Here’s the reality.
We spend our lives working hard so that we can afford to have the life that we always dreamed of. We educate ourselves, we take additional courses, we work our assess off to find a nice, well-paid, prosperous job. At the end of the day, we do all of it just so we can spend our hard-earned money on things that make us happy.
Naturally, as human beings who have pretty much different tastes, preferences, opinions, and desires, we tend to seek pleasure in different things. Some people enjoy diving in the material world, and some are in constant pursuit of thrilling and life-changing adventures.
But, if you ask an average person whether they would rather buy the new iPhone x than book a trip to a new and exciting destination, they would probably choose the first option.
Why? Well, because we live in a greedy, materialist society. Strangely it is somehow more important for some to be equipped with the latest tech-gadgets than to actually explore everything this life has to offer.
Now, if you ask me, I wouldn’t wait a minute before I dive in the world of never-ending adventures and exciting experiences.
And this is why I strongly recommend you do the same.
Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a renowned psychology professor at Cornell University was very determined to prove that experiences matter more than material things. So, he conducted a 20-year study which analyzed how object purchasing and having new, exciting experiences affected people.
According to him, there are three reasons as to why the thrill from object-purchasing is usually short-term:
First and foremost, the thrill of buying something new is gone very soon after we purchase the product. We’re quickly getting used to new possessions. “The trouble with things,” he says, “is that the happiness they provide fades quickly.”
Second, as human beings, we’re never fully satisfied with anything. The more we own, the more we want. We are always on the lookout for the next best thing.
And last but not least, we looove to compare ourselves to the people around us. The joy of buying a new car lasts until our friend buys a better one. Keeping up with the Joneses is what we must always do.
Gilovich explains that “One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation. We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.”
We believe that the more we own, the happier we’ll be. The paradox of possessing something material is that we actually think that this object will make us happy as long as it exists. But, in reality, the value of objects is fleeting. We are constantly faced with new, improved and advanced substitutes for the things we own. And we often struggle to resist that temptation. As а result, our possessions lose their glow. And we lose our interest.