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Learning to be content with what you have and not focus on what you don’t have can make all the difference in how satisfied you are with your life.

So often we chase after excess stuff we don’t need – exuberant cars, clothes, TVs, phones, laptops, or whatever – and this constant striving can be the cause of much pain and suffering.

When you always want more, then you can never be happy with what you already have.

A new product comes out and you feel you need to get your hands on it to be happy. When you don’t get what you want, you become disappointed and angry at yourself. And when you do get what you want, it’s usually only a temporary high that wears off quickly.

Our commercialized culture has made us addicts to new products and luxuries. We crave new possessions and cling to old ones. It seems that no amount of material goods can satiate our growing appetites.

But as our desires grow, so does the work, effort, and money needed to maintain our high standard living.

“You have to own a lot of stuff to be happy” is one of the many things society says you need to do (but you really don’t).

More stuff means more things we need to take care of and more things we need to worry about losing. So while we think “more stuff” will make us happy, it actually makes us more stressed out.

And the detrimental effects of “excess” aren’t just limited to wealth. We get similarly addicted to excess relationships, excess work, excess habits, or excess goals.

Life is easiest when we cut out the excess and focus on the essentials. Examine the stuff that make up your life and ask yourself, “Is this something I really need in my life or am I just clinging to it because I think I need it to be happy?”

Focus on the essentials and sign up to The Emotion Machine mailing list.

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