Why We Always Want More
Your desire is actually not for the object itself, but for the end of the longing for that object. – Steven Wesley
For every eight out of ten people, life is about wanting more than what they have. Seldom do we come across people who are satisfied with what they have in the present moment. However, wanting more or the desire for more is a mindset. People are not born with it but usually, adapt to the mentality as they age and due to the pressure of the surrounding environment.
Society conditions us to want and possess more to be happy in life. This yearning remains in the years to come and gradually becomes an inseparable part of our notion about life. Though a complete paradox, it is important to start shifting this mindset.
Where Does This Feeling Stem From?
The desire to want more is present in most human beings. Everybody is in search of growth and expansion. People focus their attention on the procurement of materialistic things through money, along with the want for other possessions, power, and status. This feeling often causes both an internal and external conflict in individuals. Our desire to acquire material things drives us away from our true nature and enjoying the present. It is in the present moment that you discover true happiness. The future is far removed. The current moment is what we call the ever-present reality. Now, if you take a closer look at the feeling of longing, you will get the idea that it is not wanting more but wanting it all. This is the ultimate reality of humans.
Understanding What is Enough for You
“How much is enough for me?” This is a question very few tend to ask themselves in the course of their daily doings. The question is applicable for money, happiness, free time, and materialistic things as well. Nevertheless, when asked the most common replies are usually “more than what I have today” or “a lot.”
However, how do you know how much is enough for you? Answering the following three questions might help you figure that out:
1) What are your dreams and how do you define them?
Figure out what you want. The more detailed you get about it, the better. Think of the lifestyle you have at present and the one that you dream of having. Once you have it figured, think of the reasons for these desires. Why do you want a bigger car or an expensive house? After you have answered all the “why’s” you are likely to come to a point where you simply desire to be happy.
2) What will the dreams cost?
The next thing is to figure out the cost of your dreams. By costs, we are not just talking about money, but time as well. When it comes to shaping your dreams, having enough money is not the only parameter. You also need the required time to turn your dreams into reality. Create an estimate of the number of weeks or months required to achieve it. For example, if you want to own a magnificent villa, chalk out the time you need to conduct appropriate market research, consult agents and then shortlist the properties that might interest you.
Though it may take less time than approximated, it is necessary to have a time estimate.
3) What actions are required to get you there?
Next, comes the actions required to achieve your dreams. In most cases, it is dedicating enough time, while not wasting too much of it. Look out for effective ways in which you can save time. The 80/20 Rule, for example, can be a great way to give it a start. Nevertheless, the question is – how much of the extras in life do you need to give up to achieve this? Now, forfeiting those little extras does not entail depriving yourself of enjoyment. It means finding out ways in which a little effort on your part can help save both money and time.
How to Break Out of The Cycle
Breaking out of the cycle of desire and wanting more begins by asking yourself a few difficult questions. However, most importantly, it requires you to reconsider your priorities.
Figure Out Your Needs
The first step of breaking the cycle is figuring out your needs, not wants. Speaking of necessities, food, water, shelter, clothing, communication, and reliable means of transportation is usually enough to complete your list of essentials. Everything else that we want or desire is additional. It is important to understand the basic difference between basic needs and wants.
Your Source of True Happiness
We all need to realize that materialistic things do not always equate to happiness. True happiness is acquired from within. Gadgets and other stuff can make you happy for a few months, weeks, or hours. However, doing things that you are passionate about, spending time with your loved ones, and being a part of their experiences is what will keep you happy till the end.
Realizing the Artistic and Practical Value
A modest living does not mean giving up things that serve practical purposes or activities that you enjoy. It is utilizing the things you have in an optimum way to save time for things you love to do. For example, making use of a dishwasher to do your dishes can help you save time to play the music you love or teach others to play.
Breaking the mindset of wanting more requires altering the way you think about acquiring stuff and objects around you. Consider your basic needs, the environment and then critically assess the products you purchase. Analyze if you need them for regular use and whether they are environment-friendly and beneficial. Acquiring products that might suffice your daily living eventually becomes a habit. Nurturing this habit is the most effective way to break free from the desire of wanting more.
You might also like our article on Intention Setting to achieve what you really want. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo to start a lifestyle with thingy you really want.