Living in a modern technologically advanced world you enjoy benefits people living even 50 years ago could not imagine.
All the way from buying clothes online to simply sending a tweet about what you had for dinner. You through the power of the Internet are more connected now then humans have ever been in the past. But that’s only one part of the story. While most of us agree that this infinite amount connection too people and information is a good thing. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its negatives. Face to face connection has rapidly decreased, privacy concerns and cyber bullying have become real issues and digital experiences have numbed our senses to what the real world has to offer. And believe it or not all of what I have mentioned so far is just about the Internet. When it comes to the entire modern life package this is just the tip of this deceptive iceberg.
We are living in uncharted territory. Never in history before has the world moved so quickly. Everything is replaceable, nothing is sacred and it’s all about what’s next. Before you are can even enjoy something you buy, its next version is released. Polka dot shirts could be all the rage in December and then next month in January you could be made fun of for wearing the same thing. We have twisted our lives into a constant race and this phenomenon has gotten so extreme, that so much so even relationships are not sacred anymore.
Compared to in the past when most people would have one to a maximum two marital relationships and that too if things got really bad. It is normal for a person living today to have 7 or even 8 partners in their lives, because literally everything has become replaceable. 50 or so years ago if you were a divorcee or you took part in “extracurricular activities” outside of marriage you weren’t considered a good match and you would have had a tough time getting into a new relationship. But now you could have been with 5, 6 partners before and it wouldn’t hurt your chances at all in finding someone new. Rather in some cases this would even help you, as having experience is becoming more desirable.
We have all become addicts and the consumption of everything has become our drug.
Our lives have become stuck in this rat’s race and rather than having a larger purpose too life, most of us have embraced this endless race to have more. We see singers and rappers throwing money and having new partners every week and we begin to think that this is the purpose of life, that this is the end goal. We see billionaires buying luxury yachts for hundreds of millions of dollars and we make these things into our aspirations. We see our friends buying new products and devices and instead of thinking rationally we mortgage our futures to acquire things we can’t afford. We think we’re getting closer to our goal of becoming happy but the faster we run towards the light the further away it gets.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating becoming an apathetic person. Many of the articles I have written are about becoming successful and becoming wealthy. But my main concern is purpose. There is nothing wrong at all in wanting to be wealthy. I personally feel that money is a great motivator and I urge everybody to try his or her best to become as prosperous as they can. But it all comes down to “are you doing it for the right reasons”?
- Don’t make it your goal to become rich just for the sake of being rich like our modern society teaches us.
- Don’t just become rich so you can consume better things at a faster pace (Because that’s what this consumerism culture promotes).
But make it your goal to become rich so you can positively affect your personal life. That you can strengthen your bond between your family and friends and that you can use your money to remove financial constraints that were stopping you from meeting and sharing time with them. At an even higher rank make it your goal to help those in need. Rather than consuming designer shirts for thousands of dollars make it your goal to clothe the poor and feed the hungry.
But once again, please do not get me wrong into thinking that I’m advocating 100% consumer celibacy either. You can and should buy things that make you happy. If you can afford a brand new Ferrari and really want one, you should buy it. Just don’t make consumption the only goal. As long as you can keep a good balance and make your purpose of life bigger than just yourself you will be okay.
Now with that quick tangent about success I want to get back to the issue we were talking about. The reason why you feel so empty while you have so much is because you are always mentally moving to the next big thing. You might have the latest cell phone in our pockets but right when the announcement for the next model is made you begin too fixate your attention too the new model and your appreciation for what you currently have goes down. And unfortunately the sad truth is that this is the foundation to our current society and it regrettably applies to everything and anything you are able to have.
You could be in a relationship and in that too after a few months you will begin to mentally fixate on the next person. You will begin to focus less on the positives of your current partner and begin to only see the negatives. While you’ll mentally contort the person you don’t have in your life as perfect, you’ll contort the person whose on your side as flawed or less than. This is the perfect definition of consumerism and it has regrettably even infiltrated our relationships. But it’s now time to discuss what we can do about it. But before that try answer the following questions for yourself, in a a way to prime your mind for the next section:
How can you ever be at peace, or even think about having it without giving up your current way of life?
How can you even think about living a life without stress when you are mentally living in the future, always trying to hide the past and completely ignoring the present?
After limiting consumption I feel this is the second most vital point you must try to implement in your life. If you want peace and you want to eliminate stress: Live in the present. Live in the NOW. Like right now you are reading this article, live here. Live in this very moment. Don’t live today for tomorrow or for the past but live today for today. Only now exists and the future and the past are just in your head. Of course you should use the past to make better decisions in the now and use the now to plan for a better future but don’t let things that don’t really exist in reality loom over you.
Nowadays people are so caught up in controlling their future and changing their past that they never really live life in the present. They give themselves unnecessary stress about the future that in reality doesn’t even exist.
I mean student suicides are the ones that really get too me. And I’m not talking about suicides due to bullying because that’s another issue all together but suicides over failing exams. EXAMS! Students worldwide take their own lives simply because they don’t pass certain exams and therefore can’t pursue certain careers, and that’s their ONLY reason! Nothing more. Now I’m sure you can argue that the students have a lot of family pressure and that certain parents mortgage their entire futures so that their children can get educated. But that all aside this brings us back to my initial point that these students only commit suicide because they failed and were not able to control their future. There is not a single parent in the world who wouldn’t trade in their dead child for a child who failed it school. It’s just about having your priorities in the right place and your mind chewing on what it can healthily process without feeling stress: the present.
So what if you failed your big exam? So what you lost your temper and lot your job? So what you didn’t get accepted into Harvard? Blame that on the past you and learn from it. Focus on the here. Focus on the now, and don’t let the future you down.
So with that last point, I hope I was able to make my argument as illustrative as possible. I hope these ideas will positively impact your life and help you find peace, harmony and joy 🙂 ! As a sort of overview, these are the 3 main action points I feel you should focus on. I strongly feel that if you actively implement even one of them into your life you will see significant positive changes in your mood & mindset and will put you on a great path to a more peaceful life.
Overview (Focus Points):
- Don’t be a sheep and blindly follow consumerism culture. Be minimalist in your nature and use and buy what you need. Appreciate the things you have and learn to be thankful. Understand that relationships are not something to replace and that you must learn to adapt if you want true love and friendship.
- Strive for success but only for the right reasons. Don’t try to become rich and wealthy just for the sake of money. Use your money to make a positive difference emotionally in the lives of the people you know and don’t know.
- Live in the Now. Don’t try to control the future and don’t worry about the past. Only the present exists and everything else is just your mind on overdrive. Live THIS very moment the best you can and everything else will work itself out.