Science Explains Why You Should Prioritze Experiences Over Stuff

When you become an adult, there is a lashing with society boundaries overflowing in boiling elements of logic, strategy, and responsibility that drown our soaring dreams and ambitions. Our outlook into the massive window of the world shuts down. Blinded. We are bogged down with mortgages and bills. The new house and the new car that crowned us with applause from the consumerism society defined sectors of success. If anyone steered away from the rigid routines of predefined success, they were deemed to be shunned away, or boxed as ‘failure’ outcasts.

The twentieth century was a period where all were in the rising in the consumer revolution. Happiness, status, identity, and meaning were sourced from material products.

Psychologists find a linkage between materialism and life dissatisfaction in general.

Intense study reflection in the 1990’s by a team of psychologists and sociologists indicated a link between materialism and life tumbles in the form of narcissism, social anxiety and life dissatisfaction in general[1]. Buddhism accentuated the philosophy with the notion that materialism becomes the impediment to reaching true happiness.

Research studies by UCLA psychologists Darby Saxbe and Rena Repetti indicates that stress levels increase with accumulation of material goods, and affects good health ultimately[2].

As soon as material padlocks in the disguise of money enter wallets, we crave for purchases. Every new purchase ignites a sparkle in your being. A few days pass by and…..? That spark disappears, there is no trace of it. Where does happiness walk away to?

True happiness comes from our memories — our experiences.

Psychologist Tom Gilovich studied the subject of happiness for decades and has concluded that experiences are more likely than material goods to lead to happiness[3].

When we buy something new, it excites us; with time it becomes an everyday usual, and then we start searching for something new to unload our wallets. The cycle is damaging.

Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University Psychology department research indicated that happiness levels are equal when buying something or a traveling escapade, but memories of traveling resonate within us as we relish in the memories. Buying a new gadget or a new car will just become an everyday ordinary.

An object will eventually become old or expired. Memories, however, stay engraved and bring us joy each time we remember the experience.

Experiential Era has dawned on us.

The  21st-century experience revolution ignites the transformation sparks. It is layered in flexible schedules with independence to move freely in contrast to stability and prosperity.

Before chaining yourself down into hubs of materialistic flaws, think, and expand. Imagine the impossible. Live it and make it a reality! Prosperity comes from a wealth of experiences — learn, discover and explore.

Why own when you can rent it? It is like a car with a driver. By taking a mortgage on a house, it’s like renting the same place for forty years when there are available options to rent a place at any destination of your choice. You never know how long you will stay somewhere because job changes, and life changes.

In our personal reactions as well, we are instantly impressed with someone who reached the Kilimanjaro summit or passed an intense challenge, rather than a fancy handbag or new watch. Offload the shackles of materialism and get ready to experience, experiment and explore!

Reference

[1] Happiness: Materialism vs. Experientialism, Science How Stuff Works
[2] No Place Like Home, Darby E. Saxbe and Rena Repetti
[3] Want Happiness? Buy Experiences, Not Things, Says a Cornell Psychologist, Prof. Thomas Gilovich

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