Trivial Things We Give Way Too Much Importance
If we didn’t believe that we needed certain things to be valuable, attractive, happy and worthy of love, then our economy would collapse. And it’s okay to enjoy some of the material indulgences out there—you are human, after all, and that means you live in a body that gets to taste good food, enjoy nice massages, feel the touch of nice fabrics against your skin and hike a remote volcano in Hawaii. I’m certainly not suggesting we should all stop experiencing things (and thereby stop purchasing things). I am, however, insisting that everybody realizes they don’t need most of the things they chase and cherish to feel valuable. You should know you can be happy without something, and only then can you really appreciate it, without feeling beholden to it. Here are things we give too much importance to, the world over.
Studies have actually found that there is a specific income range within which people are happy. To break it down simply, you need to be able to cover your basic needs (shelter, food, clothing, utilities) to be happy. But if you have enough money to, say, buy a jet, you’ll probably end up unhappy, stressed out and feeling disconnected.
It’s funny that we value youth so much because that’s to assume that we’re all going to live to be 100. If you think about it, someone may be 25 years old, but if they’re going to pass away at 40, then they’re technically “old” on their timeline. Meanwhile, a woman in her fifties who is going to live to be 90 is, technically, young! We should value our health.
The size of our home
There comes a point where you only use 25 percent of your home, and the rest you have just to say you have it and show off to guests. That means you paid for that, and for the upkeep of it, only to impress people and not for your enjoyment.
People desire to be seen and known and paid attention to. Hello—social media! But having people care about what you’re doing is not the same as having meaningful relationships with those people.
A social life
People spend a lot of time being busy just for the sake of being busy. But ensuring every moment is filled up with socializing isn’t sustainable. What is sustainable is staying home to meditate, read, better yourself and improve on the company you’ll always have—yourself.
Humans evolved to crave information about other people. Thousands of years ago, it’s how we survived (we needed to know which cavemen would go hunting with us and end up stealing our goods). But now we don’t need to know what everyone else is doing and how their marriage is going and how much money they make.
The “perfect” body
You can have the perfect body, or you can have a life. You can wake up every day knowing exactly what you’ll eat that day and exactly how every moment will be spent to maintain your perfect body, or you can see where the day takes you—maybe to a fun new restaurant with friends where you may (gasp!) gain half a pound.
The “perfect” skin
Are we trying to be Barbie dolls? Or robots? The human face has crevices, freckles, spots, wrinkles and discoloration. It’s a part of living. You should prevent sun damage, of course, but chasing baby-doll skin is absurd.
This award, that diploma, being the keynote speaker at that event…You should enjoy the journey to these “credits,” but not pursue them for the credit alone. Credits end up providing you very little joy, warmth or companionship.
Career, in general
If the apocalypse came tomorrow, and you identified yourself solely as a stock broker/lawyer/shoe designer, you would feel completely lost. (More lost than we’d already all feel during the apocalypse).
If you know your values, morals and belief systems are in place, then it shouldn’t matter if other people think you’re right. There will always be someone who thinks you’re wrong, so chasing the approval of everyone is like chasing your tail.
The only person who you should want to desire you is your romantic partner. It really doesn’t matter if the rest of the world fantasizes about you or is envious of your partner. If you crave the sexual attention of others, that means you are deeply insecure.
Being the first one to see something
People will set up tents and spend the night outside of a movie theater to be the first one to see a movie. You know that was going to come out on Netflix, right?
Who you know
Again, if society collapsed, nobody would care that you knew this famous singer, that politician or this high-profile restaurant owner. Because none of those people would be those things anymore. You should care about knowing people who you love for their soul.
Being on trend
Hundreds of years of fashion trends have come and gone, and millions of people have chased being on trend. Where has that gotten them, now? In graves. And do you think what people miss about them was the fact that their haircut was always on fleek?