We all have that online shopping cart loaded with items that we once wish to own. There is always that destination wedding picture that we wish to have from a magazine cover, cut neatly on the edges and taped to the inside of our closet, a wish list of fancy phone, fastest car, plush house and the latest trend fashion label; there is never enough money to buy everything we want to.
But imagine this; you are given a chance to shop for all your dream items or a ticket to hot air ballooning in Turkey. What would you choose? Materials or experiences?
Your choice would reflect on your happiness!
Reason: Materials are short-lived bouts of happiness that rarely leave a beautiful mark. Experiences on the other hand, are immortal.
As Douglas Horton quotes Materialism is the only form of distraction from true bliss.
Here are reasons why you will be happier if you spend money on experiences:
1. You cannot measure experiences
Yes, that expensive piece of jewellery made you stand out at the office party. But try trading that with a vacation in Bali. Yes, you made a few heads turn with your new locks, but imagine the feeling of wind blowing through your messy hair at a peak in Himalayas. There are times when you have felt the whole universe was putting up a splendid show as you slept under the sky. You have felt overwhelmed and excited and you cant just quantify it! The best thing about experiences is that it is immeasurable.
2. Experiences teach you what you cannot learn in school
Albert Einstein has quoted The only source of knowledge is experience. And this is the reason why despite the exponentially growing online repository of knowledge and information is just a click away, there are people still seeking out enlightenment from other means. Take a tour of museums, art galleries and you will know what passion it takes to become an artist, read a book about history and you will be a tad more about your country, learn a new language and unveil the hidden treasure of its literature. Experiences will teach you more than you can anticipate!
3. Experiences introduce you to different worldly perspectives
When you learn to set aside your personal benefits and broaden your mindsets, you start experiencing things that you werent ever aware existed. You will stop being oblivious and start caring. You will open up to new beliefs, stop judging and be less uptight. Yes, this wont happen in a jiffy; old habits die hard. But you will gradually expand to different possibilities that life offers. You will stop grieving about something harsh someone said to you, you will learn to forgive and you will learn to live better.
4. Experiences help you to be grateful
We all have been there; at a point in our life where we think nothing is working in our favour, the entire world has turned up against us, and we have believed that is the worst thing that can happen to anyone. Experiences like travel will help you realise how lucky you are, your petite home will seem like a boon after you see a homeless kid, your one-course meal will seem like an extravagant affair when you realise how many people die of hunger, you will learn to acknowledge your freedom when you will see how humans are still fighting for it!
5. Experiences are exciting and challenging
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone
You are scared of heights? Go for a sky-dive and face your fear.
You have never tasted sushi? Try it and be flabbergasted.
You cannot imagine life without cell phones? Tech de-tox yourself by switching off your phone on vacations !
Experience will enrich your life with a blend of excitement and challenges. You will discover your hidden strength, something which you never really could know being a couch potato.
6. Experiences are unforgettable and joyful memories
Yes, a Hawaii wedding, a kick-ass Mac book, a heavenly Chanel that you want to flaunt will make you happy for a while. But there is always going to be someone wholl outdo you. But no one ever can take away the little moments of sanctity and solace that you have experienced after doing Yoga, no one can ever erase the smile that adorned your face when you planted a tree and no one can take away the pure joy you felt when you saw a baby laughing. These joyful experiences bank up as backup when lifes hard; and that will help you sustain your contentment even in difficult times.
7. Experiences help define your purpose and passions
You never knew that scuba diving was the love of your life until you tried it in Spain, you never realised that you felt the best work satisfaction when you taught kids, you were unaware you could write poetry until you were compelled to scribble one at a campfire game! Experiences more often are the precursors of a great career, a great life and a great story. They will help you shape your character, your relationships and your careers. And as you know even a bad experience becomes a good story making you less petrified about failure!
Control the urge of spending on mundane things; spend on experiences instead. You will realize the real value of life rather than just the price!