“Several people close their eyes and wildly chase things, without even knowing why they’re doing so. I don’t want to be among them.”
When I was a teen, I wanted quality branded items, stared through glazing windows of malls, and silently wished for certain stuff that I couldn’t afford. Mostly because I come from a modest background, so I never had a lot.
Yet, I never craved for a lot more, either. Life was good the way it was. I didn’t feel incomplete.
I never saw a relation between flaunting a huge bank balance and a healthy self-respect. I clung my worth and happiness to better options in life. That still works.
But some people don’t get it.
How materialism enters your life and decays it
“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.” ― John Lennon
There comes a time when you grow up – you understand that materialism is a trap. Advertisements don’t fool you, you open your wallet wisely, and you don’t try hard to impress others.
At the same time, you don’t renounce everything to become a monk, either. Materialism exists in you, but it’s balanced. You hope to own a house, aim for a higher salary, and even expect to own your dream car – which is okay.
Nothing wrong about that, as you hope to make your life better. Though, the problem begins when you become obsessed and make it the sole purpose of your life.
But what’s so wrong about materialism, anyway?
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” ― Jim Carrey
Materialism changes you in unexpected ways. It badly affects your emotional and mental well-being, without you knowing it. It harms your way of looking at life.
Materialism brings several pains along with it, so here are some simple clues to help you understand how worse it can be.
Here’s a list of reasons why materialism is bad for you
- You define your value in terms of the objects you own. In the course, you lose your authenticity, self-belief, and think your worth is only equal to the price tag of your t-shirt.
- You get stuck in a never-ending comparison. The possibility that your lawn is lesser greener keeps you restless and insecure. You stop sleeping well at night.
- Your self-esteem shatters when you don’t meet your own unrealistic expectations. Even you’re blessed with abundance, you become blind to your own goodness.
- You delude yourself by buying more stuff and thinking you’re closer to happiness than before, even when you are not. You remain unhappy for insensible reasons.
- You get fooled by advertisements and hypocrisy around yourself. You stop using your senses and remove your wallet without a second thought.
- You become desperately poor, not because you don’t have enough, but because you develop a hunger that can’t be satisfied.
- You keep demanding more, get stuffed with selfishness and show no trace of contentment. So you suffer more due to such behavior.
- You feel grateful for nothing. You stop appreciating what you already have, because it’s not as good as what you want, therefore you’re busy chasing the next shiny thing.
- You crave external appreciation and wait to be noticed by others. You put your efforts in impressing others, even when it doesn’t serve a purpose.
- You keep feeling incomplete, unsuccessful and dissatisfied – and you carry the same feelings with you, till the end. You go astray, away from peace.
- You disturb your well-being through your attachment to your bank account. You become too dependent on your possessions, as you try to define yourself through them, which arouses mental and emotional instability.
- You fall prey to negative feelings such as greed, jealousy, and hatred – as you often see others as a part of your race – and you don’t want them to win.
- You compromise your values and principles for gains – soon, the gap between right and wrong starts to fade for you.
- You lose your true identity. Then, you try to become what others want you to become, not what you hope to become.
- You spend your resources on temporary pleasures and lose the opportunity of making a change in your own and others’ lives. You neglect the bigger picture.
- You become blind to qualities of people and judge them based on their earnings and financial status. This only makes you look pompous and arrogant.
- Your limit your perception to the monetary side of life, after which you stop seeing all other ways to happiness and success.
- You see no other way to prove your self-worth, or to estimate your success, and therefore cling to the path you’re already on.
- You unknowingly manipulate your own emotions, and hence, gather regrets and pains as time passes.
- Your trap yourself within the life you choose, and only find nothingness, despair, and meaninglessness when you look back. It can be miserable when you have almost no memories.
Finally, remember that materialism isn’t in your blood.
It’s a consequence of your surroundings, the kind of thoughts you were exposed to, and the way you lived your life till now. But, like other patterns in life, this too can be changed once you decide to do it.