In the pursuit of happiness, it’s mostly work and little play. Many of us wish it could be different. We know fully well that we don’t spend enough time with our families or doing the things we really want to do. The truth is that if we want to function in this world we need to work. We need to work because we need to earn money. Money is essential for our existence in modern society because it allows us to meet our basic requirements of life for ourselves and our family. We can’t be starving and happy.
There are some who are fortunate and can unplug from work because they have the financial means to do so. Others have found ways to live a simple life where they grow their own food and build their own shelter. Most of us, however, are caught in the net of the modern structure of existence where money is essential for our survival and we spend most of our time is spent in the pursuit of the almighty dollar.
We have been conditioned to think we can only be happy when we have particular types of possession. Many of us work hard and make sacrifices not because we need to meet our family’s basic needs. Many have done that many times over. No, we work because we are conditioned to believe that without certain items and possessions we are not worthy and thus cannot be happy. It is not enough to have a home, it must be a lavish home. It is not enough to have a safe and reliable vehicle, it must also be a symbol to others of how phenomenal we are.
At the end of the day it is really a trade-off and it is up to us to determine whether our happiness is achieved from a real source or if it is one that others have conditioned us into believing. If you have a good job and earning a reasonable income and still you find it hard to make ends meet. You may want to examine what it is that you really need, and more importantly, why you think you need it. This is not the first time I have said this and it is not the first time you have heard it either. But if nothing has changed since you last heard it, well you need to check again and dig deeper to find the real reason why it is, you’re pursuing the things you are. Who told you it would make you happy? Why do you believe them?
It is important for all of us to re-examine what we have been told, how we structure and live our daily lives. If we want change it has to come from below, it will not come from the top. The next time you whip out your wallet to make a purchase make sure you are fully aware of why and what is behind that purchase. When we ask why, we can assess it if is a need or a want. When we ask what is behind the purchase, we are really asking where does the idea that I need or want this item come from. For instance, you stop to buy a drink. You ask why, the response is because I am thirsty, it is a necessity. You get to drink aisle. There are numerous choices. You pick up brand x. Here is where it gets tricky. Why did you choose brand x? Have you ever questioned your daily choices or do you do them out of habit. Are you on autopilot? It may seem like a lot of work, but it isn’t and once you become cognizant of the answers you might just be surprised to see how your consumption and spending pattern might change.
Humor me, the next time you buy something regardless of what it is, ask yourself these two little questions: Why am I buying this? What is causing me to buy this? Feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you discover.