Once you start comparing yourself with others, you’re always going to find someone better than you. No matter how rich you are, how intelligent, how handsome, there will always be someone who’s richer, healthier, or more beautiful. Even if you rise to the top of a certain field, you’ll always find ways to compare with people from other fields. Comparison is pointless because we have nothing to gain, but much to lose; our pride, dignity, passion, and joy.
When you start your minimalism journey and get rid of lots of unnecessary possessions, you start to win a comparison game. At one point you stop comparing because you no longer have any of those material objects used to compare your status with others. Without your possessions, your focus will inevitably shift, and you’ll start to discover who you truly are.
Maybe you’ll still compare in other departments, but rarely. I found that in my personal experience I began to pity all those rich and famous people and celebrities because the only thing they have to offer is their money and fame.
Spending time with my ex-roommate Matko, I noticed that the more money we both make the simpler our lives become in the process. From our attire to other things like electronic gadgets, furniture, etc. Money and material possessions started to be inversely correlated in our lives – the more we have, the less we spend. Although we are completely free from material comparison, we still compare ourselves with our mentors and our past selves in order to improve every single day.
Other thing I’ve noticed when you reduce material possessions is that you often have more resources like money and time, therefore you start redirecting them in other directions. You invest more, save more, help more often, and start to better value experiences over material possessions.
Science has proven that money spent on experiences brings longer lasting happiness than if it’s spent on material things. If you help someone in need, go to a concert, or travel, you will have those memories within you forever. No one can take his material possessions to the grave, so why then accumulate them mindlessly here on Earth. Most of us have probably heard a Bible verse that reads:
Over time, our satisfaction with the things we buy decreases, whereas satisfaction with our experiences increases. $500 sneakers will lose their novelty as you continue to wear them, but if you spend that money on a trip, you can relive the joy every time you remember it. And the joy won’t fade with time. On the other hand, sneakers will be long forgotten.
Other benefit of spending money on experiences instead of material possessions is that experiences resist comparison. People can compare your sneakers to theirs only because the price tag makes the value obvious, but nobody can compare their experience with yours, and say that one is better than the other. You would need a considerable amount of imagination if you want to compare your gym class to someone else’s football match, or your hiking trip to another person’s safari expedition. And because they are hard to compare, your experiences don’t even have to be anything expensive or rare to be special to you.
Perhaps the most important reason to go out and engage with the world is that experiences you gain can never be taken away from you. Unlike our material possessions, our experiences are within us, and we can take them wherever we go. No matter what may happen to us, our experiences are ours to keep forever.
We are the only ones responsible for our lives. So choose wisely what is more important to you.
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