Are you living your life, or too busy trying to make life happen?

One absolute truth about life is the fact that everything in life is temporary.
Nothing lasts forever.
Be it people.
Or things.
Or experiences.

People come and go. Some stay longer than others. But no one will be there forever – be it because some people are just not meant to be there with you for the long haul, or because life sometimes gets in the way, or because death comes for all of us…

Things aren’t everlasting – they are not permanent. Some things perish, others lose utility, while some get lost somehow.

Experiences fade. With time some experiences disappear while others fade, and some just get replaced while others are blocked and forgotten.

The point is, nothing in life is forever.
So it’s important to make the most of what you have right now.

People – Live fully with the good people in your life. Fully enjoy the time you have with them because you never know how much time you have with them.
Things – Make the most of the things you have. Get the most out of them so that eventually when they aren’t there you won’t have any regrets (e.g. don’t just buy things if you aren’t going to use them or enjoy them).
Experiences – Embrace the experiences you have (and seek out). Fully enjoy the good ones, and learn from the not-so-good ones.

It can be challenging, to pay attention to things now because we get distracted, and life gets in the way. But that is what often leads to regrets.
It’s not hard though. Being present in the moment – being mindful – is a great place to start.

Live your life, rather than spending all your time and energy on trying to make life happen.
Nothing in life is permanent, so it is important to make the most of what you have while you can.

Are you mindful of the people, things, and experiences in your life?
Are you living your life, or too busy trying to make life happen?

The pursuit of materialism

The world now revolves around materialism.
The pursuit of having more, buying more, and getting more defines our society these days, by and large.

That is not a good thing.
Either for us individually.
Or collectively.
And it’s certainly not good for the world as a whole.

Materialism is a short-term strategy that favours small immediate pleasures over long-term benefits.
Often to get validation from others.

It leads to more waste.
It leads to more debt.
It leads to more clutter.
And it also leads to more unhappiness.

A better life happens when you think for yourself, rather than when you make decisions in order to “look good” or “fit in”.
If having more was the key to happiness, just having money would be enough.
And all those happy people who have very little would not be happy.
Having more is not the same as being happy.

That said, the point isn’t to stop buying things altogether, but rather to think before you buy.
The point is to be more mindful about the things you buy, their impact, and their necessity.

Think before you act, and buy only what you need.
That’s not just better for your life, it’s also good for the environment, and the world.

The more you own, the more you stress

The more stuff you have, the more worries you have and the more you have to worry about.
This is one of the main reasons why ascetics own little to nothing, and minimalism is so popular.

Minimalism has, in fact, become quite mainstream – with smaller forays into this strategy becoming part of the popular culture.
Examples include concepts like one bag travel, backpacking, tiny houses, capsule wardrobe, Scandinavian interiors, Maria kondo, etc.

There are many benefits to minimal living.
Think about it this way: will you worry about road insurance and AA and MOT if you don’t own a car? Along to same lines, would you worry about anything that you don’t actually have?

It’s really simple when you think about it – what you do not have, you cannot worry about losing or damaging.
So it is useful to curb your belongings, and limit the number of things you own.

The idea, by the way, isn’t an entirely alien one.
People in the armed forces do it all the time.
As do backpackers, and nomads.
And numerous other people around the world.

There are actually studies about how some of the poorest people in the world are the happiest.
Maybe they understand something we don’t…

Try it.
Cut down on your possessions.
That will massively simplify your life.

Own less, stress less.

Our default insatiability

Humans are insatiable.
That’s our default programming.

What we have is never enough.
We always crave more.
We always need more.
We always want more.

This insatiable nature is very likely a remnant from our ancestors.
From the cavemen and women who had very little, and always had to collect and get and gather, in order to survive.

But we’re long past those days.
Our baser instincts and programming, however, hasn’t caught up to that fact.

But you CAN change that way of thinking, with work.
By CHOOSING how you react, and think.
It can be done.
In fact, many have done it.

It’s important to realise that having lots doesn’t make you happy.
It usually does the opposite.
The constant chase takes you away from truly enjoying what you have.

Also, having more = more stress.

Here’s a better way of being: appreciate what you have and how fortunate you are, and realise that life is short.
Isn’t it better to enjoy life while you can?

Make the most of the short life you have.

You are more fortunate than most people.
Realise that.
Be grateful.
Enjoy life while you can.
And, do good.

Life is short.
Make the most of it.

Do you buy things you don’t need to impress others?

Materialism is a big part of the validation seeking culture that’s become dominant these days.
More often than not people buy stuff not because they really need them, but because they want to show off and belong.

Think about the last time you bought the latest gadget or a branded clothing item.
Did you buy it because you absolutely needed it?
Or because you thought it’ll make you look good to others?

Humans are social animals.
We have evolved to seek connection.
Part of that connection, unfortunately often, hinges on conformity and validation.
But it’s a flawed mentality.

Being like the people you want to like you, or trying to impress them, might get you their approval in the short term, but in the long term it leads to unhappiness.
Not just that, that strategy is unsustainable as you are trying to be someone you are not, doing what you can’t afford to.

So if you’re spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need, how smart do you think you are being?

Showing off is a waste of time.
And money.
And time.
And energy.
Be smart, and think before you spend your resources.

Stop showing off.
Do what really matters.
Spend your time and resources wisely.