You’re making your list and checking it twice. You are bombarded with holiday advertising from every direction. New catalogs show up at your door, even though you chose to opt out and the internet seems to know exactly what you want.
Tempted and teased, your desire to acquire becomes stronger in December. Store lighting is merrier, malls are thriving, and pretty things look even prettier. Everything is on sale. You work hard, so you deserve it. A purchase is so easy to justify. Just a little something.
And then the little something snowballs, as you get that taste of acquiring something new. You might experience a mood boost, excitement with the thrill of the chase and opening up something shiny and new.
Unfortunately your purchase high is fleeting. The moment fades faster than you remember and all you are left with is more stuff.
How to Silence the Desire to Acquire
Write it down. Before you make an unnessesary purchase, write it down. Create a “want list” and jot things down that interest you. After 30 days revisit the item. Reconcile the feeling of wanting something with the urgency of owning it. It can probably wait. For most things on the list, desire fades.
Buy nada and see how it feels to put a complete ban on shopping. Just like eating sugar makes you want to eat more sugar. Shopping can spark a desire for more shopping. Stop the cycle.
Pay with your time. Before you make a purchase, do the math. Figure out how many hours you have to work to afford the item. If you find out that you have put in a days worth of labor or more, your item might not seem so attractive.
Be with people who have less. Spend an hour feeding hungry people and see if that brand new whatever it is matters as much. I promise it won’t.
Exercise. If shopping is your Valium, it’s time to find a new medication. Take a walk or go to a yoga class instead. That will make you feel even better.
Reject the allure of stuff and enjoy real gifts. Nothing that comes in a box will replace inspiration, joy, laughter, love, friendship or true happiness.
Desire is a powerful emotion that can motivate you to do all kinds of good. When you notice yourself struggling with the desire to acquire, ask this question: What do I want more? You can have what you desire most in life when you make it more important than something you can pick up at the mall.
You do work hard and deserve wonderful things, but when you realize that the things you most desire aren’t really things, you will finally silence the desire to acquire.