22 Aug Spend More Time Creating Experiences And Memories
It’s easy to get caught up in the world of consumerism. Not only do we get seduced by advertising, but we’re also driven by instant gratification. We spend large portions of our day working in order to pay our bills and sustain a particular lifestyle we’ve come to except.
For many people, even before pay day comes around they’ve already mentally spent most of their pay check on clothes, the latest piece of technology, or a pair of this season’s most popular shoes. We do this in the pursuit of happiness.
Unfortunately judging by our overflowing wardrobes, our desire for more storage, and our growing credit card debt consuming material items doesn’t provide contentment long term. Consumerism is not a lasting form of happiness. Sure, you may enjoy your new shoes the first few times you wear them, but before you know it, you’ll be planning the next purchase.
So where can we find the most fulfilment?
Recent research conducted by San Francisco State University concluded that it was the people who spend their money on experiences rather than material product who were happier. They also believe their hard earned cash was better spent on experiences.
Why? Because the thrill of purchasing items off a shelf dissipates quickly. When you’re reflecting on your life later down the road, you’re not going to remember that new iPhone you purchased or that handbag you spent a few months saving for.
Real joy and lasting memories come from experiences. It’s experiences like the weekend road trip you took with mates and the family occasion that brought everyone closer together that become a part of ourselves. They enrich your life, become engrained in your personality, even influence who you are. I can’t remember a pair of shoes doing that.
Experiences also foster relationships. They’re something you share together and reminisce over the memories later in life. And even if you didn’t experience a particular adventure or event with another person, there is a high chance you’ll be able to share stories of similar experiences.
You’re much more likely to create relationships and bond over experiences than you are over owning the same handbag!
Ultimately, happiness is what we all strive for in life. Our parents want us to be happy, so that it makes it seem all worth it. Our employees want us to be happy, because it makes us more productive and increases our job satisfaction. Our doctors want us to be happy, because it reduces the risks of illness.
Interestingly though, while the participants of San Francisco State University’s study were aware experiences make them feel happier, they still opted to choose to spend their hard earned cash on material items citing they think they’re of greater value. This suggests, breaking the habit of spending money on possessions is harder than we may think.
It’s not just money, it’s also time that stops us from enhancing our lives with unforgettable experiences. Today, we tend to jam as much as we can into our days leaving little time to spend actually living. For many, holidays are few and far between, going to see a show or a concert was something they did when they were young, and there’s definitely no time for that art class they would love to take.
This inability to slow down and put our individual happiness as a priority is having an impact on our wellbeing. Is it time to stop swiping your credit card in order to buy more stuff and instead working on creating a meaningful and happy life?
Creating, capturing and sharing our memories and experiences with others is what really enriches lives and leaves a lasting impression, not how much stuff you own.