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Saturday, December 14, 2019

5 Reasons Why Buying Materialistic Things Will Never Make You Happy

Do material things make us happy? This is a topic that is controversial to many people. Studies show that most people believe if they could get a new house, a new car, or some other possession, they would be happier. The media today portrays people with a huge mansion, expensive exotic cars, and the hundred-foot yacht to have a fulfilling, happy life. However, the truth is that the pursuit and purchase of physical possession will never fully satisfy our desire for happiness. It can indeed bring us joy, but that is just temporary. Happiness found in buying a new item rarely lasts longer than a few days. Researchers even have a phrase for this temporary fulfillment, which is called retail therapy

I personally experience this myself as I was quite materialistic in my early 20s. I see an expensive brand to be a symbol of success and happiness. I will also feel the need to own certain possessions so that I can show it off to my friends and others. I did this so that I can feel secure and accepted by my friends and others. But after going through with personal experience in trying to compete, who has the coolest stuff made me realize that material possession doesn’t make you happy. In this article, I would like to discuss why buying stuff will never make you happy and what you should do with the money you have.

1. There is Always Something New Right Around the Corner.
All possessions are temporary by nature. They will look appealing to consumers when it's the latest model, new styles, new improvement, and new features. From clothes and cars to home appliances and electronic gadgets, our world always moves forward. Even if you get the latest smartphone now, there will always be newer and better phone products out there in the future. Don't let physical products affect your happiness. You don't need that latest gadget to be happy.

When I was younger, I always thought that having a sports car would make me happy. I always wanted Porsche 911 when I was still attending university in the United States. I thought the car would make me happy. However, I am glad I didn't make that purchase when I was young. Instead of buying the new car, I used the money to be invested. I'm glad that I made the right decision of not buying that sports car since I see many newer model cars with better features and technology now. If I had spent the money to purchase that sports car a long time ago, I wouldn't have the savings I have right now. Furthermore, the car would depreciate in value if I had bought it back then.

You don't necessarily need expensive physical goods to make you happy. As I grow older in age, I appreciate having the freedom from financial worries to be more important than having luxury goods. That's the reason why I value having a dividend growth portfolio that generates me dividends (passive income) to be more important than having the latest gadgets. I find that having the freedom to do anything I want is more valuable than having to worry about trying to catch up with the latest trend. 

2. Each Purchase Adds Extra Worry to Our Lives
When you buy new things, you tend to want to preserve it in good condition as much as possible. We worry about having new things getting damaged or stolen. This is especially true when you have items that are expensive. Since the items are expensive, you worry about having the item to get damaged or stolen from you.

These worries actually happen in my life. I was given a Rolex brand watch as a gift from my uncle. The watch looks beautiful, with diamonds glowing surrounding the watch. However, I barely wear the watch and have it placed in a security box instead. I felt that having me wear the watch makes me feel uncomfortable and anxious about having the watch to be scratch, damage, or rob from me.

But this doesn't mean that I will buy and wear a fake Rolex watch to compensate for getting the real one stolen. Instead, I only wear a watch that is not that expensive but original and has a quality that looks prestige. I feel comfortable wearing the watch since I don't have to worry if anything bad happens to it. Moreover, I still can have an excellent first impression when I meet someone.  

3. Possessions Require Maintenance.
The things we own require time, energy, and focus. This is especially true if the items or goods are expensive. They need to be cleaned, organized, managed and maintained. It can be a real hassle, and as a result, you will distract yourself from the things that truly bring us lasting happiness. Warren Buffett, who is a successful investor and one of the wealthiest people in the world, mentions how he enjoys living modestly. He believes material goods such as expensive cars, huge yachts, or huge mansions require maintenance, time, and expenses. That's the reason why he doesn't purchase these things and instead to focus on doing what he likes, which is reading and investing in the stock market.

After seeing how Warren Buffett lives, it inspires me to have the same principle as him. This is the reason why I'm not upgrading the current beater car I'm driving right now. I know that by having a new car will give me a sense of enjoyment; however, that feeling will eventually fade away in a short matter of time. Not only I'm able to save money on maintenance and expenses if I had purchased a new car, but I'm also able to use the money to be invested in my dividend growth portfolio. Moreover, I don't have to worry about the car getting scratch or damage while driving on the road.

I think knowing the benefit of early retirement and financial freedom seems more delightful than having to drive a new car right now. I believe living a simple and minimalistic lifestyle is enjoyable since I can put my focus on things that matter to me. I think I've almost everything that I needed in my life. For instance, I have an old but fabulous computer that I can depend on for my job, enough clothes to make myself presentable all the time, an old but reliable car to commute, and electronic gadgets that I use every day. Needing to not worry about having and maintaining expensive possessions make me able to focus on my career and business. I placed my focus on trying to creating value, which will make me feel good about myself and rewarding when I managed to achieve the goal I wanted. This goal that I'm trying to score is more important than having many possessions and materialistic things that require time and maintenance.

4. People Aren't All that Impressed.
If you think that having the newest purchase will impress other people, this is entirely wrong. People don't care about what you have; instead, they care more about your characteristics and personality. What's the point of knowing a person who has an expensive car, but has a personality that is shallow and arrogant? I don't think people will be impressed with that kind of person. Instead, they probably talk bad behind your back.

As I grow older in age, I tend not to worry about what others think about me. I don't want to impress others by having possessions and things that I have. I want a person to like me for the way I am, not by seeing what brand watch I'm wearing. Why worry trying to impress people with the expensive brand watch you have, but knowing you are actually in deep financial trouble. I think it's more important to create value instead of trying to impress people with the things you have. 

5. Someone Else Always Has More.
The search for happiness in possession is always short-lived because it is based on faulty reasoning that you carry over yourself. If happiness is found in buying material things and more stuff, then those with more will always be happier. For instance, if you think to have a 100-foot yacht will make you the winner, but there will be another person with a bigger yacht than you. It's funny how I have seen many wealthy people trying to compete who has the bigger boat trying to impress people. You might get the biggest personal yacht in the world that has its personal helipad, swimming pool, etc. But it will just be a matter of time before someone will buy to create another one that is bigger than yours to compete with you. The game can never be won. I'm just using a yacht as an example. Wealthy people do compete on other material positions such as watches, cars, mansions, and even private jets.

The reason I say this is because I personally experience this myself in my personal life. When I just got off from college, I thought that by persuading my dad to purchase an 80-foot yacht will make me happy. Instead, he actually purchased two yachts, one that is 80 feet, and the other one is 74 feet. The happiness feeling lasts only a few moments. I was happy thinking that owning a big yacht is a symbol of accomplishment in my family. However, it was just a matter of time before I felt that the 80-foot yacht is not magnificent anymore since I have seen people will bigger yacht. It makes me want to purchase one that bigger than theirs. It's a very shallow and silly way of seeing things, and I'm pretty embarrassed about this ideology.

After some time working with my dad and also reading books on successful people, I realize that materialistic things can't bring happiness. What makes me happy is an accomplishment of my own that I pursuit by myself. I believe if I can build success on my own gives me the feeling of achievement. I don't want to impress others with what material positions I have. Instead, I want to let the world know that I can create value for the society. I don't want to be remembered by the world that I have the biggest yacht, house, or other materialistic things. At the end of the day, you can't bring these possessions after you passed away.
Breaking It Down.
I hope this article I have written lets readers understand how materialistic possessions can't make us happy. There's no point in purchasing something just to impress others. Happiness comes from within our self. It's not something you own that can make you happy. Furthermore, possessions only create more headaches in our life. If the item is expensive, you will tend to worry about having the item getting damaged or stolen.

Moreover, precious possession, such as a car, yacht, and mansion, require maintenance that will only add up your expenses. There's no point getting stuck in the vicious cycle to compete with your peers who has the most expensive and latest thing. As I said, the game will never be won. Someone will have something better than you in just a matter of time. You should be happy with whatever things you already have, and focus on creating value to pursuit happiness. I believe that creating success and achievement on my own will bring me happiness and content in life. I hope this article can change our view on how we define happiness in our life.

1 comment:

  1. I dont know man, buying the car I have now was the greatest thing I ever did, and probably one of the happiest days of my life.