Minimalism- What’s up with all the buying?

‘There must be more to life than having everything!’

~Maurice Sendak

Six months back from now, I was a hoarder.

Hoarder of clothes. Hoarder of things, I don’t need.

Hoarder of emotions relating to buy things which I couldn’t buy.

I was a purchase freak. I admit to it.

I used to buy clothes. Buy unnecessary food. Spend so much money at unnecessary places and for unnecessary things.

It was all too much, when I look back now.

My regular pocket-money used to get over too soon. I had no saving. I used to ask advance from my parents almost too soon.

And, on some occasions, I remember picking money from Dad’s pocket.

When I look back, it’ll seem I was a slave. And perhaps, I was. I won’t deny.

I started to find happiness in stuff. I became attached to the idea that more stuff means, more happiness.

More food means, more happiness.

It almost became my like my therapy to avoid the void of emptiness.

So I started to fill that void with stuff. More stuff. And much more stuff.

I started desiring more stuff. And things. And more money.

And it was terrible.

It was a vicious cycle.

I got money. I spent money. I got more money. I spent more money.

It became a therapy for me.

To purchase things. To spend on clothes. To spend on gadgets. To spend on unnecessary eating out. And such unnecessary things.

And then I stumbled upon the idea of Minimalism. And it struck a chord with me.

And I decided, I’ll do this.

I decided, I won’t be buying for months now. Not unnecessarily at least.

That would be mean no random clothes shopping. No gadgets. Movies. New games. Excessive rickshaw travelling. Spending overly on restaurants and food.

It all had to be stopped. Really.

And it was terribly hard. I remember in the first month, I became cranky. And angry. And anxious. And sad.

Sounds extreme. But that’s how it was.

I felt like a drug addict. Really. For the first time in my life, I felt this much anxiety.

Whenever I used to come across a new gadget or fancy restaurant or food items or clothes, I used to get all sweaty. Worked up.

And I almost gave in many times to the urge of buying. That impulse rush.

And, soon, I realized the problem.

The problem was that I was trying to buy emotions.

You heard it right. Buying emotions. 

Whenever I used to buy clothes, I attached the emotion of comfort and emotion of being happy to purchasing clothes. I used to feel a momentarily rush. And, I became addicted to that rush and forgot that’s not real happiness. Or comfort.

Whenever I used to buy excessive food or overly expensive food, I attached the emotion of happiness and security and comfort to it. I was trying to buy the emotions.

The problem however was that emotions can’t be bought. Things can be. Emotions can’t be.

I realized this soon enough. And I was stunned. In shock. I never imagined what I have done to my mental process.

I started to associate emotions with hoarding. Emotions with purchasing. Emotions with consumerism.

So for me, more clothes was more comfort. More food was more happiness. More gadgets were more security and more fun. More shopping was more love.

But the reality is different. Such emotions wore off soon. They don’t stay for long and soon again, I’ll be anxious. That’ll again force me to buy more things.

This cycle would have never ended. Never, ever. 

That’s why, my first month was so difficult. There was no quick fix available to my mind. There was no purchase to be made.

It became better. And, I started to find real emotions seeping in.

I found comfort in a good friendship and good chat not clothes.

I found happiness in a good time spend with friends, a good cup of coffee over reading a book and being volunteer for the community.

I found security through genuine relations I have in my life and not through excessive eating.

It became better. It became good. It become awesome.

And, now I am healthier, happier and better than I ever was.

I am not saying there is inherently wrong with consumerism or buying things.

I am not even saying that, I don’t buy things now and have gone all sanyaasi.

All I am saying is that don’t try to buy emotions. Really. You can’t. You never were able to and you never will be.

You might feel a rush of pleasure after a shopping spree but it’ll wore off soon. What then? You’ll want to do another shopping spree. You’ll want to buy more things and stuff.

There is no end to it. 

And really. The idea of tying your self-worth to materials is something scary.

Imagine your happiness, security, comfort and all emotions being tied materials. To purchasing. To owing. To buying.

It is a scary, scary thought.

Don’t be a slave.

Come out.

We’re more than what we own. We’re more than where we eat or what we eat.

We’re more than what we wear.

We’re more than all these.

We’re not defined by these.

Don’t try to define ourselves by these.

There will be only loser. That is us.

Come out the shackles of excessive consumerism. It does you no good.

Get free from the cage. And be more.

Fly. Fucking fly.

Other reads- 

SHOPPING OR FINDING MEANING- The Minimalists

Breaking Free From Consumerist Chains- ZenHabits

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26 thoughts on “Minimalism- What’s up with all the buying?

  1. i’ve been living out of one bag for fifteen years. the less i have, the more free and powerful i feel. great work Hardik.

  2. You hit the nail on the head! IT IS an addiction! A short term solution for a long term problem.
    Man, this is a curse for guitarists, as well. The problem with money and spending often times is that money buys things to distract us for a while. As guitarists, many people buy guitars and lessons and really just lack confidence to be themselves. I have seen so many people buy this pedal that amp that guitar all thinking it will make them better at something but they end up no better off than they were and a few dollars in the hole.
    It also inhibits creativity. IF you just buy something else, you are buying your way out of a problem. A lot of the really cool stuff in music arose from solving a problem in a creative manner.
    Without self efficacy and without the will to be ourselves, we will buy buy but never know who we are because we are defining it through something external.
    Can’t wait for the next post, man!

    • Thank you for such an insightful comment.

      I concur with you, it seems we always see more stuff and purchase as the solution to everything. And, it does indeed hamper the creativity.

      Your really explained in a brilliant manner.

      And my next posts are already up!

      Keep reading and cheers.

    • True that.

      Starting is always almost difficult. You get tired and agonized. But, it slowly gets easier and for good.

      Thank you for such an insightful comment. Means a lot.

      Keep reading and cheers!

  3. I’m in the middle of my Computer Science II class and decided to read through a few of your posts and I regret none of it, haha. Your stories and messages are amazing. Keep up the great vibes c:

  4. This is so inspirational! I love how you liken purchasing stuff to being a drug addict; I’d never thought of it that way. I wish you the best of luck on your continued minimalism. You’re changing more lives than just your own!
    Namaste! -Sarah

    • Thank you, Sarah for the comment. You’ve no idea how much it means to me.

      One of the reasons I write is in hope that it might impact some other person’s life.

      And such an affirmation brings unimaginable joy. 🙂

      Keep reading.

      Nameste!

    • Thank you, Rajat. I am glad you liked my thoughts.

      I would suggest try doing that. Not a sudden big change, but in small chunks 🙂

      Let me know, if I could help in anyways.

      Thank you for your comment!

      Keep reading. Cheers.

  5. Great post! I’ve been doing the no buying material possessions thing for March (clothes, makeup, accessories, household things). It’s been relatively easy so far and rewarding knowing that I do not need things. The hardest part for me is food and going out to eat because I feel like those are memories or stress relief from the day. I know everyone’s different and it’s all about a balance. For me the question lately is deciphering what’s really a meaningful experience and what is superficial consumerism. Or buying emotions as you put it.

    • Hey Kelsey!

      Thanks for your comment.

      I can understand the hardest for me also have always been food. Still is to be honest.

      But, it is getting better, thankfully. 🙂

      Thank you for such an insightful comment.

      Keep reading. Cheers! 😀

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