About Having and Giving | imperialfool

Funny how things start to change when you start to change your thoughts.

All of a sudden new customers appear from all quarters. It´s like I´m dreaming. “Can you make me a website?” “What about business cards?” “Do you offer personal coaching?” I now clearly see the law of attraction. I don´t think in terms of scarcity. I have everything I need, and if I need more, it will come. If it doesn’t, I don´t really need it. This philosophy is very handy! And it´s easy to include in our everyday life when one understands the perils associated with materialism.

 

I always lived with scarcity. I never had enough.

Or so I thought. I felt this way all the time, and nothing was good enough. But when I bought something, the pleasure it brought faded away very quickly. So I had to buy more and more things, blinded by the belief that filling my life with material objects was somehow cathartic. In fact, I had a professional guitar and a professional amp but I wasn´t a professional musician at all. I just thought I need this stuff to be a professional. Guess what? I was wrong. What’s more, I discovered that I had been wrong about many things throughout my life. I was a late bloomer, I guess. But it´s better to bloom late than never!

 

Apps, Ebooks and more

It was the same with apps and ebooks. It´s so easy to buy something very quickly considering that everyone with a smartphone maintains near-instant access to the world’s merchandisers whenever the impulse strikes. And you think, “It´s only 99 cents.” But it adds up. And do I really need 200 or more apps on my phone? Do I really need all this? I don´t think so. Of course, I wouldn´t give away my iPhone since it´s a very handy tool. But in reality, that’s all it is. And therein lies the paradox. A useful tool that implores many to rhetorically ask how man managed to live without them while simultaneously bringing the global marketplace – and unlimited materialism – to one’s fingertips.

 

Two apps I really need and recommend

  • iA Writer for iPhone and Mac.(I use this for writing articles for wordpress, for my variable costs list, and lots of other pages. It´s lightweight and comes without knick-knacks so I can concentrate on what´s really important. I also backup everything using dropbox and iA Writer, which is also very convenient.)
  • Wunderlist for iPhone and Mac. (It´s a very handy list manager tool for my ideas and lots more)

 

The media, family, friends and neighbors play a role in contributing to the consumption mindset, but the biggest contributor to my consumption was me.  

 

Nowadays I think before I buy something.

I read an article about “consumption” on zenhabits, which by the way is one of my favorite blogs, and where Leo Babauta wrote about a “30-day list.” I took his idea and included it in my daily routines. It’s such a simple method, but it never occurred to me. So every time I think I need something, I include it on my 30-day list. If I still think I need that item after 30 days, I buy it. But I don´t buy it directly. I first look on ebay and other platforms in search of used items. Thanks for that, Leo!

 

Variable costs

I also have a “variable costs” list. It might seem annoying but every single time I buy something, I put it on the list immediately. It has become a rule for me so I think twice before I buy something! This list is very helpful too. At the end of every month I see exactly how much I did spend on coffee, ebooks, music, tv shows  and so on. This gives me the transparency I need to estimate future expenses.

 

Give away stuff you don´t need

As I recently moved to another city, I gave away a lot of stuff I didn´t need or no longer used. There are some big online platforms which are all about giving. So I joined a community and gave away a lot of stuff and guess what, if felt devilishly good! I met a lot of people and most of them were very grateful, and I felt good about doing it. It´s a damn good feeling to give rather than to buy. Give it a try!

 

Stuff doesn´t bring you happiness

It´s always up to you as to how you feel. Nothing you buy will bring you freedom or happiness. (Well, not for long). You might think that a new car, a new laptop, a new house [put what you want in here!] will make you happy, but it won´t. It´s all up to you. I´m not suggesting that you cannot have nice things. Some things are good to have, but do you really need a new cellphone every year? Do you need the newest iPad in order to feel you fit in? It´s all just a big bubble and you are a part of it until you begin to see it for what it really is.