Do you find it difficult being happy with what you've got? Are you always wishing that your life was different or that you had more material things? While it's good to have ambitions, we can easily become focused on longing for unachievable things or obsessed with money and spending. Here are some ways to focus on being happy with what you've got …
1. Having More Doesn't Make You Happy
One of the ways for being happy with what you've got is to realise that having it all doesn't automatically make your life perfect. The word affluenza was coined to describe people who can never have enough; they always feel that they have to acquire more money and possessions. Money may make you more comfortable, but rich people have problems too …
2. Need Vs Want
These days we think that we're deprived if we don't have a smart phone, computer and flat screen TV. Admittedly it's difficult to live modern life without access to the Internet. But a lot of what we think we need is actually what we want. Learn to appreciate the difference between needing and wanting something.
3. Retrain Your Focus
Sometimes you just need to retrain your focus and appreciate what you do have in your life. Maybe you don't have a big house and lots of cash, but you are raising awesome kids and have a partner who adores you. Your neighbors with a brand new car may have massive debts, and your sister's well-paying job could be stressing her. So you could be better off in some ways.
4. Look at Positives
What are the positives in your life? We all have some if we look hard enough. And by focusing on those positives, we spend less time thinking about what we wish we had. Why waste time thinking about what you don't have? The things that you do have are there all around you.
5. Live in the Present
While it's smart to think of the future, there's also a lot to be said for focusing on the present. Wishing that you had more money or a palatial mansion gets you nowhere; it's nice to dream, but it's also not realistic. People who live in the present are happier than those who are always living in the past or wishing that they had more.
Think about the simple things that you can enjoy. Do you love books? Spend an afternoon in the library or curled up in an armchair with a fantastic novel. Are there beautiful flowers in your garden, or does your child give you lovely smiles? There really are so many things that money can't buy.
7. Be Grateful
You don't have to be grateful that you're in a better position than people in other countries. That's not your fault. But we do all have many things to be grateful for. Think about what those things are - if you've got your health, that's an amazing asset. Other things, like a support network of family and friends, make a great difference to our lives and well-being.
Money and possessions aren't the only things in life. We need a certain amount of money to survive, but once our needs are met there are other things that should matter more. Do you know any materialistic people, and are they really happy?