Are you content and happy with what you have right now? Or do you find yourself wishing and always wanting more? Would you want to learn how to stop wanting things you probably don’t need anyway?
If you answered yes to the previous two questions, read on. We will tell you the causes behind your incessant demand for more and provide tips for how to stop seeking more.
Is wanting more bad?
Before we discuss how to stop desiring things, let’s first address the question of whether wanting more is bad. No, wanting more for yourself and your family is not bad. Because you want more out of life, you are learning how to invest, budget, and pay off your debts.
You may need to pay off your bills so you can take vacation time and spend additional time with your children. You are probably working on a budget so that you can save for a vacation with your parents. All of which are great objectives.
Wanting more causes a problem when we use it to rate happiness, success, and everything we want to have in life. As Maslow’s hierarchy of needs told us, people require secure shelter, a sense of belonging, care, love, and admiration.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be surrounded by beautiful, luxurious things. It is not bad to want a larger home or newer car model.
However, wanting and getting things only brings us temporary fulfillment when they cannot provide us with long-term happiness. A survey showed that we only utilize 20% of the items we keep.
So, we buy the designer bag to make us happy for a moment, until it ends up there lost. Materials are incapable of giving us feelings of protection, love, and belonging, so we need to as humans.
Why are you always wanting more?
This is a fascinating issue, isn’t it? A few of these are reasons why we are often seeking new things that we do not need. Perhaps one of them will resonate with you.
1. To fill a void
Sometimes we buy material items to make us feel better when we’re lonely, sad, or heartbroken. For this reason, when what we really want is human contact, we sometimes buy a new outfit instead of spending time with a companion.
Also, we are always seeking more because we enjoy being admired for our possessions. We therefore try to charm others with what we have rather than who we are.
Back in the early 2000s, market research company Yankelovich estimated that the average person saw up to 5,000 ads per day, a figure which was believed to be unprecedented at that time. However, with the advent of the internet, that figure is in the range of 6,000 to 10,000 ads per day.
Even without a low score, that is still a large number of subtle signals indicating that we are not attractive, happy, or fulfilled without the things they want to sell us. This shows that it is not entirely your fault that you are always seeking more.
So, if you get the urge to buy things you don’t need, don’t beat yourself up over it. But be sure to be creative and try to find the source of the idea. Most of the time, it’s likely to be from an advertisement or a story from your favorite celebrity or influencer.
3. Social media
Social media is a handy way to connect with friends and family members. But as we scroll through Facebook and Instagram, we see what other people are buying or wearing. We see where they are going.
Then we get caught up in the competition or FOMO (fear of missing out). That’s when we start shopping and wanting just because we have friends or loved ones who have them.
How to stop always wanting more
Here are some ways to be content with what you have and to stop desiring more.
1. Practice gratitude for the little things
When you’re feeling frustrated because there isn’t enough, it’s challenging to be grateful. The attitude is the same if you’re struggling financially or have burdensome debt. In these times, I encourage you return to the fundamentals.
Be thankful for waking up â€” for being able to breathe. Be grateful to have a solid roof over your head and running water for hot showers.
When we’re constantly chasing more, our gratitude seems quite limited. We think we need a reason to be appreciative, but we forget that we already possess everything we need and more than we could ever imagine. Acknowledging what you have is how to stop being unsatisfied with having more things that you do not actually need.
2. Focus on yourself
Society flourishes from our differences as individuals. But we have created imaginary stories about what a happy, successful, fulfilled individual should be like. We strive to become that person by buying the clothing, the house, and the car we think reflects that image.
But if you consider a productive person as someone who lives on a large farm and spends all day reading, then you will continue to be unhappy no matter how large your house or expensive your clothes are.
Take the time to get to know yourself. Spend your time focusing on activities that make you happy instead of purchasing things. Instead of shopping online, maybe you can call a friend or a family member and have a laugh on the phone.
3. Live with intention
We want to live with purpose and on our own terms, and to do something that is worthwhile. Unfortunately, however, many of us live on autopilot.
We just want something different, but we keep going through the days without changing anything. Raise your hand if this is you.
It’s funny, and I’m not immune to it either. But unless we build a goal and follow it through, nothing else will change. So, maybe this year, you can set aside making or adhering to a budget, or you can take some of your time from classes at Clever Girl Finance.
4. Remind yourself of what matters most
Take your time to decide what’s important to you. Ask yourself, “Do these things align with my passions? Or do I want to pursue something that I actually love?” This is how to move forward toward discovering what you really want in life, rather than what you want from others.
Be specific in your responses. Then, refer to these responses whenever you need a pick-me-up. Anything not useful for your goal should be cut and discarded.
5. Take a social media detox
What is the best way to abstain from feeling the desire to own things? Take a social media detox! As is mentioned above, social media is filled with people you know and do not know showing off purchases they make or lavish vacations they take.
So, to avoid the continuous enticement of always wanting more, take time to step away from social media and enjoy the good things you already have!
Be thankful for what you have to stop always wanting more!
When you learn to separate your wants from your material possessions and recognize that having enough is far more important than desiring more, you’ll learn to stop always wanting more. And when you spend wisely, you also enjoy more of what you enjoy because you’ll have more and do more. You can get the latte after all, if that’s what you want.
By learning how to stop wanting things simply because other people have them, you can have a more satisfying life.