I’ve been “chasing success” for years now. With the recent validation of being named to the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list I finally feel like I’ve reached the summit.
I was never into expensive cars or things like that. Sure, I’m a salesperson and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m money driven when it comes to sales. But, for the most part I never wanted money to buy the nicest things (although from time to time I definitely have splurged unnecessary possessions). See, I’ve wanted money because I want to feel secure. There’s this fear a lot of us feel like where we need to just have a nest egg just in case something happens.
I’m getting off track here though, the point of this blog is to talk about the Material Life as opposed to the Spiritual Life…
I remember in 2014 when I landed one of my larger deals. This specific project was a nightmare and I’ll spare you the details as to why it was a nightmare. The point is that I rewarded myself by purchasing a hot tub. That’s a big investment and it’s not exactly a wise “investment”. This hot tub was my physical symbol and reminder that hard work pays off and to always relax when things got “too tough”. It made me happy (or so I thought).
Our culture promises us happiness with possessions. Specifically with brands. It’s never so blatant to say, “when you buy this brand you’ll finally be happy”. The subtle message were lead to believe though is that when we get this new car, bag, shoes — whatever it is we’ll feel more fulfilled. The truth is we never are.
All it does is it make us want more and more and more. It’s a vicious never ending cycle. At the same time though this cycle is completely necessary as this is the way our economy works. We need this just as much as it destroys us on the inside; we need this for economic gains.
Here’s what I’m only recently realizing though … we can find a balance between material life and spiritual life…
Material & Spiritual Life Balance
Without going into the details of what a spiritual life looks like, let’s just envision the eastern cultures and the ways of living spiritually through meditation and similar practices.
I’m suggesting that a focus on improving your spiritual life, can help offset our need to use possessions to find happiness.
Now, I’m no saint although I’m trying… Most recently I decided it’s time to buy a new car. This is at the same time I’m having all these realizations about how possessions don’t equal happiness, attempting to live a more minimalist lifestyle and in general just trying to be more happy with what I have. Talk about irony…
Here’s what’s most worrisome to me. I’m not only looking at new cars, but I’m looking at the nicest trims. You know all the upgrades I don’t need. Leather seats, sunroof… these sorts of things.
Well, first I need to be realistic and see what’s in the budget — but that’s what we all do. That wouldn’t actually be living what I preach. So, I’ve been challenging myself on how I can approach this in a more modest way and with less of a focus on the possession itself to make me happy. Here’s my answer…
Recognizing that I’m feeling this way and being in touch with this emotion of feeling like this car will make me happy because it has leather seats or whatever it is. The hot tub worked for me because it was a symbol. It was a reminder that hard work pays off. I didn’t buy the hot tub to make me happy. Therefore, I never attached feelings to my hot tub as a source of something to make me happy when I was feeling down.
I’m hoping that by applying this similar principle to purchasing a new car will be as positive an experience as the hot tub.
Balancing is a struggle, that’s why we call it balancing. We need to find a middle ground of having some of this and a little of that. At the end of the day, what really matters is finding a system that works for you.
For me, it’s being conscious of my actions and thoughts and not regressing. I’m constantly trying to improve and wash away the programming. This won’t happen overnight.
What about you?
Do you have areas in your life where you can find more balance and harmony between the material and spiritual life?
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To Finding Your Balance,
Sam AKA SwagSam