Material things have allowed humans to evolve from the harsh conditions of the caveman era to the modern lives that we live today. However, due to the internet and our increasing use of it, we have become bombarded with conflicting information regarding the value of material things in our lives.
Some of this content is truly intelligent, wise and thought provoking. Some content has truly impacted peoples lives through a positive shift in their mindset.
Unfortunately, increasing amounts of this content which is shared mostly through social media has become confusing, misleading and just plain contradictory in our current reality.
Material Things And Their Impact
Material things are anything man made that range from the basic essential necessities in life to the extravagant. Material things can consist of anything as basic as a child’s toothbrush to a multi million-dollar private jet.
If chosen correctly, material things will enhance our lives and support our overall well-being. Conversely, if chosen carelessly without the evaluation of its true value and overall impact, material things can consume us and create distraction or disruption in our lives.
Happiness And Its Relationship With Material Things
First things first, someone who is naturally and deeply unhappy or is normally angry and resentful with life in general, is not experiencing true happiness. As a result, material things whether basic or extravagant will never provide or support happiness.
According to Dr. Mark Atkinson, a leading emotional health expert, we possess two distinct types of happiness, true happiness and normal happiness.
Dr. Atkinson describes true happiness as a deep sense of inner well-being, peace and vitality. He further explains that those who experience true happiness feel a deep sense of gratitude for simply being alive despite their life situation.
Conversely, normal happiness according to Dr. Atkinson, is strictly influenced by our life situation and is conditional upon certain things being the way we want them to be. Our normal happiness is influenced by the success and achievements in our lives such as relationships, finances and health.
Therefore, material things have neither a positive or negative impact on our true happiness. Consequently, our overall happiness is dependent on two factors. The most important factor is the strength of our true happiness. Secondly, it’s the quality of our life situation including the material things that support it, which affects our normal happiness.
Comfort, Convenience And Well-Being
If chosen properly, material things can significantly enhance our lives providing comfort, convenience and support our overall well-being. They allow us to achieve more at a faster rate with less demand on our bodies.
One of the most important and elaborate material things in our lives is our place of residence, the dwelling, the home in which we live. If built properly, it will shelter us from the exterior elements including weather, wild animals, insects and so on.
The material things that comprise of its structure and the contents within it create its unique and valuable functionality. This functionality provides us comfort, convenience and creates a place of rest and recovery from work and sickness. It’s a place to cultivate family values, share education, and create lasting memories.
The home consists of many essential material things that support our overall well-being. Some items supply cold and hot running water including shower units, bath tubs, sinks, toilets, the faucets and of course all the plumbing that route water throughout.
Other items such as appliances help us preserve, cook and prepare our food. Some items provide climate control for heating, cooling, humidity, air quality and of course lighting. Furniture, bedding, towels and other items provide comfort that is essential for rest, relaxation, and recovery.
Material things like clothing keep us warm, dry and protect us from external elements. Vehicles provide us quicker transportation to and from work, school, social events and of course shopping for food and supplies.
The electronic device that is allowing you to read this article right now is also a material thing. It allows us to research information, connect with friends and family and even save us in times of emergency.
The use of material things create variety and in many cases, enhance our experiences. Many of our positive experiences and cherished memories are created by material things.
For many of us, our home, cottage or motorhome is where most of our warmest, happiest and most cherished memories have been created. It’s where we have celebrations, vacations, family get-togethers and social functions with family and friends.
Vehicles such as the family car, motor cycles, boats or other recreational vehicles have created unforgettable experiences. Vehicles have taken us on exciting road trips, vacations, secluded hideaways, and exciting events. Whether with family or with fiends, vehicles have provided opportunities to broaden our life experiences and create joy and memories along the journey as well as the intended destination.
Cameras and other electronic devices allow us to capture images and video of our cherished moments. They allow us to create photographic memories that we hang on the wall, place in our wallets or store safely in our priceless photo albums. The digital world also allows us to share our experiences with friends and family online through social media and other online platforms.
Other material things allow us to engage and experience variety in sports, hobbies and other social and self development activities. These activities stimulate our creativity and support our health and fitness while giving us a greater sense of fulfillment.
Material things from each end of the spectrum can provide quality experiences and memories. It depends on your mental ability to enjoy the moment. For example, a small row boat can provide an evening on the lake enjoying the quiet and peacefulness that nature offers. Or, a multi million-dollar yacht can provide the experience of traveling the world in luxury while exploring different cultures.
Choosing Material Things Wisely
Take a moment and imagine your life without material things. Now ask yourself these questions. Will I be happier with less or no material things in my life? Or, will more material things enhance my life, provide and support my happiness? Only you can truly answer these questions.
When choosing material things, always choose them for the right reasons. Choose material things that provide long-term happiness instead short-term gratification. Never choose items that can consume your life, put your health at risk or cause social, emotional or financial strain.
To create the perfect life, you must choose material things that resonate with your true personality, beliefs, and desired lifestyle. Most importantly, your selection should resonate with your true dreams and desires and support your well-being. Additionally, your selection should never be influenced by what others think, do or believe unless it aligns with your desired outcome.
Choose wisely, enhance your life as desired and create your version of the perfect life, whether basic or extravagant.