Photo Credit: Apple

You got out of the iStore, still feeling the purity of the room inside. Your senses was still captivated by the perfection of the devices you just adoringly hold for few minutes. You’re captivated. You’re hooked. You are in-love. “If I have an iPad, boy I’d be terrifically happy!”

Then someday you got it, the shiny and intrinsically designed awesomeness by Apple. You fondled it for days and you gazed at it with delight, on every angle. You can’t help praising the beauty of its interface. You walked into a party and elegantly launched your symbol of elegance, onlookers can’t hide their admiration. “Wow! Is that really an iPad Air? I mean the thinnest with A7 chip, latest with iOS7?”

Boy, you’re happy!


I’m not that religious crazy prophet that shouts to the crowd “Money and things are EVEEEL!” I don’t believe that they are fundamentally evil but the perverse love of them, obsession, and prioritizing them over more important matters of life like relationship, friendship, and good morals are what makes them malevolent.

Money is amoral, it only take side with the person using it. It is innocent like knife and fire. I believe in good stewardship of it, as the Bible teaches it, as affirmed by Dave Ramsey and Robert Kiyosaki.

Let’s be honest. The feeling of high that new things (gadgets, shoes, cars, etc.) brings us have expiration date. Rarely the happiness of purchasing a new smartphone would linger in your spirit for more than a week. Things are only glasses of fleeting happiness, not rivers.

But in our culture of hyper consumerism, having lot of new, cool and branded things means “SATISFACTION”. Just step in a mall and you’ll be bombarded by the culture ideal. “You’re not really living if you don’t have this! This is the secret of a happy life, get it now while it is on discount! We can’t believe you managed to smile without our product for years!”

Advertisements conceived by geniuses and funded with millions of dollars made us believe that we can’t live without their products. And yes, some products are absolutely essential in our life. We’re living in the Information Age so we have to embrace tools that puts leverage on us so we can keep up with the flow of life. But do we really need to upgrade our tools because there’s a new thinner and sexier version? Upgrading your smartphone every six months? Think. You can also use principles on purchasing not just your wavy emotions.

Even you have pile of cash and you can buy it doesn’t mean you need to buy it! Your ability to purchase is not an obligation to purchase. With the rise of the #easy-to-get-credit-cards, irresponsible spending is on mayhem! Now, it is much easier to let our childish ways to control our adult self in spending. People craving for shallow affirmation are buying things that they can’t really afford to impress those people that they don’t really like. What happened to us? How can we be so deluded and overspend like airheads?

Thomas Stanley, author of the Stop Acting Rich: … And Start Living a Real Millionaire, cited a study in that proves the point we need to hear:

A study conducted by Ryan Howell, an assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, and presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, showed that people are made happier by experiences than by things. So, I suppose, if you are going to spend like you are rich, at least do it on social interactions that will actually make you happy, such as taking vacations or going to the theater. As an added bonus, Ryan’s study indicated that cost is not important; just have a life experience — one that has the added benefit t of enhancing the lives of loved ones and friends around you.

Take your ogling eyes off from the advertisements and think about what really make you smile, what really makes you happy. Is it really the 20 megapixel camera in your smartphone or the moment you’re capturing with your loved ones? The things or the hearts?

What are the rivers of authentic happiness and contentment? You know them. They are the people you can’t afford to lose. It is the job, business or service where you are contributing your core talents and passions. It is on your religious affiliation where you know you are connected bigger and more significant than yourself. And the ocean of happiness? You might not share my belief, but I believe it can only be found in God.

Let’s not attach ourselves to things, they don’t have souls! They can’t give you pulsating meaning because they are only engineered to give benefits and symbols. Use things but always focus on what really matters. Advertisements push to buy what’s cool, but our hearts really know what we need: relationship, cause, purpose – the warm ones.

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