Everyone likes to have nice things. They are an integral part of our daily life and there is nothing wrong with that as long as we acquire things in moderation or within our means. It is when possessions become a part of defining who we are that issues start to arise that can often be problematic. The questions is, just how long do those possessions bring satisfaction and can they sometimes be replaced by experiences that create even more value?
Consider this comparison. You go out and buy a new car. For a short period of time that car brings you immense joy. People see it and comment on it, you feel good about being in something new and for a short period of time it has brought an enhancement to your life that you enjoy. Now consider 10 years out. Do you even remember the car that you had or the emotions that came along with it when you bought it? Likely not.
Now think about a week long trip that you may have taken. You experienced new places, sights, sounds and cultures, good food and probably even had an opportunity to meet new people. Now consider 10 years out in that situation. You are sitting around the table, perhaps with people that were on that trip with you and the memories are as vivid as the day you were on the journey.
Possessions seem to have an expiration date on when those items continue to bring you value. However, experiences tend to create memories that seem to last a lifetime. When considering the expenditure of either, it is important to consider the long term benefit of the decision and that often guides us to make the right choice.
I am the first to admit that I like nice things. However, I try to balance that with experiences that nurture the soul so the expenditures are not lopsided and all I wind up with is a lot of stuff that brings no value. I also try not to let possessions define who I am and balance that with giving back to the community to create a well rounded life. It is easy to get caught up in trying to keep up with everyone else, but in the end we have to decide for ourselves what is going to contribute to a more well balanced and happy life. Every day we have to make a decision to buy it or do it and sometimes doing provides far more benefit than anything we could ever buy.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles today.
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