This is not an easy question to answer. I’ll accept it straight away.
I’ll even excuse you if you don’t give any answer to this question and simply say the politician’s favourite phrase: ‘No comment’. 🙂
Some wise man said once: Our life is the sum total of our experiences. I don’t know in what mood that wise man was in, but he forgot to add ‘things’ in his statement.
You and I both like things, don’t we? Things, as in ‘tangible stuff’, or something that can be touched is what we would like. We are willing to pay good money for it and if we really want that ‘thing’, we would obsess over it, till it reaches our hands.
What joy we feel when that ‘thing’ that we so desired is finally within tangible range. You feel so good don’t you, when you finally get your new favourite shiny ‘toy’ as in – your new car, your new house, your new phone, your new clothes, your new handbag or shoe or TV or this and that….the list is endless.
My next question is: Now that you have had your new ‘toy’ for the past one month, what are your feelings towards it? I hope you feel that same ‘flying in the air’ feeling when you first touched your ‘toy’. ‘You don’t? Oh….This is surprising,’ I say.
Why am I surprised? Well, you know the reason yourself. Whatever thing or ‘toy’ that you bought with your hard-earned money, does not give you the same pleasure for a longer time. The intensity of your happiness fades away quickly. Now you want the next new ‘toy’ to feel alive and happy again, don’t you?
This is the kind of cycle so many of us are stuck in. The emptiness that distresses us often inside, even though we are so busy outside, needs some relief and burst of good feeling. At this point, you reach out to that new thing that catches your attention. You do your best now to buy that thing for yourself and get your mood to lift up. A few days later you are back to the same mental state and the cycle goes on.
‘What do I do? Is there something better?’ you ask.
I would love to give a knowing smile here that is full of worldly knowledge and then reassure you that ‘Yes, there is something better’. But I won’t do it.
Instead of a smile, I would just look at you softly. I would then say: ‘I don’t know if there is something better, but I do know that you have another option. You might find this option better…. or not’.
All I can do is bring this option to your awareness and then you have to trust your inner judge to deliver the verdict.
Experiences. Yes, that is the other option. Can you think of choosing Experiences over Things? The first experience that comes to my mind is that of the travel experience. Preparing for a coming travel with the family or going solo, then actually going for the travel, which finally ends with you coming back home.
This travel experience fills you with such memories that evoke feelings in you not just a month later, but years later.
It’s the experience of doing something, compared to the experience of owning something that makes all the difference.
You do something, you learn and you remember the memory of that learning for a long time. This is much longer than the memory of owning something new, that lasts but for a few days, or weeks at the most.
My last question is: If you have enough time and money, would you be interested in buying or enjoying some good experiences, instead of buying some ‘tangible things’ only?