So many of us live in a state of disappointment, whether that be personal or professional. Why do I find myself disappointed with some aspect of my life, simply it comes from DESIRE. We desire more, more of everything.
- More Money: With money we want more toys, vacations, clothes, dinner out, better house, newer car…the list seems endless. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to become adjusted to an increase in income, never realizing you adjusted to the extra money by spending it just as quickly?
- Better Job: We spend most of our waking hours working. We spend more time working than we do with our families and loved ones. A better job to most mean one that comes with more money and benefits. For others, it’s better working conditions or hours.
- Better Health: Stress is taking a horrible toll on our health. We are so tired from the demands on our time, we don’t stop to take time for ourselves. We need to move, eat better, relax, laugh. Without these ingredients in our lives in the proper proportions our health will suffer.
- More Time: We have long to-do lists every day, even our weekends. Time to clean out the garage, catch up on the laundry, all those things we were too tired to do after work.
Everything on this list could be solved by simply changing our views on our desire for X. Keeping up with the Jones’ no longer is enough. We want everything.
Advertising..the elephant in our lives
Advertising triggers our desires without our even realizing it. I have always had a love affair with the automobile. I love the power and speed as they move me. Yet, in the last couple of years I have tried to figure out how to live without one and finally succeeded. I’ve been car-free for almost 2 years now and love it. I had a ten years old car, it was paid off, and in excellent condition both mechanically and in appearance, and rarely needed a repair. But it still cost me money to own.
I rarely watch television, what programming I do watch I see free online and that is where I see advertisements. I see a commercial for a new car, I briefly dream. Wow look at that feature, how sleek it looks…I crave to get behind that wheel and try it too. How much power can a hybrid have? Then I realize I would have a new bill, one bigger than any other I currently have. A new car can’t guarantee no repair bills, and I don’t have them now. I peek out the window and realize I don’t need a new car, and I really don’t even want one. Yet, just for a minute fell for creative advertising.
Is the grass always greener at the Jones’
What about the dream of a bigger house? With a larger mortgage, will also come higher utility bills, more rooms needing your attention to keep neat and clean. What could we be doing with the money we will be spending on our shelter costs? I have seen too many people who faced with wanting to live in the newer neighborhood, new bigger home, ended up having no money left to purchase comfortable seating, or even a table to eat at. From the outside it looks like the Jones’ we are struggling to keep up with have it all, but step inside, and witness a bare house, one that feels cold and devoid of life. You will see you have so much more.
When did our homes become more than a place to call home? Growing up, we shared one bathroom, before occupying the bathroom we would ask if anyone else needed to use the room. When the answer was no, we took our turn. We learned how to share, how not to be selfish. We had one television, I never had one in my bedroom, and that was okay, I never considered the idea of a TV in my bedroom, it just wasn’t something we did then. We played cards, games, puzzles, read, hiked, and in every way enjoyed what we had.
Eliminating the elephant
By catching ourselves in that moment of desire, we can explore how that new purchase would change our lives. For me, a new car wouldn’t make my life any better, it would actually make it less so. In those moments, my desire disappears. Contentment becomes the focus once again.
Take a moment, look around at what you do have. Be thankful for those things most important to you. Unfulfilled desire can leave us not only wanting more, but depressed and missing out on the wonderful things we currently have. Worse even is that we stop appreciating those things we have, we denigrate them, believing they aren’t good enough. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to look around and see my surroundings and belongings appearing to be less than I think I should have.
Kill desire by assessing your needs
Taking a look at my life and what I needed, I realized I needed very little. Very little space for shelter and living, very few material things. This has allowed me to downsize, and with that came the need for less money.
- Needing less money meant less hours needed to work.
- Needing to work less freed up more time to do all those things my heart longs to do and allows me to find work I love to do.
- With my time freed up, I have time to take care of myself. To make healthier meals, exercise, read a book.