’ve been in Auckland for just over a month now, and I’ve already been sucked back into the vicious cycle of consumerism. ‘Do I want to buy a new iPhone 5s?’ ‘Ooooh I need some new sunglasses – how much were those new ones from KW?’ ‘I NEED a new fragrance, better make a trip to Life Pharmacy’.
These are thoughts that I’ve had since I’ve been home, and the thing is, I CAN’T AFFORD to be thinking these! I’ve only just started working with my mum 2 weeks ago, and the bulk of that money will be going toward the debt I accrued while I was living it up in Rarotonga.
I sat down to do my budget for the week and realised that I simply cannot continue wasting money on ‘things’. I don’t need a new phone, mine works just fine. I don’t need new perfume, a $5 Impulse from the Pak ‘N Save will do. I don’t need new sunglasses, the ones I got from Raro do the job.
I’ve realised that the joy I receive from buying these things last only a day or two, and that they really don’t give any lasting happiness. I now feel (and realise) that money is better spent on experiences, which can enhance our lives and that of those around us.
This drive to consume is often fuelled by thoughts of what people think of us. A great post by Sean Kim talks about how we live our lives caring what other people think of us, when really, NO ONE really cares.
I especially like this snippet:
“Worrying too much about what other people think can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, because the way we think starts to become the way we behave. These individuals become people-pleasers and overly accommodating to others, thinking it will stop them from being judged.
In fact, the opposite is true. Most people don’t like push-overs and are turned off by it. The behaviour we use in an attempt to please others, can actually cause the opposing effect.”
Kim also writes that it’s been said that we are the “average” of the five people we hang out with most. So if your five closest buddies aren’t what you’d like to see in yourself, then it’s time to either: make the necessary change in your attitude/behaviour, or get aligned with a group of non-toxic friends who share similar ideas and beliefs. Quite simply, people who won’t hold you back from true happiness.
“When we start to attract and associate with the same people that share our weaknesses — we’re stuck. We stop growing, because there’s no one to challenge us to be better. We start thinking that this is the norm and we remain comfortable. This is not a place you want to be.”
I guess I’m really writing this post to remind myself of where I want to be and what I want to achieve. I don’t always want to be living in my parents comfy house, earning the minimum wage.
Buying clothes, eating out every weekend and getting the latest phone won’t fill the ‘void’ or provide me with memories that I’ll laugh at when I have a moment to myself (you know how you always snap people chuckling to themselves when they’ve just thought/remembered something funny lol).
Don’t compromise yourself. The only person that stops you on the path to happiness is yourself.
I value spending time with my friends and family. I value the experience of stepping out of my comfort zone. I value commitment, communication, friendship and respect in a relationship. I value travelling to new places and trying new activities. All these values help to shape my goals in life and keep me driven toward a life I find fulfilling.