You have to ignore your manufactured appetite for material possessions. Your vain quest to impress your neighbor is fucking killing your soul and making you depressed.
Northwestern University found that people who place great value on wealth, status and material possessions are more likely to be depressed and anti-social than the rest of us.
It’s not a secret that the less you own the happier you become.
As Bukowski said, the less I needed the better I felt. Spend money on experiences that’ll make your eyes explode in complete AWE, rather than on the latest gadget or fad that gives you short-term fake happiness.
As Lao-Tzu advised us,
“Chase after money and security, and your heart will never unclench. Care about people’s approval, and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.”
With our modern day comforts and ease, comes idleness and a fixation on cheap entertainment and trivial dramas. This causes our consciousness to become thick and sluggish and we coast through most of our days like a robots, hardly able to recall what we did this morning let alone last week. Everything has become routine, therefore, forgettable and dead.
But as Alan Watts once reminded us, “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
Embrace your suffering
Rollo May once wrote so eloquently, “suffering is nature’s way of indicating a mistaken attitude or way of behavior… every moment of suffering is the opportunity for growth.
People should rejoice in suffering, strange as it sounds, for this is a sign of the availability of energy to transform their characters.
Or in other words “you have to die a few times before you can really live.”
Excerpts from The Comfortable Life is Killing You by Erik Rittenberry