This is your year of living better and freeing yourself from materialism. It’s your year to experience happiness and warmth outside of the material world. And materialism—its expression, its antidotes, its eventual acceptance—permeates some of the more undesirable qualities we all find in ourselves. Now, let it go.
It’s simple. You only need to begin valuing everything that brings purpose and meaning to life. It may seem like a lot to do but that’s all it takes. Spend 1% of your day thinking about what matters most, then look around to see if the nearby materials or products support that.
It’s simple because the obvious weakness of our modern material industry is that it requires so much from us and accomplishes so little. It’s extraordinarily inefficient at promoting human and social well-being.
Even the most human-based designs are less about value, and more about furthering dependency on the products we are being designed to want, use more efficiently, and need more of. We are assaulted by materialism and human ideals get the back seat in this social and economic siege. No longer!
But don’t get me wrong, material items can meet basic needs. So identifying needs outside of the material sense is the first step in moving away from materialism and toward a celebration of the materials that matter. Those that foster connection, love, experience, family, adventure, and health all rely on equilibriums of consumption. You get what you give. Like a friendship.
What have you experienced through your material possessions? Are you feeling closer or further away from the emotions that make you feel happy and alive?
Ultimately, we are constantly in a state of activity with the material world. But with an awareness of your inner inclinations toward meaning and connections, your material surroundings will inspire you to own only that which amplifies your life. Then, you can watch the meaning found within your most important materials grow.
Most things will start to feel unnecessary, excessive, and ‘extra’. But a few will shine as a material or product that embodies and commemorates new, increased self-esteem.
Thinking about the craft work that went into your couch, or memory associated with a piece of art, or the use of the dining table for gathering loved ones together— when you think about how these materials inspire, even for a small percentage of time each day, you’ll begin to recognize the significance of your buying habits and materials. They’ll gain value and significance and feed you rather than feeding your desire for more.
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