Today I was doing some final checks on what I will take to the UK. I will be there
for a bit, then go to Italy, come back, stay in the UK for a month or more and then
go to Italy again and then I may come back to Lithuania. I’m still thinking if I
should come back to my home country or stay in UK because I’ve missed London
While I was packing and planning my trips, I started to think about a good friend of
mine. She absolutely loves travelling and discovering new cultures and traditions.
However in the four years that I’ve spend visiting many countries in Western
Europe, she hasn’t been to any. During those four years she got married, got a
mortgage and got stuck in an accountancy firm which drains her every single day.
I met her a week or so after I came back to Lithuania. I haven’t seen her for four
years, so I couldn’t wait to meet her. When we met, I was surprised to discover
how different we became. We used to be best friends at school, we used to be
inseparable and we shared the same likes and dislikes about everything. Yet the
person I met that day was entirely different to the person I knew some time ago.
She looked pale, she didn’t have any sparkle in her eyes. The joyous smile which
used to never leave her face was gone. She talked about the struggle that she was
in, the difficulties with her mortgage payments, disagreements with her family and
frustration at work. Yes, it was a usual tale of a voluntary struggler.
Her situation made me think about how people get so stuck that they can’t even
allow themselves to do what they enjoy most. As I was thinking about that I’ve
identified some factors that cause such situation. By far the most important factor
(and probably the least addressed one) I’ve identified is the burden of material
possessions. Not much thought is given to this aspect of our lives which enslave us
instead of making us happy.
How people get chained down by material possessions
Without even becoming conscious of that, most people get stuck in life because
they buy houses, pets, cars and get plenty of useless things that make it almost
impossible for them to move or radically change their lifestyles should they wish to
do so. They cannot afford to do what they like because all their money goes into
the recurring payments of their material possessions or they compulsively buy more
stuff that create misery instead of happiness.
People don’t give enough thought about buying things that will take up their time
or require some form of commitment. People buy pets without realizing how much
care they need and how many arrangements they will need to make when it comes
to holidays or anything to do with leaving their home for more than a day. People
get mortgages without understanding how many holidays they will have to miss to
make timely mortgage payments and how long they will have to slave for the debt
to be repaid. People have children without understanding if they are really ready to
be parents and whether their children will have the best conditions to grow up in.
This lack of thinking about long term consequences creates misery and regret.
Furthermore, it chains you down because you create responsibilities you are not
ready for or don’t want. Social pressure also forces people to make decisions
without thinking them through.
How material possessions control you
Material possessions have the tendency to create responsibilities that chain people
down. If you buy home on finances you have the responsibility to pay your
mortgage; If you buy a plant you have to water it; If you buy something expensive
you tend to keep it safe and worry about it.
Material possessions create fear, worry, insecurity, competition, guilt, jealousy and
all other kinds of negativity you should avoid at all costs. The less possessions you
have, therefore, the more happy you become. That’s why people who are not
locked down by mortgages and other costly payments are the happiest people in
the world. They are called “free souls” and voluntary strugglers look at them with
wonder and disbelief.
Some people even think that the amount of material possessions you gather shows
how successful you are in life. Such thinking creates competition and misery
instead of happiness that should be the result of success. People who make the
gathering of material possessions their sole goal are always disappointed once their
goal is achieved. This is because material possessions are the byproducts of our
creativity, so they should never be the final goal.
Most people get into the material possessions’ trap because they follow the heard
and ignore their own voice of sanity. They think that what the masses do is what’s
good and therefore they thoughtlessly enslave themselves.
Most people, if asked what they work for, would find it difficult to answer this
question simply because they do what they see others doing instead of thinking
with their own heads. Some of them would answer that the reason they work so
hard is to keep up with the payments for the stuff they own. It’s sad when this is
the purpose of people’s lives because such goal will never make anyone happy.
Only when the responsibilities for material possessions start strangling people do
some of them realize that such struggle is pointless. But then they think that it’s
too late to change anything so they stay in their unfulfilling situation. But it’s never
too late to end this insanity. You don’t have to own the stuff that others think you
should. You don’t have to have kids and you don’t have to get married. You don’t
have to work 9-5 and you don’t have to have a controlling boss. You can make a
better choice and end this loop of struggle at any time.
How to undo the chains you put upon yourself
I’m not saying however than owning anything is bad for you. The stuff is here for
you to enjoy it, but when people take material possessions too seriously, the
unhappiness begins. So if you find yourself unhappy although you own many
things, there are certain steps you can take to free yourself from this misery.
To set yourself free you should sell the things that drain you and make you
miserable. Also try to change your opinion about the purpose of the material
possessions. Try to understand that stuff is here for you to experience and enjoy.
Stuff you own helps to decide who you are. If you like some stuff, it as though
defines some aspect of you. If you don’t like something, you know what you would
like instead and that also defines who you are. So stuff is like a medium that helps
to identify your personality.
Although material possessions help you identify your own likes and dislikes, you
should not identify with the stuff. It’s a tool you can use but not the thing that
should control you. If you get really upset when you lose something, this is the
indication that you let material possessions control you. If this is the case, get rid
most of your stuff because that will allow you to feel the freedom that you’ve been
Cancel monthly subscriptions that don’t give you the peace of mind. Do away with
things such as memberships if they mean to you less than the freedom. The more
stuff (and thus responsibilities attached to them) you will get rid of, the more free
you will feel.
When you free yourself from material possessions, the whole world of new
opportunities will open to you. You may suddenly realize that you can indeed create
your own business and live off the income it produces because you are not chained
by huge monthly payments. You may even realize that you can travel more often
and longer than before. You will also likely to come to an understanding that life is
not about owning stuff and that material possessions create more misery than
happiness. Happiness comes from the experience of something, from higher
awareness levels and from realizing the power that you have within you and not
from the material possessions that you own.
The more you unchain yourself, the more you will feel like a free bird (that’s the
best way I can describe this feeling). You can lift off whenever you want, you are
not responsible for anything and you don’t need to depend on anyone. Some
people might consider such life irresponsible and childish and yet those who speak
this way are people who are chained down most and feel that they can’t do
anything about their situation.
Don’t get caught up in the life drama
Many people get caught up in the struggle game. They work to survive and their
whole focus is on survival or gathering more stuff rather than happiness. They look
how to make the ends meet instead of looking for ways to enhance life, make
themselves happier. They are so caught up in this game that they think it’s real.
They buy new stuff and if they can’t afford it they buy stuff on finances. They think
that they make wise decisions. In truth, they are largely influenced by companies,
governments and other people. Most people don’t think, they just react to what’s
happening around them.
This game looks very real to those who are still in it. They fear that they will lose
their possessions, they are scared because they are in debt and they worry about
insignificant things. They force themselves to go to work and be nice to people
they dislike. And this all seems to them inevitable.
If you find yourself in such situation, I encourage you to step away from this
insanity and take a good look at your life and the lives of all those who are in the
same struggle (most people). Try to view it objectively as though you are an
observer. The more you look at your life and the lives of other people from such
angle, the more patterns you will notice. Then you will start seeing the illusion of
struggle for stuff that most people are caught up in. You will see the insanity of it
Once you clearly see this illusion, here’s what will happen to you. You will start
doing the opposite of what the masses do. And this will lead you to freedom.
You will no longer spend money on useless things as other people do. You no
longer buy stuff because other people do. You will start thinking with your own
head and so your decisions will lead you to a different destination than where the
masses are headed. You will no longer thoughtlessly accept the ideas of the masses
and therefore will appear unconventional to some. That’s completely okay and you
should actually be happy about it.
If you are starting to wake up from this struggle game, congratulations! I’m always
happy to hear from my readers who understood the illusion that masses buy into.
It’s freeing to know that you don’t have to do what other people do. You are a free
soul so don’t let anyone chain you down – not people, not possessions.
Don’t be afraid to unchain yourself from all those responsibilities that cause
unhappiness. Free yourself and open yourself to the real life that is waiting for you
to wake up. It’s the whole world out there, don’t bury yourself whilst you’re alive.
Travel, pursue your hobbies, have meaningful relationships, have new experiences
– that’s what the life is all about!
This article was written by a success coach Simona Rich.
Visit her website for many more transformational self
improvement articles at personal-development-coach.net.
Follow Simona Rich on twitter at twitter.com/simonarich.