That’s not news to most people.
We all know that drinking a certain soda will not give you more friends or driving a certain car will not make you happier. (You can be miserable driving a Bugatti.)
So how is it that we all fall prey to a certain amount of their brainwashing?
It is repetitive exposure. They bombard us with a product or campaign over and over until it finally sinks into our brain. For example, how many times have you started to purchase a product or service and went with a company just because you had “heard of it” before?
We feel comfortable doing business with companies we feel we know. That’s why big companies keep getting bigger. We want to use who or what everyone else is using. On some level we feel there is security in numbers. Even in shopping.
But what does this have to do with advertisers lying?
For one thing, advertisers try to sell us things we don’t need. Period.
Here are a few thoughts for consideration:
- You don’t need a new phone (latest model) when yours works fine.
- Your don’t have to get a new car because your sister/friend/neighbor got one.
- Having more “stuff” doesn’t make you the winner.
- Nobody really cares how much your watch/purse/shoes/golf clubs cost.
The bottom line is: More is not better. It’s just more.
In fact, “more” gets a lot of people in trouble. More debt, more stress, etc.
But what does it do to advertisers when we decide to stop buying more of their products? It costs them money, of course. So what do they do in return? Advertisers lie. Some more.
They need us to keep buying so they can keep making money. And they will make you feel left out if you don’t purchase their product. They will pressure you into spending money you shouldn’t.
In my opinion, they really showed how low they could go when they started advertising directly to children. What person can market unhealthy foods and brain dampening toys to little kids and still sleep at night?
Don’t fall prey to their pressure. You are the boss of you. And you know what you need…..and what you don’t.
Don’t clutter you home or your life.
Today I want to discuss why too many choices can be a bad thing.
I recently decided it was time to purchase a new computer. So I did what most anyone would do. I went online and started looking for deals on laptops. But it soon became clear that I could not make a decision with so much information coming at me.
Then I decided to go to some good old fashioned brick and mortar stores. But every time I found a laptop that might be “the one” I would start to wonder what offerings were available at the next store down the street. I finally gave up and went home for the day – no closer to getting a new laptop and no longer wanting to deal with it.
I actually told my hubby I wished he would just pick one for me and buy it. He did not like that idea as much as I did, so I am currently sitting here typing this post on my old computer.
I am usually a quite decisive person. This is one of my better qualities (don’t ask about the bad ones), but sometimes the sheer number of choices in our world can overwhelm anyone.
Our super-consumer driven society would have us believe that infinite choices and possibilities equals infinite happiness, but that is truly not so.
For example, years ago when my grandparents wanted to purchase new furniture or appliances they went down to the local store (there was only one) and looked through the handful of choices . They picked what they wanted, paid for it, and took it home. It was that simple. And life went on as usual.
Similar purchases for us have taken weeks or even months.
Because not only are there lots of choices, but many stores carry the exact same thing and we need to make sure another stores doesn’t sell it cheaper, right?
But the endless choices don’t just extend to consumer goods. These days every choice becomes a process in frustration.
Career choices can be daunting with so many new fields emerging. I constantly hear about jobs that I never knew existed. (You can get paid for that?)
And how about that online dating? Now, you don’t just choose a mate from those in the vicinity of where you live. There are thousands or possibly millions of potential companions all around the world. No wonder so many people are single these days.
So how do we cope with all this clutter of possibilities? (And, yes, this IS a type of clutter.)
I think we must limit our pool of choices ourselves. We must be mindful of wanting to simplify the process of making choices.
I sometimes decide to buy something (after debating whether I really need it) and decide I will only shop on Amazon for that item. I usually find exactly what I need. I don’t check any other sites and I don’t second guess my choice. I give myself permission not worry about whether there is a better one out there. Or cheaper one.
Then I proceed to enjoy the new item without any stress attached to it.
It’s small things like this that have made my life more peaceful. After all, it’s the small things that usually impact our lives the most.
Yesterday, my mother in law walked into my house and said, “Your house looks bigger.”
And, although I hadn’t noticed it before that, she was right. It DID look bigger. Why was that?
Well, I had purged tons of items out of our house. I mean, HUGE piles of unused things left our house this summer. And what was left behind was all this open, airy space. You see, I no longer feel the need to fill every wall with a piece of furniture and something hanging on the wall.
Instead, I let my house breath. In return, that allows me to breath.
Yesterday. I also read an article on Becoming Minimalist titled Reconsidering the Merits of Slow Acquisition which I loved, so when my mother in law made that observation I was downright proud. I had pared down our possessions to only those we needed and/or loved. (The hubby helped too.) Joshua Becker, who runs Becoming Minimalist, is a wealth of inspiration, by the way. Check him out here.
So I had this epiphany:
Everyone (ok, maybe just some people) want a larger house.
What if……..people just had less stuff?
Then our houses would feel and look larger and we wouldn’t be striving to spend more money on larger and more expensive real estate. I know this idea will be very strange to some people, but others will think it is charming.
I strive to be a minimalist, There are different levels of minimalism, and I would say I am about medium at this point. This level makes me happy right now.
And I will never live in a tiny house. Why?
You can live a more minimalist (simple, uncluttered) lifestyle without living in a tiny house. While I see the merits of a tiny house for some people, that just doesn’t work for some of us. Instead, a average size house can become an oasis of peace and tranquility when you remove all the unnecessary distractions.
At least, it is working great so far for us.
If you have any thoughts on this I would love to hear them below.
This morning I was listening to Collective Soul (love them!). The song was Better Now and I was totally blasting it while driving down the road.
That song is one of my favorites because it’s all about reinventing yourself and being better and happier for it. My favorite line is “The world’s done shaking me down” because that’s the way we often feel, – like the world is shaking us down.
And while we can limit some of the stressful things that happen in our lives with good decisions, some things simply cannot be avoided such as deaths of loved ones. But our focus needs to be on limiting the stressful things we can control.
One thing we can control is our job or career. If you are in a job or career that you hate, that doesn’t enhance your life, then why not think about doing something else? I mean, think about it. We often spend more time at our jobs than at home, so changing your job to something you love could really affect your whole life.
With all the millions of jobs that are out there in the world, there must be SOMETHING that would make you happier, right? Don’t let your job hold you back from being happy.
I can already hear some of the excuses that most people will make:
- I am not trained for anything else
- I don’t have time to go back to school
- I’m too tired to go back to school or start a business
But here’s the question: How badly do you want to change your life?
There are lots of blogs and articles out there about people who decide to leave their overly stressful, rat race jobs, but it’s sometimes it’s difficult to believe that could be us. You know, that only happens to “other” people.
We often think we are not:
- smart enough
- motivated enough
- ambitious enough
- deserving enough
- or just plain good enough
Do you fall into that category? I know I have in the past.
But the good news is that today is a new day and you can start changing your life this very minute (see yesterday’s post Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For).
There are some very creative ways you can work yourself into a new career. For example, one of my best friends decided to become a pharmacy tech and found a pharmacy that would train her on the job and pay her while they did it. (You know it’s usually the other way around. But it was like she was going to college but getting paid to do it)
Also, if you check with your local community college, they often have their finger on the pulse of the local job market. I know that where I live there are many programs at our local community college that only 1 or 2 years to complete, but the pay coming out of school is more than most 4 year degrees.
You could also start investing in real estate and collect monthly rent. (Yes, I know it takes time to build up enough real estate to quit your job, but everyone who has made a killing in real estate had to start somewhere.) This is called passive income because it makes money whether you are working or not. And you would also have something to sell down the road to get large lumps of money if needed. Just a thought.
If all else fails, start a blog and find ways to monetize it. Some people are able to replace their normal income doing this if they work hard at it.
So, you see, there are options out there. Sometimes you just have to look for them.
Be creative and see what you can come up with and don’t let your job hold you back from being happy.
Take control of your life. Don’t let it control you. No more excuses.
Suggestions? I would love to hear them!
Life is passing us all by – second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour. (You get the idea.) But that is not necessarily a bad thing. I realize most people think getting older is the worst thing that can happen to you (that is, short of being six feet under) but I like to look at it a different way.
Each passing day gives us a chance to not only have wonderful experiences, but also plant seeds for a happy life in the future. Therefore, you should do something today that your future self will thank you for. For example, going to college is the ultimate way to do this. You study hard now in order to have the career you want very soon. Another example would be staying faithful to your partner. This helps ensure you have the mate you want for a lifetime.
We are planting seeds everyday, whether we realize it or not, so it’s best to be mindful of this on a daily basis.
Here are a few things to think about when spreading those seed around:
Plant the Right Kind of Seeds
You can unintentionally plant bad seeds in your life without realizing it. Don’t say or do things you will regret later. Instead, make sure everything seed you plant will wield a happy result down the line.
This applies to simple things like helping someone in need and also big things like setting up automatic deposits into a retirement account. But let’s look at the obvious ones.
Some good seeds to plant:
- Retirement investments and savings
- Going to college or changing careers
- Spending time with friends and finding ways to make new ones
- Putting time and effort into relationship with partner
- Spending quality time with children/grandchildren
- Exercising (helps you mentally and physically)
- Making time for yourself
- Finding ways to make money that are not stressful
These are some of the biggies in life that will really pay off in the future. I especially like “finding ways to make money that are not stressful”. As an American I too have been a victim of the overstressed lifestyle that permeates our very existence. After all, money IS NOT everything!
Plant at Least One Seed Each Day
You might think it sounds like a lot of work to do this each day, but it really isn’t. You have to remember that some seeds are smaller than others. If you take the time to sit quietly with a good cup of coffee and read a book, then you have made an investment in yourself that promotes your happiness both now and down the road.
Reading a book to your child makes for a warm, fuzzy experience for you and your child. It is an investment in both of you personally and also in your relationship as parent and child.
Just Be Positive
I realize this is easier said than done, but it becomes a habit just like anything else. If you work at it, then it will eventually become habit. If you are positive, then you will automatically plant many wonderful seeds for your future without even thinking about it!