There is nothing wrong with materialistic things but breaking free from desire frees us in incredible ways. We can have freedom from having to fight morning rush hour traffic, freedom from sitting in a cubicle for nine hours on a windowless floor (I’m speaking from experience here!) and freedom from not making it home in time to see our children before they go to bed.
I changed how I spent money when I found out I was pregnant. Something clicked and I started saving ferociously so I could stay home with my daughter after she was born.
A beautiful and unexpected event happened during this phase of saving money—I found myself. I realized life is not about making money, it’s about making room for what matters.
Scientific evidence shows we get a dopamine rush when we purchase something. When I stopped buying things it was hard and I missed that rush but I started finding it in other places.
It didn’t happen overnight but I experienced a paradigm shift in how I view the world.
I now believe buying nonessential things is ultimately just another way to distract us from what really matters. I actually feel sick when I go to big department stores from all the excess.
I’m not saying this level of anti-consumption is right for everyone but I can tell you it has brought me great joy. A big part of me wishes I would have figured this out at the peak of my income earning years but I feel fortunate I internalized it at all, especially while I’m relatively young.
Many people go through their whole lives accumulating stuff leaving a huge burden for their loved ones to sort when they are gone.
If you are yearning of a simpler life I want to encourage you to give minimalism a try.
Becoming Minimalist with Joshua Becker is a great place to start.