How do you have a fulfilling life when messages of the need to get bigger, better things and more money are being thrown at you?
Everybody wants to be rich. Most of us want to have more than enough money and most of us are fearful about not having enough money. There is nobody I know who feels like he has enough money. Nobody has declared that he is 100% satisfied with his salary or business income. There is always something else to buy. Have you noticed that having the "latest" is a big fat lie? If your objective is to have the latest of anything you are going to be in problems. Say you buy the latest phone out there, the likes of Infinix model owned by John, have a look at my Sony Ericsson model where i am typing this from, say Samsung S6 which makes Peter want to have a look at its features every now and then not forgetting Victor's Hp Pavilion laptop and iPad. Someone joked that one can take a shower inside that phone. Back to the point, isn't it just a matter of time before a new version comes out? It's the same thing with a car. There already exists a newer model of that car. Trying to have the latest is like trying to catch a mosquito. You never seem to quite be able to catch it and even the few times you do, another one quickly appears. Even if it's not about the latest, there are more luxury brands of shoes and clothes to buy. There are always more holiday destinations to go to. There is always a new restaurant to try out. Now, I am not saying that these things are necessarily bad, but to be able to put things in perspective, we have to keep our sanity when messages of bigger, better, smarter and faster are constantly being thrown at us.
The state of enough money is also elusive because expenses will always go up. Bread costs more than it did five years ago. It costs less than it will five years from now. Maybe you have been working for a while. Think back to your income five years ago. It's probably a lot more in absolute terms. If you had been given this income five years back you might have thought that it would be enough. However we tend to spend more as we earn more.
In some ways it's unavoidable as expenses increase. You have to put food on the table, take your children to school and pay rent at ever increasing cost. On the flip side, our unchecked appetite for more things means that we will never have enough money. Even if we convenience ourselves that a specific amount of money is enough, it will not be. If you want $10 million and you get it, you will probably want $15 millio=n. When you get that, you will chase after $20 million and so on.
So, if you will never have enough money or if we are always trying to acquire the latest, isn't it time to change our perspective? Indeed it is. Firstly, accept that the latest gadget will not make you happy. Money does not in itself bring fulfillment. That new phone is like a plastic sheet covering a hole in the ground. The sheet can hide the hole for a while, but the fact is that the hole still exists. For a while you may be distracted by the beauty of the sheet and forget there is a hole, when you get tired of the sheet, you can even replace it with one of a different colour and get distracted again temporarily. However, there is still a hole that cannot be filled by plastic. We all need to find what fills our hole. What gives our fulfillment?
That is when we can finally get the experience of enough and use money as a tool where need be, rather than deluding ourselves that it is the end destination. Imagine the depressing life of believing that the latest item gives you this fulfilment or fill your hole, only for newer versions of that same item to keep coming out. When we take people through a process of discovering this in our personal financial management, people are able to come to terms with truly important things such as control over their time, time with family, travel, spiritual growth, the desire to have an impact in different areas, quality life for family e.t.c.
Are there people who have come out and said they want a specific car? Absolutely! But the motive for now is completely different. It's just an experience they want to have and not about a never-ending cycle of having the latest. Once you also realize money is not going to be enough, you also stop waiting to do certain things. Once you realize this, you will plan and go for family holiday. Don't get into debt over it but intentionally plan for it if it's one of the things you truly value. It's not really how much you have spent but the fact that you have taken time away. You don't have to wait for money to spend time with people who are important to you. Just do it. You may find that you are wasting a lot of time doing things that are not truly important to you. You don't have to wait for money to help others. You can make a difference by just being available e.g volunteering, mentoring, etc.
Start filling the hole from wherever you are, do not wait for the perfect place or destination. Money will probably never be enough.