Many people are no longer defined by their values or life’s achievements in today’s global market, but by their possessions and monetary status. It appears that our new society’s trend is fixated on materialistic goods and goal of becoming a millionaire or even a billionaire. Gone are the days of our parents who scrimped and saved for the future. It’s been replaced by the younger and competitive generation of squandering money for status and personal belongings.
I remember getting asked two years into my business, are you a millionaire? My answer was I don’t count my money, but instead, I trust the moments of achievements and tune into what brings me happiness.
I’m baffled by the concept of buying a $3,000.00 purse and $1,000.00 pair of shoes because I’m not a slave to designer brands. We try to value ourselves based on the price tag of our clothes, cars, and houses, but that is a shallow view of how we view achievements.
Are you willing to sell your soul for the latest shoes, cellphones, clothing brands that fit into a box? The illusion of material possessions is an artificial symbol of happiness with so many people chasing it to feel better about themselves.
One year, an ex-boyfriend bought me a Lululemon yoga outfit as a Christmas gift, and I cried. I didn’t cry over the excitement of the present. I cried because the gift was over $300.00! I thought how far that money could have been used as a single mom. Don’t get me wrong, I was appreciative of his thoughtfulness but the $300 could have been put to better use instead of the indulgent gift.
Two years ago, I met up with an old manager for lunch. His first questions were about what car I drive now and what house I live in today. When I told him I still drive a 2010 Nissan Altima and live in the same house I purchased six years ago, he was shocked and called me modest.
Why are people so hung up on what car you drive, the square footage of your home, how much money in your bank account, owning expensive jewelry, or brand names of clothing you wear? Even how many luxury vacations you can afford each year is a topic of discussion for possession-driven minds.
I don’t lose sleep over these superficial inquiries. What keeps me up at night is the apparent unfairness of life, with some people having so much and others so little. My concern is why aren’t we more generous to the less fortunate?
Physical possessions do not measure my success. I make it a point to buy pieces of clothing for $10.00 or less. Chic doesn’t have to be expensive and I know I didn’t break a bank.
A luxurious life is unattainable for the average middle-class family. What’s more realistic is focussing on owning a home, eliminating car payments, saving for our children’s education, and building generational wealth for them. Now, that’s being realistic.
Your mindset around materialistic items can change if you can see past price tags and brand names. Success is more about life’s achievements and making memories with people you value the most. Time is a coin so spend it wisely.