We always are happy when we buy something or when we experience something, don’t we? But have you ever noticed that we are always living in a loop running for things and experiences in exchange for some happiness, some feelings of bliss! But what if we could break the loop?
Now, I am not saying for one moment, that buying happiness with things and experiences is wrong or It can completely stop, however, my point is, will we ever achieve all the things and experiences on any day, that we think about moving beyond that? It’s worth giving a shot to think about this!
Probably from what we have seen and learned about the world, the answer would be close to no, because if we don’t become happy with things and experiences, then what else is left in the world to be happy about? I would say thinking process, thoughts, mindset. Because with increasing choices and an increasing number of exposure to things and experiences we didn’t even know existed, we all are living in the world of ‘The Paradox of Choice’, which basically means an abundance of choice often leads to depression and feelings of loneliness along with a fear of either being left out of some experience or things which you think is necessary for your happiness.
I would love to explain this with a simple example, that probably we all can relate to. Whenever you go by a cafe or restaurant in far off places where you are informed that only 3-5 things could be served, making your choice much limited, but have you noticed that your decision is much faster and satisfactory, because you don’t have the feeling of trying the best out of 100 things, but when you go in a café where there are thousands of choices, it often leads to longer time to decide, and even after your decision, if you look around someone having something much better, you think you would have made a different choice or maybe you could have thought more what was best for you. Now, this, we face in everyday situations.
With gigantic exposure to the world via Internet, Social Media, etc. we are always in ‘The Paradox of Choice’, where we think, without these things or experiences, we are not complete, or we cannot be happy. A simple example again would be people lining up for the latest gadgets like iPhones, iPods, etc., because companies have made sure to feel you incomplete without their products or services, which you might have never wanted in the first place.
So, I think, our happiness has moved from trying to be contended with what we have to try to cover more and more experiences or buy more and more stuff, which I think is not the right approach to contend ever.
Rather, what if we slowly and eventually try to change our thought process of thinking simply what is a need and what is not. So, to explain this, maybe why not attack our insecurities of being left out, or being incomplete, or being low in social status without certain unnecessary things, experiences which most of the times are just for a show and not personal contentment.
Being an avid traveler, I am not saying for one moment, that we should give up everything and every experience and try to be happy without it, its not possible either, but what I am trying to say is, why not change the priorities with mindset to have more contentment than more quantity of things and experiences. You might be a rich person who is not satisfied with the iPhone 9 because you want the latest one even though there is nothing that affects your necessary needs, but you might also be another rich person, who is contended with iPhone 6 if it works for you and does not hurt your work/personal life in any way. So, what is the difference between these two people? The Mindset, the thought process!
I think if we change the process of being happy from more things/experiences to more prioritized needs, also prioritized things and experiences, we would be more contented with less and falling less for ‘The Paradox of Choice’, because now the happiness will not be tied with the quantity of things/experiences you can have or do, but rather the quality of things and experiences you actually love which are equal sources of contentment. And the best part of all this is, you can do with just a change in your mindset! (Maybe time-consuming, but worth giving a try)
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.