Joshua Becker about a measure of success and respectability in the modern world:
I began to look at the world a bit differently since I decided to keep less stuff. I looked from another point of view on how the society measures a success. Too often those who earn, spend, and save more than others automatically become "successful."
But it’s bad. I know several wonderful people who decided not to focus on material things — and that’s why they are not considered to be successful.
The dependence on public approval has run deep in our mind. That’s why many people look for ’worthy’ occupation, building a face of their success.
Here’s a short list of things which don’t impress me anymore:
1. Fashion label
I’ll never understand why a brand on the label is so important. People pay to be a billboard on two legs far too often. I’m not surprised to see a logo on a shirt, a wallet or watch. Instead, I admire those able to impress with their personality or character.
2. Number of carats in jewelry
There’s a chapter in my new book about Brian and Nicole, who are married for five years, and they refuse something every day to pay off a debt for an engagement ring. Maybe someone admired the gem’s size, but most people didn’t even notice it. Was it worth such efforts?
3. Price of a car
Sure, safety is a thing of extreme importance, especially if we spend the majority of time driving. But now, high-priced and sports cars become more than just a transport: it’s rather a good way of causing the strangers’ admiration for 60 seconds on the stoplight.
4. Square footage of a house
Private houses provide us with stability and calm, and I was really proud buying a house for my family. But several years ago, we moved to a smaller one, and I haven’t regreted it, not even once. When I drive by big mansions I remember how happy my family is in our small, but cozy home.
5. The size of a bank account
Nowadays, the absolute measure of success is the size of personal wealth. We’re not the first applying this criterion: similar standards existed at all times. But maybe the size of our bank account isn’t an appropriate measure for success? Maybe a number of good deeds we’re able to do during our life will be a better measure?
6. A model of a smartphone
Recently, I was walking in the park with my children and their friends. I was flabergasted that their main topic were technologies. Which iPhone do you have? What number iPod is that? Guess who got a new smartphone on their B-day? Children under the age of ten spend time discussing modern technologies. I was ready to interrupt them, but remembered just in time that adults, actually, are just the same.
7. Photos on social networks
Almost everyone publishes beautiful pictures from his/her life — from new clothes and restaurant food to photos from concerts and airplane wings. These pictures are sifted through, and the best of them are published. It’s weird that then we accuse glossy magazines and advertising of an excessive use of Photoshop while we always edit our lives before sharing them on the Web.
Let’s try to impress and inspire people around us not with our things, but with our own lives and experiences.
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