It is a common experience that any goal set by one is not enough when achieved. In fact when comes closer to the goal, instead of feeling happy or even thrilled that you achieved what you set out to do, our minds start thinking the reason why that goal was not the right one in the first place. In fact, we do not need to see goal directed phenomenon to understand the attitude of “not enough”. When we compare ourselves with our forefathers who lived some decades or centuries back, we see that what they thought was “luxury” is thought of us as “ordinary”. And still we do not feel like the rich of the yesteryears.
It is not important why this happens. What is important is to think about how we can overcome this phenomenon to feel more satisfied in life. One of the key reasons why this happens is that we compare ourselves with the people we see regularly including out relatives and friends. We try and average out the “perceived hedonistic level” of those people and mark our “better” with that level. Of course, this is a dynamic excercise and is bound to cause a lot of anxiety due to its changing nature, subjective evaluation and lack of transparent numbers for comparison. People are continuously stressed about “Keeping up with the Joneses”.
How do we tone down the desire in us to compare and put our life in hands of the people that surround us? How do we decide our consumption based on what is meaningful and enough for us? It indeed is a tough question and even tougher to implement in real life. It requires one to be comfortable with oneself and not associate one’s self-esteem with what one has. When one decouples one’s identity with the objects that one possesses, one has the hope of becoming free of the bondage of comparison.
Of course, this is not easy and that is why most of the people who choose such a lifestyle try to find out other people who are doing the same. By seeing other people going through the same challenges, one gains strength emotionally and creative ways of leading such a life intellectually. So if you are interested in becoming free, try and find out people who can help you do so. These people could be on the internet, in the books they have written or some meetup that happens in your city. By seeing one’s ideals reflected in the world, one’s conviction grows.