At some point on the path of our lives we can completely lose the perspective, starting to think that things are the meaning itself. Bombarded by an increasingly intrusive publicity that has become the speaker of a system that has opted for unbridled consumerism, it is easy to think that the shoes are more important than the path.
3 big traps that turn us into victims
1. You fall into the infinite loop of unmet needs. If you are not happy with what you have, you will not be happy with what you lack because you will always want more. The terrible mechanism of our society is that it has been dedicated to create consumers, as the great economist Thorstein Veblen explained: “If you can fabricate wants, make obtaining things that are just within your reach, the essence of life, they are going to be trapped into becoming consumers.” When we seek happiness into things, these become elusive because we fall into the trap of the new needs and desires continuously dissatisfied.
2. You become a victim of stress and burden. If we give more importance to things than to the path, we will end up buying things that we do not need and cannot afford to impress people who do not even care about us. This consumerism loop forces us to work more and more to maintain an ever higher lifestyle. We think that when we reach a certain economic level, we will finally feel happy and relaxed, but this is not the case because there is always a more expensive car, a bigger house, a more powerful computer and a better smartphone…
3. You identify yourself with things. Perhaps the worst of all is that, by dint of believing that happiness is into things, we end up identifying with them. We disconnect from our essence and forget who we are by letting our possessions speak for us. In fact, those who are obsessed with having more and more, is because they have forgotten who they are and want those things to represent them. Their “self” has become so small that is hidden behind things, as if it were a bad actor, instead of being the protagonist of its life’s work. When we become obsessed with owning things, the things end up possessing us. And that’s really sad.
How to get out of these traps?
The world created around us is designed to make us believe that happiness is outside of us, into things. So we end up running inside a labyrinth where our own speed confuses us. We just do not think about it. In fact, the real rational purchase is not the one in which we compare prices and characteristics of the product, as we have been led to believe since in the end, the decision to buy has already been taken by impulse and we only have to choose between the different options available. The real rational purchase is the one that answers the question: do I really need it?
To get out of these traps is enough to realize, understand and feel that we can feel happy, fulfilled and satisfied right now, while pursuing our dreams. This involves separating our “self” from the possessions, not giving them the power to embitter our life to the point of overwhelming us to get them.
Don’t get me wrong, we need things and some of them can also give us certain satisfaction. But we must not forget that the shoes are only a mean to walk the path, an aid that can allow us go further and in better conditions, but what is really important is how much we enjoy that path and the person we have become while walking it. Everything else is secondary.
This short video reflects perfectly the traps in which we are immersed.