THE TRUTH ABOUT MATERIALISM
“You shouldn’t acquire THINGS you should acquire EXPERIENCES”
“Don’t be materialistic”
“Life is about experiences not material possessions”
How often have we heard those things?
Often we hear then from hippies, hipsters, travel bloggers and the like.
Making people who own material things feel bad.
But are they correct? It got me thinking and no they are not. They are contradicting themselves. Allow me to explain.
Before I start I just want to say I am not “materialistic” and trying to defend acquiring things over experiences because it doesn’t make sense if I did. Ok let’s begin.
The argument is that we should not place importance over material “THINGS” like cars, clothes, houses, boats, motorbikes and lots of other things.
Instead we should focus on “EXPERIENCES” like travelling, meeting new people, trying new things, going sky diving, getting a rub and tug in Thailand etc.
But the people who preach that contradict themselves.
You see, the MATERIAL THINGS are an EXPERIENCE.
Let’s say you really want a Mercedes C63 AMG. Well you shouldn’t want that because that would make you materialistic!
But you see that car provides you with an EXPERIENCE, it looks nice, it feels nice, it drives nice, it sounds nice, it pushes you back in your seat when you push the pedal down, it’s a fun experience to drive around.
For a car guy like me, that’s a good experience!
Watch the Connor McGregor documentary on Netflix, when his first makes some money he has a Range Rover and says this exact thing.
Now for a more obvious example.
You buy a jet ski, a MATERIAL POSSESION
But it provides an AWESOME EXPERIENCE!
I still remember riding a really quick Yamaha Jet Ski quite a while ago now. It was awesome! It’s like riding a motorbike on water, in fact I think they have motorbike engines!
If you haven’t rode a jet ski before I highly recommend it. Make sure it’s a fast one!
What about if you lived in a mansion in a really good location? You get to experience all the cool things in the mansion like the tennis court, pool, spa, home theatre, views, garden, the good location etc.
As you can see, Material possessions provide experiences.
Now I will explain how the people who preach experiences over material possessions are in fact materialistic.
Ok, so imagine a hipster, travel blogger, experience collector goes around and collects these experiences.
What do they do? Do they keep them to themselves? Of course not, they tell everyone but not only that they upload all their experiences on social media.
They have picture after picture on Instagram. They take great pride in ownership over their pictures and Instagram account.
Wait.. Did you just say OWNERSHIP? That sounds a bit materialistic. Yep!
Imagine this example.
Imagine telling the travel blogger “delete your Instagram”
“What! No way! That’s my inventory of experiences I own! That defines me! Without that I am a nobody!”
“But I thought you weren’t materialistic? Surely you can just delete your Instagram and be happy keeping your experiences to yourself?”
See how the experience preacher contradicts themselves?
You might think I have something against them but I don’t, I love travelling and collecting experiences and I understand that those experiences may be from material things.
So as you can see MATERIALISM AND EXPERIENCES ARE THE SAME THING.
But when is the pursuit of material possessions actually a negative thing?
It’s negative when the negatives outweigh the good experiences they provide and also its negative if your desire to attain them is motivated by a negative mindset towards others.
Going back to the Mercedes Benz AMG example. If you’re broke and stuck in your job you hate and you borrow money to buy it. Yes it provides a good experience but the cost just isn’t worth it because of your situation, stress, opportunity cost etc. Read this article
If you had your finances sorted and your did a pros and cons analysis on yourself and decided that buying the car will truly make me happier than not owing the car now then go for it.
You need to always find out what works best FOR YOU.
The other thing is negative mindset to others.
This is what most people think of when they hear the word materialism.
When people buy something as a status symbol.
Think girls who rock name brands, people who buy expensive cars as a status symbol, people who wear expensive watches to impress people.
If you like the item for yourself then go for it. But if your motivation is to look better than other people then that’s being materialistic.
Always ask yourself “if I was the only person living on an island somewhere would I still be happy with this item?”
If I had a lambo on a deserted island and I had some good roads to drive on I would definitely be happy! Lol
Thanks for reading! Don’t feel bad about buying the material possession.