A simple trick that could save you a lot of energy and money
Here’s a little game you can play to help identify what you really want.
And by that I mean, filter out the things that you really want from the things you only think you want.
Ok, so imagine you’re on holiday in the Bahamas. You’re sitting in a deck chair, drinking a cocktail. There’s nothing to do but watch the pool boy on his rounds. You’ve had a big sleep in, and tonight you’re going to go dancing and/or get drunk.
Sounding pretty fabulous right?
And so you might be thinking, yeah, a holiday in the Bahamas is what I need. I’d love that.
Ok, now imagine a second scenario.
You’re at home. You’ve taken the week off work and asked the family to piss off to the inlaws place for a couple of weeks. You’ve turned the wifi off, and there’s nothing you need to do. You’ve had a big sleep in, and now you’re sitting on the back deck, with a cool beer to go with lunch, wondering whether tonight you’ll read a book or watch a movie.
Also sounds pretty fabulous right.
And really, the only difference between scenario one and scenario two is the physical geography.
And how much difference does that really make?
I mean sure, if you were coming from England where it rains 600 days of the year, the idea of a week with sun, in and of its self, would be pretty exciting.
But we live in Australia. Most of us live within driving distance of world-class beaches. And if anything, it’s too sunny.
So I always laugh when people talk about having an island holiday. I say, ‘you know we live on an island right?’
Most people need to have this realisation first hand. I know quite a few students who have cracked the code and have started working for themselves, able to take their laptop and their work with them anywhere in the world.
And so they go to the Bahamas – or Bali, or Fiji, or Byron Bay. But then they find that it’s not that awesome. They’ve got to work. They’ve got to stay engaged in the world.
The reason why the island holiday is so attractive as a dream is not because of the physical geography, but because of what we’re doing there. It’s not about sand, it’s about chilling out, winding down and switching off.
This sounds obvious when I talk about it, but you’d be surprised at how common this mistake is.
I mean, imagine owning a convertible sports car… Does that sound attractive? If you’re like most people, you picture yourself driving along a coastal road, your partner sitting next to you, no kids in the back seat, take-away coffee in hand, on the hunt for somewhere fabulous to have lunch.
And you look at that mental picture, and think, yeah, that looks great. Owning a convertible would be awesome.
But the car itself has almost nothing to do with the felt-experience of that story. If I’m on holidays with my hubby, totally cruising to our own agendas, I could be in a 1984 Hyundai for all I care.
Or what about a boat? You probably see yourself out on the water, laughing with your friends, having prawns and champagne.
But give me good friends, prawns and champagne, and I could be in a kiddie pool in the back yard for all it’s matter.
The point is, the things we want in life are almost never material possessions. They are, by and large, felt experiences. That’s what makes us happy.
And if we’re looking at actual possessions, then it’s about what those possessions enable us to do – get away from it all, spend time with friends etc.
If we can wrap our heads around this, it can save us a tonne of energy and money.
How many jet skis are out there, sitting in garages, that have only been used a handful of times?
Happiness comes when we focus on what really makes us happy.
But it’s easier said than done.