Being Happy With What We Have
Learn to appreciate what you have before time forces you to appreciate what you had. – Unknown
Apple never ceases to amaze me. The company regularly holds news conferences to introduce its next generation of shiny “must have” devices. Even if we are perfectly content with our current phones or iPads or watches, now we can purchase something even BETTER. In marketing terms, this is “creating need” for a product. In emotional terms, it reflects the distractions and advertising saturation in our lives tempting us with the “next new thing.”
Indeed, our economy runs on sales, and as a marketing/public relations professional, I COMPLETELY get it. More/newer products translate into increased sales. Why settle for only one choice of pasta when you can purchase 15 different types of noodles? Why possess only one mobile device when you can own seven? I bet you never thought about monitoring how many steps you take everyday or the quality of your sleep before the availability of wearable technology. And car manufacturers are notorious for introducing new models every year, making your current ride obsolete.
As a consequence, we never seem content with the products we already own. Instead, we are constantly yearning for something bigger, better, newer, shinier … it is a vicious cycle.
And this constant bombardment, especially on social media where keeping up with the Jones’ is taken to an entirely new level, makes many of us unhappy. We are continually reminded of what we don’t have – whether it is the “perfect” body, the “perfect” car or the “perfect” lifestyle.
Few if any messages remind us of what we DO have.
Temptation for things we don’t have is everywhere. Without a doubt, it’s difficult to control the messages pouring out of the traditional media, or your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram feeds. But you CAN control how you react to them.
Start by being sincerely happy for what you DO have, right now, today. Once you start taking a “gratitude inventory” of your life, you will quickly realize just how much you do possess. With gratitude as your foundation, the next step involves making the conscious choice to be happy. And in my mind, there is no excuse not to be happy. No matter what you do or do not own, you wake up every day on our beautiful earth breathing and conscious – which, let me tell you, beats the alternative. If you are truly dissatisfied with your possessions, let it be the motivation for positive change. But be conscious of the reasons WHY you are unhappy. If it is simply because you own last year’s model, you may want to rethink your happiness quotient.
It’s okay to want the latest phone, or save up for a new car or a vacation to Europe. But in the meantime, be happy with what you currently possess. I am happy that my 5S phone does its job, I am grateful my old-school mattress still supports my back (without the need for memory foam) and I am thrilled that apps still function on my three-year-old iPad.
I am happy. Very happy. Although a new pasta maker would be nice … LOL!
Dr. Lori Baker-Schena is the founder and chief executive officer of Baker Schena Communications, a firm dedicated to “Unleashing Your Potential Through the Power of Words.” We offer motivational speaking, leadership consulting and medical writing services. Find us at www.loribakerschena.com