Software updates, app updates, the latest smartphones, Xbox One, PS4…I think you get the point. Advances in technology are happening faster than ever, and whether we like it or not, we are living in a society that is constantly obsessed with having the “next big thing”. When the next big thing comes out, we as consumers suddenly find ourselves unsatisfied with what we already have. We decide that we have to have this new phone, tablet, or whatever it might be. And while we may not necessarily need it, we definitely aren’t going to be satisfied until we have it for no reason other than, well, it’s the next big thing. I’m just as guilty of this as the next guy is. At some point in our lives, we got it in our heads that it’s how much we have and what we own that dictates how content we are. If only I had the iPhone 5s, then I would be happy. Never mind that I have a perfectly good iPhone 4s that works just fine and is less than a year old. What ever happened to “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”?
So all of this being said, my question to you is when do we as consumers decide that we finally have what we need? Well that’s just the thing, as long as we are thinking with a consumer’s mentality, the answer to that question is never. Growing up I always heard it said that money can’t buy happiness, but I feel that it’s not until you’re new to adulthood and barely getting by on your first job that you really value the truth to that expression. You don’t need that new smartphone. In fact, chances are that you probably don’t need a smartphone at all. I know that if I had one of those old flip phones, I would probably be getting along just fine. Somewhere along the way we really got our priorities mixed up. We decided that we would let our material possessions dictate how happy we are, and we forgot what really matters. We forgot to find joy in the little things. Happiness is a cup of coffee on a cold December morning. It’s spending time with the ones you love. It’s knowing that you have everything you will ever need. And we do. If you have a roof over your head and food in your kitchen, then you are already more fortunate than so many people will ever be. Instead of choosing to be envious or miserable because of what you don’t have, choose to be happy because of what you already do have.
Society is always going to be trying to convince us that we won’t be happy unless we have all the latest technology at our fingertips and all of the hottest styles hanging in our closets. If we choose to live with a consumer mentality then we will never be satisfied. Maybe for about a day, a week, or a month after we make a purchase we will think we are content, but I promise you that feeling won’t last. So I urge you to count your blessings, to know that you already have everything you need to get by and anything else is just a want, not a necessity. We have the power to dictate our own happiness, to decide that all we ever needed is right in front of us. Instead of chasing after what we want, let’s take some time to be thankful and really appreciate the fact that we are already blessed with way more than we deserve. If you look hard enough, you just might be surprised at how affordable happiness really is.