How I Changed My World

At some point in our lives we’ll hear a rendition of “every day is new day.” Whether you read it in the words of Confucius or hear them from Taylor Swift, every bit is true and wise. Every moment hereafter is a new chance to do something differently, even if that only means putting less sugar in your coffee. For this reason, I hope you’ll find this enlightening, even inspiring. After all, I’ve discovered that I wouldn’t be the same person or as happy as I am today if I didn’t make this one adjustment to my lifestyle.

In recent years, I’ve invested my efforts wholly to experiences instead of possessions. What I mean exactly is prioritizing circumstances that result in lasting memories (for good or bad) rather than tangible items. For instance, if given the choice between attending a play for $100 and spending that hundred on a new blouse, I would choose the former. Other experiences might include concerts, plays or festivals. Of course, I’m not suggesting I wouldn’t spend money on necessities. Sustenance and shelter are two basic needs I can’t argue against. But does a person really need a 4,000 square foot house to survive? Or drink hundred-dollar bottles of wine every dinner? I can’t imagine wasting money on items I don’t need or items that offer nothing to the grand scheme of things.

Of course, I still lust over shiny, gadgets or a glamorous new purse. On occasion, I surrender to these fancies. But I value experiences too much to let these desires determine my happiness. I’ve learned that the cosmetic value of possessions doesn’t transcend the item itself. Instead, a shoe is still a shoe, even if they cost a grand. I remember my mother once telling me that you can’t take your wealth with you to the grave. I find this truer now than I ever did before.

This wasn’t always the case, though. I admit to being a little spoiled growing up. There was a time I thought I needed designer clothes to be happy. We’d take trips out of town for the sole purpose of back to school shopping, because I wasn’t satisfied with the local selection. Back then, goals included buying a luxury car and starting a high-end shoe collection a la Sex and the City. For Pete’s sake, I even collected shopping bags from luxury stores!

Now, I choose to spend my money differently. For me, the endeavor to be happy manifested, naturally, into traveling.

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