Have you ever noticed that so many of the things we buy are to impress other people?
Did we really need that new car, that huge addition to our home, that fancy wedding we’re still paying off? Is it possible that we really bought them to tell the world we’re a person worth knowing and respecting?
The truth can be tough. I know for me it was.
When we stop and think about why we buy, it can seem as though our whole lives are lived for others, not for ourselves.
Buying stuff to impress other people makes us happy for such a short while. The joy is short-lived, shallow, and ultimately meaningless. It leads to buyer’s remorse, and an empty ache inside that – if we’re not astute – we strive to fill that emptiness with yet more buying.
Surely if the last load of stuff we bought didn’t make us happy, then maybe we just bought the wrong stuff? Maybe more stuff will help? Maybe stuff from a different shop? Maybe stuff of a different colour or style? Maybe we got the fashion wrong? Heck, maybe the problem was us all along!
Spending money on our image works…at first. But have you noticed how quickly we feel dissatisfied with our new clothes, jewellery, makeup? We worked so hard to look exactly like that model in the magazine (with our own personal twist, of course!)…but inside we know it’s a sham.
We’re still the same naked emperor within, no matter what we do.
We know we’re a fake.
We never feel like we ever truly become the perfect human we’ve set out to be.
You can chase the dream your whole life, wasting years and years of energy. Or you can recognise that impressing others, trying to be something we’re not, spending our lives creating an image…it’s all false, all empty. It won’t make us happy. It won’t give us fulfilment.
It’s a dream, a fantasy. Reach out to touch it, and the vision blurs, moves, changes…
Real happiness comes from within, and from the genuine connections we make with other people throughout our lives. It comes from having a strong moral compass and sense of self, built on challenge and drive and struggle. It comes from real work and dedication, and from giving more than we take.
Happiness – deep, soul-satisfying happiness – won’t ever come from stuff. No matter how much stuff you are given, or buy, or own.
So live for yourself.
Live for the people you love.
Don’t live for stuff.
Because stuff won’t ever love you back.