by Leo Babauta
We all have desires – it’s part of the human condition.
We want to be loved, to have friends, to experience joy, to have security.
But a desire for things is not as natural as we’re often led to believe.
Sure, we all have desires for things: nice cars, nice clothes, nice houses, cool computers and iPhones, beautiful furniture and notebooks and shoes and jewelry and bags and bikes and on and on.
But these desires are manufactured in us, by advertising and marketing. They play on our natural instincts: for hoarding (security), for the pleasures of food and drugs and sex (desire for joy), for fitting in with clothes and bikes and gadgets (desire for friends), and so on.
Desires like these lead to all kinds of problems — in fact, all the problems of modern society. They are rooted in the immense power of corporations in our society, and their drive for massive profits. Problems result that include obesity and related diseases, massive consumer debt, shallow consumerism, overwork (to make money for all these things), lack of true human connection, and more.
And while desires are perfectly natural and unavoidable, if we can learn to let go of the manufactured desires, we’ll start to free ourselves from the chains of consumerism.
Start to become aware of these desires – recognize their signs in you. Pause before acting on them. Take deep breaths, go for a walk, get some perspective.
You don’t really need more things, and buying is not the answer. Make do without and find happiness without more stuff.
Let the desire go, and feel the lightness, the freedom. Become liberated from desires, one at a time (not forever, but for the moment). You’ll love it.