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Lifestyle Mental Performance Networking

What Matters Most.

It’s almost Christmas and I have to admit, I’ve been too busy to actually notice. I’ve been busy at work, home and everywhere in between. It feels a little weird and I can’t seem to get into the season’s spirit. Instead of being joyful, the season feels more stressful. I remember when I finally got around Christmas shopping with my brother. The mall is a disaster this time of year. The roads are crammed and feel like it’s rush hour; finding parking is almost impossible and when you get to the mall, you’re not even sure exactly what you’re looking for. Instead of feeling jolly and festive, it feels more of a chore. I feel like I got caught up with preparing for the season that I actually forgot to enjoy it myself.

christmas stress

I grew up in a small farm where we didn’t have much. We didn’t have fancy christmas trees decorated with bright lights. The closest thing we had to a mall was the wet market downtown. We didn’t have the latest and most advanced gadgets but I remember celebrating the holidays back there; everybody was warm and a lot more enjoyable to be around. Because we didn’t have the luxury of many external things, we relied more on what actually mattered. I remember the best holidays that I’ve had were abundant with laughters and memories with my family and closest friends. The joy that I felt was more sincere and fulfilling. The value exchange was more internal and long lasting compared to any material things.

Be self aware and put things into perspective. This season is a time to get together and enjoy the company of people that mean a lot to you. Christmas doesn’t have to be worldly-minded and commercialized. Be imaginative. Think about alternatives and a different approach for celebrating the holidays. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much money you can spend on expensive things; it’s about how personal and creative you can be. Be assertive at knowing other’s perception of value then find out what the most meaningful gift would be. Most of us have too many “things” in our lives anyway. Having more is not necessarily a bad thing but how do you make the season a lot more memorable? The best gifts I’ve received are usually things not bought from a store. I personally would rather get something they made with a heart felt hand written letter. Your words, thoughts and effort could mean so much more than anything they offer in the mall.

Despite the business of the season, slow down and take a deep breath. Remember what this time of the year really means. Don’t lose sight of what actually matters. You can always earn the money back but time wasted is gone for good. Put more effort into creating memories and building relationships, not in just buying the newest gadgets. At the end of the day, that’s what really matters more than what money could buy.

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Lifestyle Mental Performance

Do You Really Need That?

After I’ve packed up all my personal belongings and moved out of my parent’s house back in the day, I was shocked to see how much excess things I bought that I don’t even use anymore.

There it was, in my parent’s basement collecting dust. Boxes, after boxes. Pile, after pile. I shook my head in disbelief.

pile of clothes
“What a waste of money!” I said to myself in disappointment. Looking back now, I could’ve used all that money for something else.

You name it, I had it. I owned designer jeans by the dozens. I had a lot of overpriced bags, expensive shirts and other crap that I thought would make me cool. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely worked.

You know that feeling you get when you buy something new and you can’t wait to wear it? The moment you put it on, you feel like a brand new person. You naturally pull your shoulders back, puff up your chest with a knowing smile on your face. You have a swagger in your step and you feel extra fly. You feel different and you behave in a confident way that generates a positive response from others. It’s a quick fix and all you needed was some free time and a credit card.

“Holy shit, this is awesome!” your self-esteem recognizes that compliment and feels rewarded.

Subconsciously, your brain associates wearing new clothes with confidence. To the internally naive individual, this is a pit fall. It’s dangerous, and quite expensive, to rely on external things for validation. It’s true, shopping definitely has a therapeutic feel to it. The only problem is, the results are temporary and hard to sustain. When the novelty of the clothing piece wears off, there goes your self-esteem because your personal satisfaction is short lived.

I’m the first to admit, I like having nice things. I do enjoy them, just as much as the next brand whore. I still buy them and love wearing them. Except now, I have a different view on spending my hard earned money.

I use it to complement who I am and represent my personality, not make up for my shortcomings.

“Buy once, buy right.”

Nowadays, I would rather own a few timeless items that I really love than have a bunch of shitty ones I really don’t care for. I invested on a few pairs of well made shoes, high quality jeans, well fitting shirts and jackets. That’s it. Anything more than that is excessive. Things add up fast and by being efficient with how you spend your money with clothes, you can spend it on things that actually matter more.

Building relationships and giving value is always in style. Using your money to make someone’s day has a more rewarding feel to it than buying material crap. Great dinner with friends, creating experiences with your family, going to places you’ve never been to or even seminars to better yourself are some examples. Those memories will last you a life time because the exchange of value was a lot deeper. The experienced shared is more meaningful than something extremely shallow and superficial. You’ll find yourself happier and feel more fulfilled by doing this. The best investment you can make is with people and relationships.

So next time you stumble upon some extra cash and you’re itching to hit up the mall for some fresh threads, take a quick sec bro.

Think twice and ask yourself, “Do you really need that?”