Why is it that we constantly feel the need to have more? It seems that no matter what I buy, I still do not feel fulfilled, and I soon find myself wanting the next new things. I convince myself that if I buy that $150 face mask, I will have perfect skin and feel complete. Or if I buy that new jacket, I will finally feel confident and pulled together everywhere I go. I am honestly tired of feeling this constant need for more, and feeling like what I have is never enough.
There is a quote by Leonardo Da Vinci that I love.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
It’s so true. To live with less means to live mindfully, and to be able to rid yourself of the unnecessary. Not only does this mean getting rid of things, but also refraining from buying new things. There will always be certain new things that we truly need or deeply want for a good reason, but do we really need another new pair of boots when we have 3 pairs in the closet? Or the new version of the iphone when the one we still have works perfectly? Do we want these new things for our own sake, or because we feel like we need to keep up with society and those around us?
Having a closet stuffed to the max with clothes, shoes, purses, etc. gives us a sense of security. We may subconsciously think that we will be more accepted if we have more stuff, because it demonstrates a certain level of wealth and success. Buying the latest, hottest items also demonstrates that we are on top of trends, have good taste, and are successful enough to be able to buy these things for ourselves.
This constant race for obtaining more is not a path to happiness. Rather, I think that living a life of simplicity and training yourself to be happy with what you already have is the key to feeling fulfilled.
So, I challenge you. The next time you find yourself wanting to buy something to fill a void of some sort, sit and think about it. Are you purchasing new boots because you actually need a pair of comfortable leather boots that will make you feel confident and chic, and you don’t already have a pair in the closet that will serve this purpose? If that’s the case, maybe you should buy them. But is it hard to identify why you actually want these boots? Is it simply a desire to have more? To have something new? To temporarily feel good?
Give yourself some time to stop and think before you make the decision to purchase. Sit with this as long as you can and recognize what you are feeling. Maybe instead of purchasing new boots to feel good and fulfilled, you walk away and decide to go to yoga class instead. Or make yourself a cup of tea and watch an old favorite movie. Or snuggle with your significant other. Or meet up with a good friend for a cup of coffee. There are so many other paths to feeling fulfilled that are much healthier and more effective.
I challenge you to embrace simplicity in your life. To rid yourself of the unnecessary, and to stop constantly feeling like you need more. Recognize the wholeness of this moment – you have food, and a home, and people who love you, and your health. You even have beautiful clothes and decor around your home. You have luxuries like skincare products and blankets and books. You have everything you need, and more, and in this moment embrace simplicity and recognize that you are already fulfilled.
If you want to read more on this topic, here are two articles that inspired me to embrace simplicity in my life.