1. Memories remain a whole life, things just don’t
How long did you wear your Converse shoes? How many bags did you buy in your life and how many of those broke after a while? And how many of your clothes which you have bought in your life, do you still have? You paid hundreds of dollars for shoes, shirts and trousers of popular brands just to be something special?
You pay money for something that just survives a couple of months or even years but as soon as it’s broken, you will forget about it.
You buy stuff you don’t actually need. It’s in your cupboard and you get it out once a year when you sort your clothes. But then you don’t throw it away because there might be a situation where you actually need exactly that piece of clothes.
Does that sound familiar to you? Isn’t it crazy to pay money for things we don’t use and to have them “just in case“. I can only recommend you to change that behavior and rather spend your money in moments and experiences than in material stuff.
- You won’t forget the day you jumped off an aeroplane.
- You won’t forget you saw the milky way in the middle of a desert.
- You won’t forget the day a landscape has simply taken your breath away.
- You won’t forget the day you struggled during an exhausting hike, overcome your pain and the moment you finally finish it.
- You won’t forget the day a unfamiliar person helps you in a situation which seems hopeless and those situations will happen if you go out and make experiences.
It’s just as simple: You will remember the experience you made for a longer period of time. Of course some you won’t remember your whole life. But the important ones you will remember forever and they will conjure up a smile on your lips each time you remember it.
Some of your best memories will come from some of your most foolish decisions.
Things are for the moment or for a certain period of time. You cannot live completely without things but minimizing your life and only owning what you really need will increase your freedom, it will declutter your life and make you happier. If you want to minimize your life but don’t know where to start, get advice from Declutter Clinic.
2. Moments and memories can be experienced for free
Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you afford to live in it. Ellen Goodman
That’s one of my favorite quotes and it’s totally true for the majority of the first world’s population.
You cannot acquire things for free. You either buy or exchange them. Moments and memories can be experienced for free. Not all of course. But a lot of memories in our lives are made without spending any money.
You only need to commit to it and allow it. Memories are not only made during travel. You can discover new things and make a lot of memories with your friends at home which do not include any money.
I remember that day earlier that year. It was one of the first sunny days of 2014. Two friends and I went to a place close to the riverside and just spend the afternoon there, laying in the grass and talking.
I remember that night in January where some friends and I had the first BBQ of the year with a small electric BBQ on my balcony.
I remember that night we had a game night at a friend’s place. Everyone left about 1 AM and a friend of mine and me went outside until 7 AM walking around, talking and taking funny pictures.
I remember that evening watching the football match Argentina vs. The Netherlands with other Argentina fans hoping that they achieve the final against Germany.
I remember the evening I cooked vegetable soup with a friend here on the Galapagos as we were both sick of rice. A vegetable soup has never been tastier.
All these moments happened this year and I didn’t pay anything or only very few money. Those are memories of great moments, I will not forget easily and that will make me smile when I remember them. Each of these memories are worth more than all my clothes together. Those are moments that made me happy.
3. Things cannot be shared with others
Yes I know you can also share things. But not in the same sense. You buy it together and one person can use it or you use it together. But having memories together will bring you closer together, will make you have something in common and have something to remind yourself of.
I made the experience that group trips for a couple of days like the 3 day Uluru camping trip are so intense. You are together 24 hours and share a lot of stories and moments together. It’s incredible how close you can get with a total stranger after only spending three days together. Sure, you might not see them again after the tour, but you shared those days together and that’s what it makes so special.
I met a lot of people while traveling and I haven’t had contact to a lot of them since leaving a place. But I know if I visit a city where someone lives I got to know. I will send her/him a message and meet up. And I know there is always something to talk about as we made similar experiences and shared certain moments together. It is great to remember certain situations with old friends.
For example always when I meet my house mates from my time studying in England, we obviously always come up with some funny situations or crazy memories from that time like watching millions of Friends episodes one after another as there was nothing else on TV, my birthday when my house mates dressed up as the Spice Girls, the day an olive fell below the fridge or the day we broke our freezer and immediately got a new one from our landlord, the day we went out and came home with an incredible amount of small packages of sauces and a salad bowl. There are just endless memories I am happy I shared with someone special.
It’s great to have someone to share these memories with. Someone who experiences it with you. This is simply not possible with things.
4. Experiences will make you grow
This year I just wanna go on more adventures. Be around good energy. Connect with people. Learn new things. Grow.
This quote doesn’t include something like this year I want to buy 10 new pairs of shoes.
Things are just there, you can wear them, you can use them and that’s about it. But experiences will make you grow, will make you change your state of mind, will make you learn and will help you to bring forward your life.
You will learn so much by talking to other people, by taking up a new hobby, by traveling, by trying out things you’ve never done before. You will especially learn a lot about yourself which helps you to bring your life in your desired direction.
By trying something new, you might recognize a new passion you’ve never even considered. By talking to other people you might get inspired, you learn about their points of view and get a greater understanding of a certain subject.
Especially when you immerse yourself in a foreign culture, you will end up learning so much new things of other people and get to know yourself so much better.
You will never get this far with things.
So, I hope I convinced you to start decluttering your life, don’t buy more stuff you don’t need and instead make memories.
Collect moments, not things.
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