Chasing Material Items? Read This.
In this blog, I share a particular experience of mine that led to me changing my approach to life.
We all want nice things right? We all want that dream house, that fancy car and all those fancy gadgets. Obviously I am generalising but you get the point.
These are all nice things but how far are you willing to go just to obtain them? Are you willing to sacrifice your peace of mind, your passion, your family and your health just in the pursuit of these items? I'd like to think that when presented with that question, most of us would say no.
I would hope that because material items are only temporary and can easily be taken away from us. They can also lead us to become people we may not necessarily want to be just in the pursuit of them.
Now why do some people sacrifice who they are in the pursuit of material items? I believe it is due to the image that they want to show the world. They want to show the world that their life is great, that everything is perfect when in reality, they may be sad and shallow inside.
Another issue with living a life in pursuit of material items is that it takes us further away from who we are. It makes us fragile. Why I say this is because by having this pursuit, we make these items the source of our happiness and when they are taken away from us, what happens? Our happiness is taken away also.
So what happens when someone experiences a pattern of constantly losing their material items? They fall deeper and deeper into depression because all their sources of happiness have been taken away from them. On top of that, their image is shattered because they can no longer paint a perfect picture of themselves to the world.
The reason I know this is because of 1 particular experience I had in my life while working as a Debt Consultant. I was 23 years old, helping people get out of debts by going through their finances and putting together solutions for them. I was still young and learning my trade but I thought I was good at what I did.
One day, I was assigned a client. He was a man with a wife and 2 kids. I will keep his name a mystery out of respect for his family. The man came to me broken and desperate for a solution. I spoke to him for hours over the phone going through his finances, how he got to this situation and ultimately just getting to know him. He was in a very bad situation financially. He had significant levels of toxic debt which included credit cards, personal loans, cash loans etc.
Once our conversation was done, I went away and started to put together a solution for him. At first it seemed that bankruptcy was his only option which I really wanted to avoid if I could. A few days went by and I tried calling the man but he wouldn't answer. I tried calling for 3 days straight but he wouldn't answer the phone. A few days later he called me back in tears.
He apologised for not answering the phone and broke down. He told me that he had been abusing cocaine, alcohol and that this whole situation had been extremely difficult to deal with. He told me that he lost respect for himself because he had let his family down. He couldn't bare the disappointment from his wife and hated the fact that he had been unwise with his money by blowing it on material items. I empathised with the man. I told him that I was on the verge of putting together a Part IX Debt Agreement for him that would definitely help get him back onto his feet. It would allow him to get out of toxic debt and increase his cash flow for his families well being. He thanked me and said that he really appreciated my help.
A few days later I had finally completed the Part IX Debt Agreement and was contacting him to let him know. I was really happy because I felt I was genuinely adding value to this mans life. I called him excited to tell him the good news! I knew this was a man who may have made some mistakes but was a good man. Who doesn't make mistakes? We all do.
I called his phone however, it wasn't the man. A lady answered. The lady was sobbing...she could barely speak. "Hello, may I please speak to the man?" I said. The lady, sobbing and barely able to speak said "Please leave us alone. My husband set himself on fire last night and we want to be left alone". The lady hung up the phone and my world stopped. My heart dropped to the floor.
The man had set himself on fire. He had killed himself. Everything became too much for him. So much so that he saw no positive end in sight and ended it all. For the next few days I kept thinking to myself "I had the solution for him, i had everything ready for him. He told me that he wanted to change his life and get back on track". At the end of the day, mentally he could not cope anymore with the disappointment and failures.
Now what did this teach me? This taught me that chasing material items just to show the world that your life is great is no way to live. This man took out excessive levels of toxic debt just to purchase items which he could not afford. All this just to give his family a good life. His intentions were good but at what cost? I am positive his family would definitely value his life more than the car they bought. A wife lost a husband. Children lost their father. All at the expense of chasing material items.
My friends, this experience taught me to never put material items on a pedestal and to genuinely appreciate the simple things in life. It taught me never to live a life with the sole objective of pleasing others. It taught me that painting a false picture of yourself to the world can be significantly draining both mentally and financially.
It gave me a perspective in my life that prior to this I had never possessed. If you take anything away from this post, please evaluate your life and what you are prioritising. Ask yourself if what you are doing is for the right reason. Make sure you are doing something because you love it and not for others. Make sure that you do not destroy your peace of mind in the pursuit of shallow, temporary and material items.
Good luck on your paths.