The Secret To Being Content & Happy With Less

Today there is more pressure and more media telling us happiness is just around the corner. We read magazines, go on Facebook and Instagram and see images of a perfect life that is sexy, glamorous and projects what our lives should be - perfect. We start feeling discontent and unhappy with what we already have. 

We have become brainwashed to believe that buying & having stuff will bring us happiness. And to buy more and have more we need to have more or make more money. Having the latest iPhone brings only so much excitement until you realise there’s going to be a new version released in 6 months. And in 6 months we will no longer care about our old iPhone because we have the new and improved version. Similarly the fashion industry has gone from working on 2 seasons a year, to working on a cycle of 52 micro-seasons. You may be out of trend in one week so you end buy something newer the next week. Fashion businesses want consumers to buy as much clothing as possible. And then we simply throw our clothes away when they no longer have a social value for us because they go out of fashion. The scary thing is that the average person throws away around 32kg of clothing per year. 

The reality is every one of us is looking for meaning in our lives. Consuming things does not satisfy this longing for meaning. You can never get enough of what you don’t really need. Because we don’t really need more toys, more cars, more gadgets, more goodies, we want what they bring us. We want to feel whole, content and happy and for a fleeting moment that doesn’t last past the checkout line, we do.

So what is the secret to feeling content and happy with less? The answer is simple: become more grateful for everything in your life. And yes, these might be 'things' but they should bring you extreme joy.  There is a saying that goes:

'The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.'

And whenever you start feeling discontent with what you have which usually arises after going on social media and seeing friends on amazing vacations or showing off their new cars, try to remember the saying - the things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.

Its not hard to realise that in South Africa we are beyond blessed to have a roof over our heads, loving families, transport, electricity or running water. Our time is wasted when we spend our lives wanting and wishing for a perfect life when we have so much to be thankful for and realise a 'Rolex wont give you more time'. So instead of buying things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like, why don’t we become more content and grateful with less.