Materialism; how important is it to you?

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I grew up in a large family with two older brothers and two younger sisters. Despite the fact that my mother and father divorced when I was a young child, we’ve been a very close knit family since and keep in touch often. This type of family culture has not only created ease for me and my siblings; it has generated feelings of compassion for family get-togethers and has made us believe that anyone can get along no matter what circumstances prevail.  Unfortunately, many families don’t get to experience that same type of culture. In fact, it can be quite difficult for broken families to re mend the loss of some of its best qualities after a separation occurs. Understanding how close our family has become has made me grateful for being raised within it. Being a close knit family has allowed all family members to connect in a powerful way. I’ve learned many lessons through their experiences and through their guidance. In fact, I’m sure we’ve all taught each other a lesson or two throughout our lives. My observations over the years has taught me that each of us is driven by different motivations. For example: My oldest brother Shaine has interests in construction and building things, while my older brother Brock has interests in Policing. Whereas, I have very little interest in either of those careers. And, I’m quite confident they would say the same for my profession. We all have different factors that drive motivation. Another interesting thing that I learned through my siblings is the fact that each of us values money differently. These comparisons have led me to realize that the way we value money is equal to the value we place on ourselves.

Psychologists have studied the motivation and comparisons behind money and the human mind for years. It’s been known that money drives people in different ways. In fact, people generate different motivations for money as they progress through life. Our values, roles, beliefs and daily thoughts all contribute to our differentiating motivators of money and what it’s used for. Our definition of Money actually changes within our minds over time, and we associate different objects or meanings behind it through the process. There are a variety of different meanings for the term money. Most people associate money as a means to contribute to their current lifestyle – to pay the rising cost of living, or to provide for their families. There seems to be a general sense of what money means, however, after the obvious qualities are taken care of, we all seem to have different perspectives and varying beliefs of what it means to us, individually. We are motivated to spend it in different ways. Having a variety of different personalities roaming my household, including my parents and my brothers and sisters has allowed me to understand the differentiating factors behind the motivation of their spending habits. In fact, each of us spends money differently, which means that we not only have different beliefs about its purpose, but we also place different values upon ourselves.

Each of us wants different things in life. We desire different accomplishments and different experiences. This being said; each of us generates a different perspective of what creates ideal happiness. Many are driven to reach success if there is a financial pay-out for their efforts. They jump to the occasion even if it means overcoming obstacles and large fears. Money can be a great motivating factor. However, there are many other positive forms of motivation one can adhere to when accomplishing goals, like the motivation for accomplishment. Some may be strictly motivated to leave a mark on this Planet. Others may be motivated to travel or to raise a happy and healthy family. Again, each of us is motivated differently. The most common and rapidly growing motivators is materialism.

Money is needed to get by in society. We all know that. We all need jobs to keep up with the standard of living. Groceries are expensive, and gas prices I’d rather not even get into. Many fight “the ordinary” and find rewarding careers, or run successful businesses, all in all, the majority of us are working at our jobs or working away our careers for the financial benefit. The truth is; if the monetary system didn’t exist, our minds would be motivated by completely different factors. Perhaps the desire for passion, the desire of doing less work and spending more time with family, or even the desire to work in an industry that creates harmony for other cultures rather than the opposite more destructive society that we live in today. Maybe these things would create more joy in our minds.

Money represents so many different things to each of us. Often times, our views of money change as our values change, or as our friendships change. To some, it represents their hard work and accomplishments, whereas, for others, it represents security or financial wealth. Each of us defines money differently. In fact, The way we define money can tell us a lot about our beliefs. Your mind is a very powerful tool. It’s time to take advantage of its talents and use it to find the motivating factors behind your spending. Eliminate the negative attachments you hold against money and replace them with authority. No longer do you need to be ruled by your purchases. Companies want you to purchase their products, that’s why they advertise the promise of satisfaction and relief. You’ll soon realize that beyond the purchase only lies resentment, high expenses and unhappiness. Plus, most of the time they never serve their promises of a simpler life upon the purchase.

Make a list of your daily purchases. Make note and take the time to find the motivation behind each purchase. Why do you purchase the things you do? Is it merely to relieve negative feelings inside your mind? Before the list is fully read you’ll have a clear understanding of where the motivation comes from. Once you find the motivating factors behind your purchases you can work towards eliminating your negative beliefs about money. Don’t succumb to any false advertisements or ill feelings of neediness. Only living in the moment can bring peace of mind and true lasting happiness.

It’s time to rid yourself of any ill associations of money and what it means to you. Negative associations will only lead to aggression in some form. Even though materialistic items may be fun to have, they’re merely there to keep the economy growing. Need I say again; inner peace only comes when one is content and happy with what they already have. True compassion is expressed when this is accomplished.

When you’re ready to search for the negative associations that you hold towards money, may I suggest the following exercise: Make a goal to eliminate all non-essential purchases. Every time your mind tells you to purchase something, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” If it’s crucial for your survival definitely make the purchase; however, if the answer is, “Hell No, it’s not crucial for my survival,” then eliminate the thought altogether. It can be difficult to say No every time your eyes see something appealing, but it’s not impossible. It takes practice.

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