Old Habits Create Scarcity
Lots of things in your life keep you from discovering your most important priorities. These are mostly outside expectations and the very real need to find enough money to meet your basic needs for food and shelter and other things you think will contribute to your comfort and well-being.
However, as philosopher Eric Hoffer said, “You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy.”
The problem is that you have probably been surrounded by media messages giving you the opposite story. The message is, “You need this thing (whatever it may be) in order to be happy. Buy it now!”
This bombardment helps you create a fantasy that you should have more. This fantasy becomes even stronger if your family, work associates and friends all believe it, too, and compete to show off their latest acquisitions.
And if your financial prospects are limited because of circumstances beyond your control, you may feel even more deprived. You may create fantasies about what you should have and, perhaps, who is to blame because you don’t have it.
If you can, you get so busy trying to earn enough money to buy the things you are brainwashed to believe you need that you feel anxious and stressed. You rarely stop to notice that the happiness you do find lasts for only a short time—because you can’t ever experience enough of something when it isn’t what you really need.
Trying to live this way, whether or not you are successful at getting enough money to acquire “stuff,” creates a sense of scarcity. But if, like Helena, you’ve spent years in this pattern, changing can feel very threatening.
You Try to Fill the Void
If you have not sorted out your priorities and don’t know what your life mission is, it is easy to get sidetracked and allow this outside energy to define you and what you believe you should have.
You try to solve the problem in ways that don’t work and often make the problem worse. You keep trying to get enough of something to make you happy, but it does not help, because is not what you really need. (Knowing your life mission guides you to choose what you need to fulfil it.)
One common way to try to fill the void is to collect tangible things. Some people collect tools they never use. Others collect books they intend to read, but don’t. Some collect kitchen gadgets, and some collect shoes.
Laurie: Among the many things that I have collected over the years are coin proof sets.
Every year when the new coins became available, I would automatically order three new sets—one for me and one for each of my children. I would then put them into a drawer and forget about them until it was time to order the next sets.
Listening to a recording that challenged the purpose of collections finally brought me to my senses.
What are you collecting and buying automatically that you don’t use or enjoy?
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