To briefly recap some of the content of my previous posts so that this one makes more sense:
We enter this world with nothing, and we will leave it with nothing.
Most people as they grow take on the beliefs of those closest to them and end up living similar lives- unless they are able to change their subconscious beliefs.
Life does not need to be this way!
More empowering choices have always been, and are still available for every one of us.
If we seek out information and experiences that will empower us, we will create a better future for ourselves than the one we are currently destined to live.
Our future is full of possibilities and what we achieve is up to us.
Our future begins now with the thoughts and actions we are currently involved in.
Are you creating the future you desire with your current thoughts and actions?
Anyway, back to the point of this blog! Are you truly happy with the way your life has turned out, or….. Read on……….
Life is hard! Doing the same stuff all the time doesn’t make me happy!
Most of us, on a subconscious level, think we are undeserving of the ‘good’ things in life. If you think this isn’t true, just look around and see how many content, happy and joyful people there are. Are you, or they, living the life you/they desire?
Do you have good work, family, and leisure balance, and do you get to do all the things you want to do?
Ask yourself, “am I truly happy with my life the way it is now?” And “could my life be improved, and if so, in what ways?”
Most people see and do the same or similar stuff day in and day out, for at least five days a week to make money just to fulfill the functional aspects of life. If this sounds like you, then you are living a restricted and limited version of life that probably lacks true passion and commitment.
Following the same routine each and every day does not give our souls much reason to rejoice– unless of course, we absolutely love what we are doing. If not, maybe it’s time for a change!
If you have been a good citizen and followed a similar path to everyone else with the expectation of achieving happiness, but are still not living the life of your dreams, then it is time to ask yourself ‘why am I not happy?
I’ve been doing the same things as others who seem to be happy, so why do I sometimes still feel unfulfilled!
From the moment we are born, our brain is like a sponge and we absorb, through observation and participation, the beliefs and habits of those who have influence over us. By copying the words and actions of our peers we learn to think in a similar way to them, and this cycles back to create deeply-rooted beliefs similar to theirs.
Unfortunately, looking at the state of humanity in general, we could speculate that our peers have not done the best job at raising us due to the fact that most of us are not living a ‘dream life.’
“When I was 5 years old, my mother told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down Happy. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
This means that we were programmed with beliefs and ideas that have limited our potential and therefore are not conducive to living a rewarding satisfying life.
More often than not, these limiting beliefs remain buried deep within our subconscious minds for the rest of our lives, and they are the main reasons why we can’t achieve the things we want to in our lives. Our minds are so powerful that they believe whatever information they are programmed with, whether it is true or now.
For more information on this read my previous posts; ‘what is the consensus view of reality, and how accepting it limits our potential?’ and ‘How can I hack my brain for success?’
One of the most destructive beliefs that many of us take on is that the consumption and accumulation of material possessions is the sure road to happiness. If we buy into this belief, we will spend much of our valuable time, and our hard-earned money, on stuff that, if we really thought about it, we don’t actually need. Many of us have stuff piling up around us until it becomes heavy and burdensome and we begin to suffocate due to its sheer volume. This stuff becomes part of who we are which limits and restricts us, as well as depleting us of our vitality.
We are programmed by endless ads promising their products will make us happier
Advertising is designed for one reason: to manipulate us into purchasing the product that the advertiser has manufactured, whether we need it or not!
What is portrayed in ads is often full of illusions and panders to our desire to fill a vacuum within us, and often does not relate to the benefits, if any, we will receive from the item after purchasing it.
It is good when we use material possessions for what they are, conveniences to make our lives more comfortable.
However, we also need to realize that they are external to us and can be removed, damaged, or taken away at any time. Sure, they can be replaced but, again, they are never permanent. Just ask anyone who has lost everything in a fire, tornado, or had their home broken into and their most precious items stolen. Also, ask anyone who is living their last few hours how important their possessions are to them. I guarantee that the answer is mostly, not very important at all!
More often than not, the physical manifestations of wealth that we see around us are the results of someone getting into debt to make purchases that they really can’t afford. If we need to take on debt to purchase items or services that we consider may fill the void, we may be creating more worries, stress, and anxiety for ourselves. This will actually negate the sort after perceived benefits, as we may end up worrying about where we will get the money to repay the debts, instead of being able to truly enjoy our purchase- free from guilt.
I have to work hard to get all the things I want: Still, I’m not satisfied. Do I need to work harder?
Before making purchases, we can ask ourselves, “How many hours/days/weeks/months/years do I need to work to save enough money to purchase this item?”
Then ask yourself, “Am I happy to go to work for this amount of time just to purchase this item, and when I finally have it, will it really bring me satisfaction?”
We need to remember that our working hours also need to cover all of our other expenses like food, mortgage, power bills, debt repayment, transport, and other products and services.
Endless ‘wants’ deplete our energy as they just lock us into a system of having to go to work, to pay our bills and debts….. and we are forced to work for more years of our life to keep consuming.
Unfortunately, many people today are living in a cycle of constant debt which creates stress, sometimes unrealized, that does affect the ability of individuals to be happy, productive, to think freely, and also, more importantly, keeps them trapped as an indebted worker.
We may be good at accumulating possessions, and they may bring us satisfaction, however, it is important to realize that when we leave this body we cannot take any of them with us.
So before you purchase the next ‘latest and greatest’ item you want, maybe you should ask yourself “What will I gain and what do I have to sacrifice to purchase this item?”
Why do we do this to ourselves? Is there a way out of this madness?
So, most of us, through conditioning, are hooked into thinking material success is the main route to happiness in this life. We are constantly bombarded with images of people becoming happy when they have purchased the latest item designed to relieve them of their money.
This seems to be an outcome of living in a capitalistic society, where we are encouraged to purchase excessively beyond our needs, and more importance is placed on what we ‘have’ instead of who we ‘are.’
However, the ‘wanting’ and consumption of material goods is not a path to lasting happiness. Once we realize that previous items we purchased, in the belief that they will bring us lasting happiness did not achieve the desired result, then we can begin to free ourselves from the cycle of working to purchase goods in the pursuit of happiness.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that having and using material goods for our comfort and to satisfy our wants and needs is appropriate. However, purchasing with the desire to achieve true inner peace, happiness, and satisfaction with life will never work.
Our dissatisfaction continues as the relentless quest for more and more stuff overrides the satisfaction we have with what is right in front of us here and now, including the stuff we just purchased yesterday that was supposed to ‘make us feel better.’
Possessions can bring us joy and comfort but they are never the source of our happiness and the greater our attachment to material possessions, the greater our stress when we are separated from them.
Our way out is to release attachment to ‘impermanent stuff.’ When we can happily possess and use material items without attachment. This allows us to free ourselves from the discomfort and pain that separation will bring.
True happiness cannot be purchased: True and lasting happiness is something we cultivate from within ourselves
Both Jesus Christ and Buddha are reported to have walked the earth with very few, or no, possessions, yet they were able to find absolute peace and contentment within.
They lived in different times and different places but this type of surrender is still available today to those who seek a similar path to freedom from non-attachment.
In today’s material world, this path will be considered to be extreme to many people, so luckily other alternatives are available.
However, it is possible to be fully engaged in the world within a family and societal structure and achieve the same perfect state of being while living a life of abundance and comfort. Then what is the difference you may ask?
The difference is in the level of emotional attachment that a spiritual person has with their possessions compared to a materialistic person. A spiritual person relates to wealth in spiritual terms and therefore measures success in terms of happiness, health, vitality, fulfillment, and achievement, instead of accumulated material wealth.
For a fantastic example of this, you could read one of my favorite books. ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramahansa Yogananda. Yogananda is an example of a self-aware man who enjoyed living within the normal society and all that it encompasses. He and many others like him show by their example what is possible for all of us to achieve.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and would love to read your feedback and any comments that you may have.
Shared with love and respect for all beings,
18 thoughts on “What is the secret to true happiness? Buying everything I want is not making me happy!”
Great post – full of interesting insights. What resonates most to me is the truth that true happiness cannot be purchased: True and lasting happiness is something we cultivate from within ourselves. Everything is driven from within ourselves and what lies between our two ears. Well done and continue your advocacy.
All the best.
Thanks for your comment, Junior. Yes, everything is driven from within ourselves as you say. Reality is specific to each of us and is totally dependent on the way we are interpreting and then reacting to what is happening within our environment. When we truly grasp the truth of this, we can create the reality we desire for ourselves. What a great life! I wish you all the best, my friend.
Hi again Andrew, Another amazing article…..Absolutely, and without a doubt, money can not buy you happiness, if it’s not within you! I got off the hamster wheel about 5 years ago, my wife had passed, my kids all involved in their own lives now, and an empty family home full of a lifetime of possessions, and none of them meant a thing to me. So, what did I do? Sold all of my possessions, for a few exceptions, sold my home of 37 years, and got down to real basics, and I am happier now than I’ve ever been………my friends and what family I still have here on this earth, and my pets, and the TIME to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it, like working on my health and wellness site, are now my greatest possessions! Thanks again for sharing.
Hi Terry. Many thanks for sharing your personal story. It’s always inspiring to know how people take control of their lives to enable themselves to move forward in the direction of their choosing. I think it is unfortunate that most people leave it until ‘the last minute,’ so to speak, to realize that happiness has to come from within. I believe that all of our lives will suddenly be a lot richer, and the planet will be a lot better off, if we discover this life lesson early on our journey.
Kind regards to you,
I have to agree with you. Internalizing happiness and finding fulfillment in life are very much subjective pursuits. No matter what happens and what we do, unless we are willing to “choose” happiness, we will seek it without success.
This has been a mind boggling concept for me. The idea that happiness goes beyond emotion is one of the reasons why so many people aren’t content with their lives.
Great post. Thanks!
Hi Jacob. It becomes a lot easier to find happiness and fulfillment once we understand that we are not our mind, not our body, and not our emotions. You are right when you say it is as easy as making a choice to be something or another, so why not choose to be happy? Have an awesome day and thanks for visiting my site. Kind regards,
Really great content. I think a lot of problems in the world result from people not being happy. A lot of us do in fact think that us working hard an making money will automatically make us happy. The world simply is a lot more complex then that as you’ve described. I’m really glad you posted this, this makes me rethink a lot of things and just do a quick evaluation to assure that everything in my life is making me happy.
That also seams like a really amazing book to read. I can only imagine how you would feel after reading it!
Hi Anna. Many thanks for your comments. I also believe that many of the problems we are seeing in the world today are because people are fundamentally unhappy with living an unfulfilling life. If we could all go back to the basics of what we need to make us happier, we would release ourselves from a lot of stress, frustration, anger, jealousy, and fear. You are on the right track by using self-analysis to begin to ensure that most of what is in your life is making you happy. Best of luck to you. Kind regards,
Such a great reminder to all of us, to be aware of what’s most important in our lives – happiness. This article definitely reminds me of the documentary film that’s very popular on Netflix called Minimalism – directed by one of my favorite YouTubers, who is also a minimalist. Him (Matt D’avella) and the documentary really opened up my eyes on all these materialistic possessions that a lot of us are very much obsessed with. Which, yes, gave us satisfaction but for an extremely short period of time. & also just the fact that consumerism leads to global warming and affecting our dear earth made me really want to change.
There’s also a book called “Your Money or Your Life” that taught us how to invest our money but most importantly to learn to see what we desire the most. That people want to retire early and volunteer or build a hut and live happy with their small family – whatever they want, really.
It never matters to how much we own, but how fulfilled our heart is.
Great post, Andrew. Looking forward for more 🙂
Hi Wina. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my article. I’ll have to find and check out that Netflix’s documentary called Minimalism. I think it sounds like something I will like. Thanks for the recommendations. I like that you get it when you say that ‘It never matters to how much we own, but how fulfilled our heart is.’ With more wise people like you on the planet, I am sure that we will overcome many of the difficulties that we are currently facing as a species and learn to thrive together so that the earth and other species with also thrive with us. Many thanks for sharing. Kind regards,
I enjoyed reading this post as it really resonates with the beliefs and way of being I am modelling to my 7 year old boy. I have witnessed a good portion of parents who try to compensate for their lack of investment in time in their children by way of purchasing massive amounts of toys. It is such a mixed message that it sends as kids then learn their value comes from outside of themselves. Love in the form of possessions rather than cultivating it from within. For a very long period in my life, I looked outwards of myself to validate my worth, through excessive buying, unhealthy relationships and the like. Happiness really is an inside job and once you begin to cultivate the mindset that it comes from within and cannot be found in the form of material objects, your life actually proves to yield more fruitful results. I believe in energy and having an accumulation of material possessions that override your environment is clear indication of internal clutter. Society really enables the disempowerment with the subliminal messages that somehow we are made better with a certain style or brand of product when the truth is we are all beautifully unique and powerful just being and accepting ourselves and who we are as people and how we feel about our own empowerment and esteem of ourselves. I appreciate your book recommendation and will check it out. Your posts are most insightful and garner a very elevated way of being in this world. Thank you Andrew!
Hi Rebecca. All to often, as you have observed, we are taught that happiness can be brought with things external to ourselves, like material goods. Yes, society is programmed to operate in this way so that we will all be kept in jobs, no matter how mundane, producing stuff that ourselves and others will eventually buy. However, most people soon lose interest with possessions and are always searching for the next model or the latest fashion to ‘make them feel good.’ It’s a vicious, self-destructive, cycle and it is fundamentally flawed! Happiness has to begin with self-acceptance, then we can choose how we interact in this world free from the programming of others. Happiness from within can never be taken away from us, whereas we may lose all of our possessions at any time. Thanks for sharing.
Hello Andrew, thanks for the helpful and remarkable post! Much appreciated! I agree with you that happiness cannot be purchased with money. It truly comes from deep down inside of us. Thanks for emphasizing on the fact that we don’t have to follow the beliefs of others in order not to live exactly like others.
The future is full of possibilities and it’s simply up to us what we achieve and that what we put into the time now determines how the future looks like. If we’re always on the lookout for the kind of information and experiences that empower us, we’ll live better lives.
Thanks for the visit!
Hi Israel. Many thanks for reading my blog. You are right when you say that we can empower ourselves to create a better future for ourselves by looking for information and experiences that support our goals. I wish you all the best.
I agree. I love subscribing to a “choose your mood” mindset. Obviously it doesn’t always work during times of extreme anger or sadness, but simply choosing to be a happy person can help a lot. I’m doing it now and I suddenly feel at least 10% better than I did a few minutes ago!
It will be interesting to see where the self-improvement and self-help “industry” goes long-term. If people realize they don’t need much of anything to be happy, what could happen then? Interesting stuff to ponder.
I get sucked into the financial pits sometimes too. It’s important to remember that buying what you want (or even need) may not bring happiness, but also that regardless of any personal situation, we are living in the greatest time in human history to be alive. There is so much abundance and things made easier than ever before. Simple gratitude moments can make a difference throughout the days.
Thanks for posting,
Hi Ben. Thanks for sharing your comments. You are right that there is so much abundance around and being grateful for this does improve our lives. I am a fan of material goods and services if they are used to fulfill a purpose, and I love having quality stuff to make life more convenient and comfortable. The problem I see with so many people is in the level of attachment that they have with this impermanent stuff and how their emotions and sometimes lives are controlled by ‘stuff.’ I have seen how this creates stress, anxiety, and fear in people, and would love to be able to tell them to ‘just let it go because they things are not what is important for us on this journey of life!’ Cheers
Great read Andrew. This is very eye opening and I surely can relate. We tend to grow up in a society that has life structured out stating you must do this, this and this in order to be successful in life and if you are successful you will be happy. But likely even if you do those things and you are considered successful to society you may not be successful to the person it matters to most, yourself. You need to be happy with where you are an what you are doing in life in order to succeed in it. When you enjoy what you do then you don’t mind putting in the effort, the time, money if needed, because your passion alone will drive you to success, nothing else. I believe most of us want is that life where we can be make a living doing something we love and sadly most people accept that the idea of that is too far fetched or unreachable that they just settle with the life society says they should have. Ultimately the only person who can give them that dream life is them and only them… they just have to reach inside and find the drive to get there.
Hi Amber. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I like that you totally get it. It is up to us and us alone to determine what success means to us and then up to us to go and create it for ourselves. I still don’t get why more people don’t understand this. I wish you all the best and look forward to reading more of your comments in the future.