By Paul Lenda
Staff Writer for Wake Up World
Modern society has embraced consumerism as being the way to happiness. Yet, people are more depressed than ever. Nearly 10% of Americans suffer from major depression, with many more experiencing milder forms of depression that comes and goes. Clearly, consuming things does not lead to long-lasting happiness. Instead, it has become something like a highly-addictive drug, that only gets you high for a short period of time, before making you crash. Not only do you lose what little bit of fleeting happiness you received from buying something, you probably feel like it wasn’t worth the money. Achieving long-term happiness through materialism cannot happen. If it could, the richest people in the world would be the happiest, but that’s not the case.
The belief that happiness can be bought with stuff is something that has made people very materialistic. This belief is not based on anything factual, but instead on propaganda fed to the masses from a young age. The science of materialism and happiness has found that there is a link between low self-esteem and materialism. There have also been studies done which have found that people who spend money on experiences instead of things are happier.
To achieve greater happiness, instead of buying things, buy experiences. You sometimes don’t have to pay anything at all to have deeply fulfilling experiences. As C.S. Lewis once said, “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.” Anything that is a physical thing can be lost. The memories you have from your experiences will last a lifetime.
The key to happiness is to not be dependent on anything to bring you that happiness. It has to come from within, in order to be long-lasting. We cannot consume our way to happiness. If we try, the most we will get is a momentary high from it, but it will quickly fade away. This is because things are just things. They are superficial, lacking in meaningful qualities that thrill our souls.
Connect With Others
Connecting with others is the simplest way to elevate your happiness. We are all connected, so connecting with others, nurtures a deep soul-level yearning we have. When you look at the depression levels in countries like the United States, where individualism in promoted as being a virtue, you see that they are going astronomical. Places like that are also highly-connected online, yet incredibly disconnected in the real world. The virtual connectivity provides a momentary hit of dopamine, that quickly goes away, leaving anxiety in its path. People do whatever it takes to get that next social media notification, so they can take another cyber hit. This is not true happiness.
Traveling is an incredibly enriching experience that leaves a profound impact on you. You can experience the magic of life from a different position of awareness on this blue marble. Sir Richard Burton once said that, “the gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” All of the new sensory experiences you will have when you travel have this uplifting feeling to you. It’s as if being an adventurer and explorer of new horizons is encoded within your DNA. Why does traveling make it so easy to achieve greater happiness? For one, you can easily improve your social relations with others. Also, you will be comparing yourself to others less, because you won’t care as much about who has what. Whether you are backpacking across Southeast Asia or staying in a luxury resort in the Caribbean, you are going to enjoy the same sustained and elevated happiness.
True riches are the experiences we have and the memories we make of them. They are what develop our character and are drivers of our evolution. The next time you are about to buy some thing, think about whether you would rather spend that money on an experience that will make a permanent imprint on your life for the better.
Recommended articles by Paul Lenda:
- How to Get Out of Victim Consciousness
- Are You a Wallflower or a Trailblazer?
- How to Wake Up to Who You Truly Are
- 4 Qualities of Truly Happy People
- How Fear Will Justify Anything
- The Problem with Looking for a Reason to Love
- Learning to Unlearn: The Highest Form of Learning
- Proof That Our Thoughts Create Reality
- 11 Books That Will Shift Your Consciousness and Change Your Life
- Survival of the Kindest: Evidence Mankind is Evolving to Become More Compassionate
About the author:
Paul Lenda is a conscious evolution guide, founder & director of SHIFT, author, writer, speaker, meditation teacher, life coach, and ambassador for the New Paradigm wishing to provide an integral role in personal transformation and the collective social transformation of humanity. Paul offers private one-on-one holistic life counseling & conscious evolution sessions, via Skype or phone. Paul takes into account all aspects of the hyperdimensional matrix when providing guidance, counseling, and coaching.
You can connect with Paul via: