“Collect moments. Not things. – Paulo Coelho
Whether it’s Netflix, new clothes, or nefarious foods, our days are filled with ever increasing forms of consumption. Perhaps we do it to cope with the busyness of our day or numb ourselves from worry and anxiety. Maybe were enticed by what the external world of entertainment and social media has to offer us. But if we don’t challenge these impulses and influences, we end up overeating, binge watching or buying things we don’t really need.
Instead of mindless consumption, we have an opportunity to develop a healthy approach to moderation that is rooted in a deep sense of self awareness. This philosophy begins by acknowledging our excesses, and then mindfully recognizing the difference between need and want. For instance, “do I need those Limited Edition Nike Air Yeezy 2’s?” or “do I want those Limited Edition Nike Air Yeezy 2’s?” One question I always ask myself when faced with a buying dilemma is “will this purchase remove a negative from my life?” And in this case, seeing as I have 10+ other pairs of shoes in great condition, I can definitely answer “NO!”
Once we recognize how and why we overconsume, we can then move our attention to what we will gain rather than what we will lose by changing our habits. For instance, by not purchasing those shoes, I can pay 2 months of rent, or go on a vacation with my lovely girlfriend, or experience more financial flexibility. With this mindset, moderation isn’t a constraint on our wishes and pleasures, but rather, it’s a source of balance, health and peace.
Of course, change takes time and effort and it’s important we face our excesses with patience and compassion. Especially when we slip up. If you made the rash decision to use all of your GME profits to purchase a post-COVID $350 bottle of Grey Goose while at the club with your friends, forgive yourself. Learn from the outcome of the decision you made, and move forward. Remember, all situations in life (especially the ones that don’t feel good) have something profound to teach us. Listen closely.
The next time you have the urge to watch or shop or feast, keep in mind this way of life. Start by asking, is this a need or a want? Will this remove a negative from my life? Imagine the peace of mind you will gain if you invest your weekend in activities that are truly meaningful such as going for a walk outside, reading a book, or exercising. Consider the money you will save when your weekly budget prioritizes needs over indulgences.
Mindful moderation helps us manifest our own contentment as we soak up the benefits of increased health, savings, and wisdom. If any of this strikes a chord, you have my permission to watch the Netflix documentary, Minimalism, a documentary about the important things in life.
Enjoy what comes of today!