I frequently coach people who genuinely believe that buying things will make them happy. Time after time they realize that buying stuff really doesn’t affect their long term happiness. Sure, there is a buzz that comes from buying something you like but it doesn’t resolve the underlying things that are vital to fulfillment. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy buying things, it just requires that you put some thought into why you buy stuff. If you buy objects with the hopes of feeling better about yourself, I have some basic questions you can ask yourself to help you focus on what’s really going on.
1. Do I really need this object?
2. How am I focusing on fixing the deeper issues in my life?
3. Do I feel less whole when I can’t shop?
4. In what ways does buying things affect my emotions?
5. Does shopping help me postpone feeling emotions?
6. Do I hide the fact that I buy stuff from others?
7. Do I have to buy other stuff to keep the buzz going?
8. In what other areas of my life could I devote more energy and thought?
9. Could my money be used for long-term success?
10. How am I defined by my things?
The answers to these questions will help you get some perspective on how your buying habits affect your life. There’s nothing wrong or horrible with buying nice things unless it prevents you from looking at the deeper stuff in life.