“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but these days it seems like we are bombarded by all the stuff we should be or buy. My definition of stuff, in this context, is all the stuff you’re supposed to want or have to show others you arrived. The impressive job, car, house, clothes, the 360 horsepower turbo boosted seaweed wrapped mani-pedi…. fill in the blank. I get it. I’ve had a lot of stuff. Still do.
The crazy thing is now that I have more time on my hands, the less stuff I want. Not because I have less money. It’s actually about the same or a little more. I just noticed that pursuing stuff often means we miss going all out for the few things that really matter in life. What really matters is a question only you can answer for yourself. For me, these days, it’s love, legacy and leisure.
The problem that is the more stuff I have, the more stuff management I have to do. Stuff breaks down. You can lose and be sued for your stuff. People can steal, repossess, foreclose and fire you from your stuff. I have so much stuff, I can’t find the stuff I’m looking for because it’s always hidden by my other stuff. (Don’t act like I’m the only one. I can see you from here.)
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying stuff isn’t important. It is. I just realized that I’m not all that good at nor do I really enjoy stuff management. Furthermore, in the past, management of my stuff has actually meant that I haven’t been as great in managing relationships as I want to be. If I have to be crappy at one, which one should I choose? Hmm.
Here’s the ironic thing. Nearly everything material thing we need to survive actually comes from others, especially our stuff. More importantly, relationships can give us non-tangibles, like love, for example, that our stuff never can.
Want to hear my big revelation? I think John Lennon would have gotten this right at 5 years old.
If you have to choose between stuff and relationships, choose relationships.
If you don’t know exactly what you want to be, choose happy.