Why more is never the answer.
I’m fascinated by this urge that I can’t seem to satisfy no matter how many books I read, fries I eat, money I make, or clothes in my closet...
The urge to want more.
This human condition of thinking that there is and will never be enough. I’m sure this need ranges in strengthen from person to person. In some, it causes them to buy more than expected on a target run, in others, it ruins marriages, careers, and futures.
I find myself reading books and listening to anything I can get my ears on about how others find fulfillment without the need to buy more. Because this is an issue I deal with myself, I’m trying to understand how our minds work in order to better understand my need for more.
If you look at the world and really put how we live into perspective, we have way more than enough and I know this! But this want to buy more, spend more, have more is almost involuntarily or at least that what it feels like.
I’ve been reading two books lately that have really shed some light on this “never enough” conundrum and I wanted to share because I’m sure some of you are also thinking ...
Will I ever have enough?
current mood board
*All images are sourced from Pinterest
In the latest book, I’m reading about transforming my relationship with money because I’m never not reading about this topic, I really resonated with the way author Lynne Twist described our society’s toxic money myths.
Myth #1 - There’s Not Enough
I know you know this one, I’m sure you hear about it all day long and if you don’t, that’s amazing. That means you grow up thinking there would always be enough which is the truth!
Twist says this idea of there is never enough is what brings us down, makes us do things were not proud of to each other, and makes us do things we don’t feel is right because we are afraid.
It is a fear of losing out to others or being left out. Pretty heavy and pervasive all around whether you want to admit it or not.
She compares this myth to a game we all played as kids, musical chairs. You know the one where there was one less chair than people and when the music stopped, you had to fight your way to a seat or else you would be left out…
Sounds really familiar, huh? It’s kind of like we’ve been trained to believe in this idea that there will never be enough.
Myth #2 - More Is Better
Ohhh, this is a good one because this is my sweet spot. As a lover of beautiful things, this myth has me by the “you know what”.
Of course, more is better, right?! I mean, how could it not be? More shoes, more money, more books more, more, more.
BUT, have you ever stopped to think that maybe all this focus on needing (errr... wanting) more is blinding you to appreciating what you already have? We are so quick to be on to the next thing that we forget about the thing we just bought.
Twist talks about how this idea of “more” is like a race with no finish line and no or winners. It’s the hamster wheel everyone talks about. It’s never-ending and we don’t know how to get off.
This is why people who make either 40,000 a year or 4 million are both worried about retirement. These fears don’t discriminate. If you think for one minute if you had more, then you would be happy, safe, or less stressed, you’re lying to yourself.
I’ve always heard inspirational leaders talk about appreciating what you have right now in this moment no matter what. This means knowing that you have enough, and it’s hard!
This is something I deal with a lot. I'm a grateful person and truly feel blessed a lot of the time but I also feel like I could have more and then things will be better… the “when-I-haves”. Those thoughts are the most dangerous ones.
So this isn’t just a lecture (hoping it didn’t feel like one), but I thought I would share some of the little changes I have made to help me see these myths for the crap they are. Try any of these on for size and let me know what you think:
When you feel the urge to buy more things…
… take a look around your house, closet, etc. Take note of what you already have. Promise you when you start to go through everything you have you realize how much stuff you own.
When you’re buying something...
...ask yourself if you are buying it because you think it will make other people like you.
Hint: You should buy things because you love them. How others see you shouldn’t factor in.
Give yourself 24 hours.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before but incorporating a little space between your impulse to buy and actually buying can be so helpful and also separate emotions from shopping. There are very few things that aren’t available 24 hours later.
Now, I want to make this clear. I’m not saying to not buy things. Money is AWESOME and using it to buy things that make you happy is exactly one of the reasons it exists. I’m saying to watch out for the overspending, compulsions, the hole-filling activities we tend to overlook but know they are draining our lives and bank accounts.
And I know all this because I do it too. Takes one to know one, right?
Til next week, lots of love coming your way.