4 Signs That Your Hyperconsumerism is Ruining Your Life

Written on 4/29/2008 by Alex Shalman, creator of the Practical Personal Development blog.
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As a society, our lack of owning up and taking responsibility is causing some very significant downfalls which will not be sustainable long term. Our ‘I want it yesterday‘ way of life is based on one fundamental principle – ‘I want more, now‘.
It’s a huge loop that consists of want more, work more, spend more – rinse, repeat. We’re actually trapped, very much like rodents in a wheel, running hard without getting anywhere.

The reality, at least the one many people avoid believing, is that we all have the ability to stop the endless cycle. Like most things, you just need to apply yourself to a solid plan versus waiting for someone else to swoop in and put a band-aid on your financial or mental injuries; it’s not going to happen.

Let’s discuss a handful of ways that we can solve our carelessness, overconsumption problems, and downright laziness.

Given time, choosing and focusing on one of these will turn your life around. Are you up for the challenge or are you content with the constant dilemmas you face?

  1. We eat too much. The food industry is one that is trillions of dollars strong. We all have to eat, right? From high end to fast food restaurants, our society is not lacking for a place to eat. The problem? High quantity mixed with low quality puts nutritionally poor food into our stomachs.

Solution: Become educated in proper nutrition. Use your hard earned money to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and eat a plant-based whole foods diet. When you calculate the fact that you’ll live a healthier and happier life you will be doing yourself a great service.

  • We spend too much boosting pride. Insecurity is very prevalent in this society. It took me a long time to realize that I was trained to be insecure from childhood. Perhaps it’s not a problem limited to this day and age, but speaking from personal experience alone, it’s a huge problem now. In order to keep up with our peers we want to buy more, have more, and obtain more items that do little less than boost our pride. This mentality will inevitably take you down a path of credit card debt and deep anxiety.Solution: Gain insight into why we take certain actions and become more self-confident and aware. Simplify your possessions and keep the minimum for a comfortable life. While ‘comfortable life’ has a different meaning to everyone, the key is that it’s YOUR comfort that takes the lead, not the comfort of a peer that just bought a new iPhone. This reduction in spending will free up time, allowing us to work less, and spend more time with our families.
  • We watch too much.Too much television, reality shows and game shows means we’re watching other peoples lives instead of living our own adventures. This causes us to envy others and become sedentary. Why go climb a mountain when watching it on TV is just as good?

    Solution:
    Go outside and begin enjoying the simple pleasures in life that don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Appreciate being outside, walking through your local park, and laughing with friends. Build genuine relationships with significant people, not the people we see on TV.
  • We Are Too Complex. Multi-tasking work and family, to-do lists spanning multiple pages, and thinking about B while doing A are all things that add up to more complex but less fulfilling lives. We’re selling everything we have to be able to live ‘as if’. As if we were happy, satisfied, or even content, when none of these things are actually true.Solution: Simplify our lives. Get rid of clutter, get rid of all the extra baggage in terms of stuff and emotional traumas that we choose to carry around. Leave just the essentials. Live in the present. Simplify, work less, enjoy more.

There are loads of other ruts people are stuck in. Take 15 minutes to list all the ways your life would be better if it was simpler. List some in the comments below – maybe it’ll help the next reader realize their reality.

-Alex

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