A Life of Meaning, Without Buying

Lately I’ve been buying a lot of things: a nice watch, some cool folding knives, some tools and outdoor gear. It’s fun!

But as I give in to these impulse purchases, I notice that the thrill doesn’t last that long, and it leaves me wanting more. And of course it dawns on me that this is a lesson I’ve learned a thousand times.

Buying things rarely gives me any kind of fulfillment.

When we buy something, it gives us a temporary boost — a bit of excitement, anticipation, some hope that it will give us something in our lives that feels missing. Maybe we hope the new purchase will help us to feel cool, sexy, lovable, adventurous, fit, peaceful, connected, or find a sense of belonging.

The lesson I have to remember is that these things aren’t provided by purchases, other people, or anything outside of us. The lesson I often forget is: everything we’re looking for is inside of us.

We think it will be given to us by buying things — I certainly do! — but whatever boost we get from that only lasts for a day or two.

What I’ll talk about in this post is why that never lasts, and how to find it inside of ourselves.

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