You are strapped to a treadmill. It’s the same treadmill most of us can’t escape. It’s the hedonic treadmill — the observation that even though we keep chasing money, rainbows, and unicorns, believing that these things will make us happy, we’ll instead quickly adapt to any life changes, returning to our baseline of happiness.
This means that buying new things won’t make you happier. And you know that. I mean, it’s not as if you never crossed something off your wish list.
It’s happened to you before. You’ve longed for a new phone, gadget, garment, whatever, watched unboxing video after unboxing video, read reviews and opinions, fantasized about it, and then — when you couldn’t resist any longer — you bought it. But what happened to that shiny, that brilliant, that sparkling thing after it ended up in your hands?
It stopped twinkling. It’s glow faded. It just became a thing. It joined your pile of stuff. At best it’s now something lying around somewhere in your home that you occasionally use. At worst, you don’t even know where it is. It might even be broken by now.
But you don’t care. You’re not thinking about it. Instead, you’re busy stomping away on that treadmill, like we all are, chasing the next thing to join your sad pile of stuff.
If you’re lucky, at one point in your life you’ll find someone who will shout at you, who will yell at you, who will scream at you to “Get off that freaking treadmill!”
For me that someone was Stoic philosophy, which teaches you that nothing matters, except becoming a virtuous person: to be kind, fair, and courageous, to do your best to navigate the complexities of life in the wisest way possible, and to stop obsessing with everything else — especially material possessions.
And yet, I still have the occasional urge to buy stuff I don’t need, to waste my money in senseless ways.
But I found ways to shut that urge up.
So, if you’re anything like me and are a little fed up with that inner consumerist within you, I have a few tips that will help you break that vicious cycle of always wanting to buy more. And if you break the…