We are almost four months into this year already! I don’t know about you but the year is just flying by…
A few years ago, I decided not to make resolutions for the New Year because I was not very good at keeping those promises, Right about this time of the year, after making them, I would have broken or even forgotten about them altogether. Now I work on making daily, weekly, and monthly goals and accomplishing them. I reward myself with things like a spa hour, or dinner out, a new pair of shoes (smh), something that I really want to keep me motivated.
With Spring time here, I am ready to create some new memories. I was really into collecting things for a long time. Clothes, jewelry, shoes…whatever made me feel beautiful. But when you are collecting things, eventually things get old, don’t fit, and crowd your space. Now, I am into collecting memories. They are probably just as expensive at times, but they will never get old, not fit, or take up too much space. Buying things really does not make you happy. We have to stop fooling ourselves into thinking and believing that our lives will only be recognized if we have a certain type of car, home , or life in general. Putting material success up on a pedestal teaches our children to live beyond their means just like you may have to look like the “Joneses'”, who really only exists in our minds.
Our society worships the pursuit of happiness, finding joy, and seeing your dreams through our bank account balance, and material wealth and honestly, it is causing people to do “something strange for some change” in order to be seen as someone who has it all. It is a never-ending journey, the road to happiness, and we do not want to miss the beauty along the way working ourselves to death. The key to happiness is not spending all of our time working so that we can spend all of our time spending the money on things that we can’t enjoy because we have to work. Why not spend your time and money on life experiences instead of things? Because when you think about it, it is our experiences in this life that make us happy and they are what we will remember at the end of our lives, not the things we owned. Our experiences are what really define us!
What have you been thinking about doing? It is tax time as well and many people will be running to the stores to buy new furniture, clothes and TVs. Filling up the house with things they do not want to vacuum, clean or dust. But where do you want to go? What experience can you have for that same amount of money that will last you a lifetime and your family will remember and share with their friends and family long after the experience? I go on a cruise every year. I like seeing new places, experiencing the quiet of the ocean and sky and not being so easily accessible to all of the distractions in my life. Each time I go is life-changing for me. I come back stronger and more at peace. I come back with ideas and changes that I want to make in my life and I am totally refreshed.
Whatever you choose to do, that experience is going to bring a mistake or a win, and what we will always take away from the experience will show us who we are as an individual. Our experiences will give us clarity about the people we surround ourselves with, how we think and what we do, and an understanding about what really makes us happy. In a world where tangible things seems to be more valuable, we should be more mindful to have experiences that the market cannot put a price on and that cannot be lost, damaged, or stolen.
The sum of ourselves is in everything that we have ever seen, smelled, tasted, touched, felt and heard. Our experiences will sometimes show us that fulfillment will not be in a 9-5 job or that we may never be happy with that person, or in that state. Our experiences may lead us to the next big idea or breakthrough in our business or our lives as a whole. Life lessons…from getting out there and doing something! What will you get from your material things? More than likely a credit card bill and a headache. They will not stay with us because next time we do some spring cleaning, they will be a part of the trash. Experiences are going to stay with us though. Think about all of the memories you have with family and friends. Think about all of the smiles and laughs, even tears that you had even when you didn’t spend a dime. Material things have expiration dates, experiences do not. The moment we purchase something, its value goes down; it is the total opposite of when we experience something….value goes way up! Our experiences can also be relived so they can bring us happiness not just when they happen, but long after. They have emotional longevity and can help to improve our minds as we go through life. We can continue to learn from them over and over again.
If we are breathing now, there is going to come a day when we will not. Whether we accept it or not, we are all going to die. When we get to the end of our lives, there are questions that we may ask ourselves like
- Did I live?
- Did I experience everything that I wanted to in this life?
- Did I love thoroughly?
- Do I have any regrets?
Do you want to be defined by all you have or all you have done? I want to invest in experiences where I can create memories and get life lessons, not a bill. So as my days go on I am working on being a bit of a minimalist when it comes to things and richer in experience. That is my Spring cleaning theme and already my house looks bigger!
Love and Blessings