There are times I realize that some things I really longed for become obsolete and unnecessary, then I ask myself; why did I ever struggle to get this? Other times I realize that I eventually do not use or need some things that I struggled to get.
Have you ever felt this way?
Now, if you’re a lover of nice things, you will know that it takes a lot to keep your desires in control in the midst of this ever changing world we live in. Let’s take a look at the cars we see today compared to the cars our parents drove. I remember how my dad would boast of his brand new Mercedes Benz 200. Believe me, I haven’t seen that model of Mercedes in the past five years (not even as a scrap). I also recall that growing up, government officials drove Peugeot 505 and 504 cars and I loved the look and feel of those cars; I was so in love with the Peugeot cars to the extent that I chose my career path based on my love for Peugeot and believed that I would have one to myself if I became a government official. I eventually studied Public Administration in the university in a bid to become a government official. This car analogy is just one of the many examples we all know.
My dad told me, “good things don’t finish” and from personal experience, I’ve come to realize that there will always be something better than the previous one of everything you have. This brings me to the focus of this post: should you have earthly possessions? Yes! Is it wrong to have nice things? No!
However, everything God made available on earth is for our good pleasure and we are expected to take a measure of what we need at every point. Here are five tips to help you:
- Be content: There will always be new and nice things, don’t destroy your life because of something you cannot afford at the moment. Contentment is the key to being happy and enjoying life.
- Don’t take it to the extreme: Be happy with whatever stage you are in life but strive to be better in a modest way. Don’t mistake being at ease and complacent as contentment. Work hard and the good things of life will be yours for the taking.
- Put your emotions in check: Pay attention to how you react to life as we are constantly faced with all sorts of ravishing pictures and news of the possessions of people around us and on social media. A lot of times, we tend to become envious and depressed when it seems like we cannot have the same possessions or even something less.
- Follow the right crowd: You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. The more you spend time with people, the more you are like them.
- Focus on the right things: Where your heart is, that’s where your treasure will be. If you keep looking at a particular direction, sooner or later, you will find yourself there. Be careful, it is easy to get trapped in the things we focus on.
This brings me to one of my favorite fairy tales that has stuck to my memory since childhood – “The emperor’s new clothes”. It tells of the story of an emperor who loved beautiful new clothes so much that he spent all his money on being finely dressed. The only interest he had was to go to the theater or ride about in his carriage where he could show off his new clothes. While other kings were in court, he was always in his dressing room. One day, two swindlers came to the city and claimed to be weavers who made the finest clothes anyone could imagine. They claimed that the colors and pattern were beautiful, in addition their fabric had an amazing property that only people with high intellect could see it! Stupid people would not be able to see it. The king thought that it would be nice to have the cloth so he could know which of his officials were stupid and incompetent. In summary, the swindlers made the imaginary clothes and everyone including the king claimed to see the dress for fear of being termed stupid. When they finished, the king wore the imaginary cloth for one of his processions and everyone said it was fine, except a little girl who screamed “the emperor has no clothes on!”.
The emperor was not content with what he had, he took his desire for beautiful clothes to the extreme, he surely had the wrong people around him because they couldn’t tell him the truth and finally, he was swindled because he focused on the wrong desires.
Having read this, I believe you will make better decisions when it comes to material possessions. Remember, it’s not about having nice things; it’s about how you allow the idea of having them influence you negatively. Be wise and make the right decisions.
Written by: Udochi Anokwu