Materialism- Chasing Rainbows

My attitude to life, like so many other like-minded souls, has always been to get a good job, buy nice things, and progress forever forward in my chosen career. Then I can continue to buy all the nice things that will bring me happiness. This is why I put all my efforts and hard work into my job, to bring home more money to fuel such desires. Material things have always made me happy in the past, and to suggest that they haven’t would be a lie. Driving off in my new car, playing on my quad-core laptop…these have definitely brought me happiness in the past.

I’m getting older ok. I read more, I think more; I contemplate all different notions of spiritual enlightenment. “What really makes us happy?”, I keep reading. I drive to work. I daydream. I appreciate my nice car, it makes me happy. The newer model would make me happier though. I must work harder so I can afford it.

This mental process goes round and round, as I consider all the ‘things’ that I own which have made me happy. I have a great 37 inch flatscreen TV…its not as nice as the 50 inch though. I must work harder so I can afford it. In the end, we become slaves to our own reality. The objects which once made me so happy are now bringing me down in their inadequacies. I must work harder so I can afford it…

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if I will ever truly be happy with what I have. Everything I own has only brought me happiness in the short term- as this starts to diminish, I begin to desire the next big thing. Is this what it’s all about? Chasing material objects to deceive ourselves into believing we are doing just great and that these objects are really just what we need to make us happy? Well we are definitely not alone in thinking this…

How about friendship?…Love? Now we’re talking. This is the shit that really brings happiness. I mean, what good is the new house if you can’t share it with a loved one, or throw hedonistic parties every weekend in the company of your best friends, with the neighbours bashing at the door disrespectfully from 10pm. There would be no point in it all; material objects would be redundant within a day, as we longed for company to share them with.

It’s only now that I’m trying to be mindful of how I feel, what makes my heart sing, and the many different emotions on offer to us every day, that I wonder what it is that really makes me happy. I listen to my music that suits my taste for the day…some Romanian’s throwing out deep baselines and gypsy percussion. The minimal beats bring a huge smile to my face, as my body radiates joy and excitement to the universe. This will happen again when I play it later on in the day, next week, and well into next year. I’ll be bored of my new laptop within a month…

So putting things into perspective- modern day society dictates that we work hard to buy the house/swanky apartment, get the fast car, and continue to fuel all the things that should make us happy. All of this just to claim a place within modern society; to be some form of success, as everyone races to have the biggest, fastest and most expensive. This is so typical in our age- as technology advances, so do our so-called needs.

Is there some kind of formula to happiness then? A mix of love, friendship, work and psychological adaption perhaps? Everyone responds well to some recognition in the work place- a job well done and the gratifying recognition that you have done well in your task . Relationships, friends, marriage, children equals happiness for sure. A persons mindset; a positive outlook into the world, embracing change, accepting the challenges the universe throws our way, and dealing with it all with a proactive and positive mentality. Material things??? I’m beginning to question their integrity, having fooled me for so long. Short-lived satisfaction- great at countering any short-comings, and masking what is really supposed to bring us happiness…

My next dose of happiness is on the horizon…travel. One I haven’t touched the surface on yet. Something I believe touches all base points from the above (instead love affairs come in an impassioned 4 day stretch). The transition into travel has the ability to turn you into a child again, and let’s be honest, what child isn’t happy playing over the park with newly acquired friends? Everything you see is new and emotionally affecting, basic tasks like eating and sleeping take on a heightened significance, and entertainment can be found in the simplest curiosities and novelties. In a certain sense, walking through new places with the instincts of a 5 year old is liberating.

As I look ahead, become frugal with my spending, watch the pennies add up and as I cut back on the extravagant lifestyle, only then I realise how pointless my spending was before. A new pair of trainers every week, a new wardrobe every day that I had off work. 3 months later, I was giving it all to my nephew anyway. I consider how I feel in the moment as often as I can throughout the day; referring to those 22 points which constitute the Abraham-Hick’s emotional guidance scale. Will staying angry with Dave make me feel joy? Rather than stay frustrated with him for something his failed to do, why not find something about him that you can appreciate? That’s surely going to lift your well-being…and you will begin to feel great for it too. Happiness can be achieved with the smallest of change, the easiest of which you’ll need to look inward for.

I’m in no way suggesting that just because somebody wants a nice car, that they are in some way unhappy. Some of the happiest people I know have the nicest material things. What I am saying is its the relationships these people choose to have around them that creates their happiness, and the mindset that they have towards each day of their life. Happiness can be taken from the smallest pleasures. Every one is entitled to a brand new car if that’s what they want. Most importantly though, is that you don’t want to buy the new car because you’re no longer satisfied with the old one 18 months its senior. Be happy with the 37 inch TV…the 50 inch may be better, but if you only ever desire what’s better, instead of being happy with what you have, then really, how are you ever going to be happy? May aswell go chase rainbows…

 

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