As each year rolls around, so does certain events, and as I write this it is Black Friday. This is one of those days that is invented — or at least, influenced — by big corporations looking to make some swift cash on the public.
I caught myself watching some news stories as the consumerism pandemic spread across not just the USA, but also here in the UK. I’ll be honest it made me a bit sad about the world. We’ve had the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Industrial Era, and now we are surely in the Consumerist Era (at least, I think that’s what we might call it in 100 years if we are still around as a species!).
It’s not surprising though, when you think about the horrible things that are actually happening around the globe. Those of us in the Western World are at an absolute pinnacle of freedom and potential. Most of us have food and water whenever we may want it, the warmth we need to thrive, and usually family and friends around us. In our early states of evolution these are the kinds of things we would have had to fight for, in order just to survive and exist.
But now, in our Consumerist Era, most of us don’t have to fear for our lives or fight with another predator for a lump of food. It’s all handed to us on a plate (literally), so instead we must find other means to satisfy our cravings in life. One of the worst of these is our attachment to consuming. We over-consume food, water, and then thrive for the next new gadget or fashionable clothing item because we think this will make a difference to our lives.
Ask yourself a real question, and answer it honestly; Did buying that thing that you thought was a must-have actually make a significant difference to your life? If you are being really honest, I’d say confidently that 70% of the time the answer would be no, it didn’t make my life any better. So why do we keep letting ourselves fall into this trap?
For me it comes down to forgetting about what is really important. I know the things that are truly important to me, and when I forget to work on those things I’ll get lazy and look for an easier way to crave my need for satisfaction. So I spend money I shouldn’t, and end up with things I don’t really need and eventually don’t even want. Some time ago I adopted a minimalist lifestyle, and it was a game changer for focusing less on the items in my life, and more on the people and the experiences.
It’s helped me to identify what I want to focus on, and it led me in part to creating Mentovo. I don’t think that everyone should be a minimalist, but I think every one of us could benefit from looking within for answers to the question “What’s important?” rather than outwardly placing your hopes and dreams in that new designer handbag.