By Ashley Garcia-Maynard, Beta Class
We’ve all grown up with the idea that to be happy, you need to have a huge house (or multiple houses) filled with a lot of useless things, a bunch of fancy cars, designer clothes, and so much money that you have no idea what to do with it all. But is this truly the path to happiness?
Now, there’s nothing wrong with trying to work toward a successful life and not having to worry about where your next paycheck comes from. Money is not the root of evil, but the love of money is.
Recently, it hit me: Am I going to be completely happy pursuing all my material possessions?
Yes, having all these sort of things can be fun and make you happy for a while, but it’s not what will make you happy in the long run.
So what can we do to truly make ourselves happy? Well, it doesn’t take that much!
Rid yourself of anything and everything that doesn’t add value to your life.
I have decided to adopt a minimalist mentality and have simplified most parts of my life. I still have more that I can minimalize, but it’s been very helpful for me so far and for anyone that I know that practices it.
You can start with the clothes that you haven’t worn in months and probably never will. You can either donate it to charity or sell it. The same goes for other objects cluttering your living space. If you don’t use it on a regular basis, you should probably get rid of it. A cluttered living space leads to a cluttered mind.
Those “friends” or significant others who cause you more stress and pain than is normal in everyday relationships? Distance yourself from them. You need to cut negative relationships out of your life. It’s so much better to have two good friends than 100 fake friends that you’re always trying to keep up with.
If you’re a member of so many clubs and organizations that you seem to always be busy and never have any free time for yourself, then you should rethink your memberships. Unless these memberships add to your happiness or otherwise help you in any way (except for the fact that they’ll “look good” on a resume) then please do yourself a favor and walk away from them. You need to dedicate time to things you love.
On the topic of dedicating time to things you love, you need to prioritize your time and activities. While working hard can be a good thing, you need to make sure you have time for fun and yourself. Take time to be able to sit back, relax and recharge.
On the flipside, if you’re frequently going out with friends and not taking other parts of your life seriously then you risk setting yourself back drastically and messing up your future. Yes, it’s fun to go out with your friends from time to time, but there’s also a time to get serious and a time to be alone and reflect.
- Spend More On Experiences, Less On Material Things
If you’re like me, you dream of traveling the world, meeting new people and discovering cultures different from your own. While traveling doesn’t have to be very expensive if you’re doing it right, you still need a decent amount of money to get by, especially for long-term travel.
Money spent on useless material possessions causes you to have less money to spend on experiences such as traveling, taking musical lessons, going skydiving or whatever you’ve been dying to try.
What’s more fun, buying 50 pairs of expensive shoes or traveling the world?
- Chill Out
Some people that know me now consider me to be a calm and chill type of person. Those who knew me a few years back would’ve said something different. I used to have a fiery temper and would get furious if someone even looked at me funny. This wasn’t good or healthy, and I realized that. I knew I had to change because living a life like that would not bring me any happiness. Now, I’m not saying I don’t get mad nowadays because trust me I do, but I know that I need to think before I speak and determine if my actions will benefit me or anyone else.
Chances are, that glare that girl just gave you doesn’t have any actual malice behind it; some of us just have RBF. That guy who got your order wrong today probably didn’t mean to do it.
Please stop getting irrationally mad!
You can’t think that everyone is out to get you. People will mess up, but you need to practice patience and forgiveness; however, don’t let people step all over you either! Find a happy medium!
- Be Thankful
As I said before, there’s nothing wrong with wanting material possessions, but you can’t make it your whole life. Things you have now, such as food, water, shelter, an education, etc. are things that some people all over the country and the world would do anything for. Some of us are even lucky to have some more luxuries of our own, but instead of being thankful for what we have, we become greedy and want more. If you’re like this, you will never be happy. Enough will never be enough for you. You need to snap out of that mentality and look around at what you do have. When you think about what you have compared to most people in the country and the world, you’ll realized how greatly blessed you are and you’ll stop taking things for granted.
Ok, rant over.
I sincerely hope that these tips will help anyone out there looking to find true happiness in their life. We’re all in this together!
- A peaceful ex-shopaholic 😉