I love nice things. Especially, hand-crafted, beautiful, unique things. Whether I own them or not, I love being around them. I get bothered by paying a lot of money for something soulless because it is supposed to be a luxury brand. That is not my version of luxury.
Things that are luxurious to me are significant, that have weight, or depth or a certain feel. Some things clearly do have more value and pretending materialism is shallow and surrounding yourself with crap is no better than spending a lot of money on crap. Alan Watts said that we don’t live in a materialistic culture, actually it is the opposite, we horribly mistreat the material. I have to say I agree with him.
So what is this all about? Why do we work hard and try to keep up with the Jones’? Or why do we run away from it all and sneer at the the passersby headed to work while we clutch our poverty? Why is it that every last person I talk with is in some way conflicted about making a good living?
What is it that we are all looking for?
I belong to an industry that is selling the dream. The dream of the perfect life, the perfect work, unlimited happiness and money.
No matter what you are desiring for your work or personal life, something is driving you. Sometimes we can see something in ourselves or our life that we want to change. Sometimes we want to right an apparent wrong in the world. Sometimes we want to feel successful or be more comfortable. But no matter how you slice it, it is a ‘more’ or ‘better’ version that we are looking for.
The problem is that this drive is often so unconscious that we are compelled by it with out knowing what is compelling us. It guides our entire life and we don’t even know how it came to be inside of us. Next thing we know, we are taking another self help class. Or, dreaming of the next big step in our business. Or, or, or.
In and of itself this is not bad – wanting more for ourselves can be great. The problem is that when we live from dissatisfaction with what is, we never end up being satisfied. This means no matter what we get its not enough. This is definitely something to avoid.
The solution to this problem is not to avoid what is, or put it down for something better but rather to develop things out of love –to craft them, make them beautiful or poignant, or unique. This means that we strive for change because of deep love rather than a fear or dislike.
Being motivated by love rather than dissatisfaction changes the quality of our world for the better. It does not get rid of the quest for growth, but it allows us to embrace and appreciate ourselves and our lives in the present moment as well.