If I made more money, then life would be good.
If I had a nicer car, I’d be happy.
If I had few more items of clothing, I’d be all set.
If I had the new cell phone, it would make my life easier.
If I have one more drink, then I can be more social.
The More Illusion
Thinking “if I had more” is just saying “I desire” in another form. And desire truly is the thief of joy.
Chasing more is like climbing an endless mountain. It’s an illusion. Once you achieve the “more” you are after, you reset your gaze for the next “more”. On and on it goes.
Income in particular seems to be something that people lust after more than anything else. Most likely that’s because more income = more consumption.
But as we make more money, we often start to desire more things. Lifestyle creep is real, and it steals you of contentment through small incremental “if I hads”.
I personally know people who live well on $40,000 a year. They are saving money in investments, as well as intentionally spending money on things that are important to them.
I also know people who make $150,000 a year who are unhappy. These are people who think they need a little more than they currently have. They think that buying the next thing will make them happier, even though it won’t.
If you catch yourself thinking “If only I had more”, stop and truly reflect on it.
Would having more of X really make you happier? Or is it just the next thing on your endless consumption mountain?
What’s Next, if Not More?
As the foundation of our modern world is built on consumption as a status symbol, we’ve been programmed to always want more.
And don’t get me wrong – I have no problem with making money or enjoying life. I strongly believe in hard work and achievement.
But instead of desiring more money/stuff/status, focus on trying to find the next way to live out your personal goals.
- How can you help more people?
- How can you become more effective at your career?
- How can you live more in line with your values?