I recently watched a TED talk featuring Graham Hill, called “Less stuff, more happiness.” In it, Hill explains that he thinks people would be much happier and have a lot more time if we didn’t have so much stuff. He talks briefly of the $22 billion, 2.2 billion square foot storage industry, which absolutely amazes me. It’s crazy to think that there is an entire industry based on the fact that people have too much stuff!
Naturally, this lead me to recall every time I have ever done a thorough cleaning of my bedroom. You should know that I am a bit of a pack rat when it comes to all that sentimental crap, like cards and such. I love to picture myself old and gray, reading and looking at all of the stuff I kept from my childhood. Aside from that kind of valuable junk, I love to get rid of things. It’s actually quite freeing. We waste a lot of time looking for our stuff in our massive amounts of stuff, which is leading to considerable amounts of stress.
If you think about it, it’s the battle of the needs and wants. While it’s pretty easy to differentiate between the needs and wants, it’s much harder to separate the things we think we want from the things we actually want. What do I mean by this? Next time you go to make a purchase at the store, think about if you really want that item. I mean REALLY think about it. Is this object actually going to make you happier past the day (or week, or month) that you bought it? In most cases, your answer will be no. If it isn’t, you should reevaluate your life. But hey, if stuff makes you happier than your relationships and time spent with others, that’s your business.
So I guess the main question I’m asking you here is: Are you willing to sacrifice the material things that bring short-lived,but immediate happiness, for more time to spend with family and friends that will make you much happier in the long run?