Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.
There are a multitude of things you can spend money on nowadays. You live in a society that is obsessed with consumption. Houses, cars, technology, etc. are all items you are pressured into purchasing. You can’t go anywhere, including on your personal laptops, without encountering advertisements for the latest fad or technological advancement.
Why do companies and corporations push their wares on you, the consumer? What is the purpose? How do they bait their hooks so well, reel you in, and catch your attention and willingness to purchase their products?
They offer you happiness when you consume their products. While buying a new house, car, iPhone, or hamburger and soft drink from a fast food restaurant might satisfy you momentarily, it will not last. Experiences on the other hand, live on forever. If you spend money on experiences, as opposed to material or quantifiable items, you are going to experience much more joy and contentment in your life.
1. Experiences can’t be quantified.
I already delved into this but the importance of this point can’t be overstated. Experiences are priceless while material items always have an expiration date. The house and car you buy are wonderful purchases but over time the satisfaction you receive from them is most likely going to diminish. The initial buyer’s high you get is not going to last forever.
Contrastingly, experiences will never lose their luster. Sure you spent $100 on the Mumford and Sons concert tickets, but that is an experience you will never forget. You can always go back to that moment and conjure up pleasant feelings. Perhaps you will never forget a night out you had with friends-dinner, movies, and dancing. You will never forget when you went to the Super Bowl or backpacked through Europe or Southeast Asia. These are life experiences that will never be replaced no matter how many cars or gadgets you buy.
Continue to purchase the things you need in life. You need a place to live and a car to drive. You need certain amounts of technology. Before you acquire your next material item ask yourself if there is an experience you could be spending your money on instead.
2. Experiences help define your purpose and passions.
Failure to spend money on experiences means failure to discover your purpose and passions. Your purpose and your passions should serve as your compass through life. They should guide you and influence your daily activities.
Your experiences don’t need to be expensive or grandiose, and neither do your purposes and passions. However, you should align experiences in your life that are in tune with them. If you enjoy sports, for example, and perhaps you believe your purpose in life is sports-centric, then it makes sense for you to spend money on attending sporting events. Learn as much you can about the sports industry if you are certain it is your calling. This goes for any other passion you have in life.
Don’t miss out on opportunities to pursue your purpose and passion. These are the experiences that matter to you, and ultimately they will help shape your life. Take advantage of them because they are always great investments!
3. Experiences introduce you to different worldly perspectives.
Perhaps there is no better way to learn about worldly perspectives than traveling. Traveling is undeniably one of the greatest ways to experience various cultures and social norms. It is an education that you will never experience in a classroom no matter how many places you study. And you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to witness the benefits of travel. Simply taking a road trip for a weekend offers you a new and fresh experience.
You don’t have to travel to appreciate a new worldly outlook. Spending time in nature can be extremely meditative and healing. Some of my fondest experiential memories are those times I was in nature, absorbing all its beauty and wonder. Experiences like this won’t cost you a dime, but they have the opportunity of being life-changing.
4. Experiences teach you life lessons.
Experiences are worth investing in because they teach you life lessons that you won’t acquire anywhere else. Traveling to new places teaches patience, acceptance, understanding, as well as organizational skills. Purchase tickets to the symphony, theater, opera, or musicals to expose your senses to the performing arts. Spend time at museums and exhibitions to uncover information from past historical time periods. Observe the sacrifice and commitment it takes to be an athlete by attending sporting events.
You are a member of a species that thirsts for experiences that are meaningful and significant. Experiences do more than just merely endow you with facts and figures. They transform your life. They teach you how to be humble, virtuous, and compassionate. These lessons might be subtle at first, but they are a big reason why you spend your money on experiences.
5. Experiences help you express gratitude.
Experiences, which you find worthwhile and meaningful, are prime opportunities for you to express gratitude. If you fill up your life with experiences imagine how grateful you are going to be for your existence. Practicing gratitude for major life-altering experiences allows you to feel grateful for the seemingly minute and mundane ones. Perhaps you will experience a paradigm shift, where all experiences are ones to cherish.
Living gratefully is the best way for you to live happily. Inundate your life with grateful experiences, and notice how better you feel about life. It is not a coincidence. There is a reason you feel euphoric and alive when you attend concerts or go to the movies. You are grateful for these experiences because they are worth the price of admission.
6. Experiences are unforgettable and joyful memories.
For many people the optimal reason for investing in experiences is that they unforgettable and joyous occasions. These memories can be especially useful if you are going through a rough time. It is never ideal to disassociate yourself completely from the present, but having pleasant and fond memories to reminisce on can be quite therapeutic. Perhaps they will serve as a reminder that things aren’t as terrible as they seem.
Happiness is correlated with your ability to relish your moment to moment experiences. Why not make these experiences ones that are beyond minute and mundane? Invest in experiences that you will treasure, not only in the present moment, but for the rest of your life.
7. Experiences are exciting and challenging.
Your experiences will inspire you, and at times, call you to take action. If they didn’t then you probably wouldn’t invest too much time or energy into them. Climbing Mount Everest is an experience you probably would never forget because of the daunting task you are forced to overcome. The mental and physical challenge of ascending the slope is both inspiring to yourself and others, and challenging at the same time. Accepting the challenge of learning a new instrument or language offers a mental challenge that is gratifying for anyone who sticks with it.
Being inspired and overcoming adverse situations are keys to your genuine contentment with life. Whether or not you believe it you need to be motivated to an appropriate degree in order to reach your full potential.
Experiences offer you this platform to reach your maximum limits.
8. Experiences are meaningful for you or you wouldn’t be spending money on them.
In today’s economic climate you probably are looking for ways to cutback spending, rather than increase it. With that being said, you aren’t going to waste money on new experiences that aren’t meaningful to you.
This makes it utterly necessary to get the most bank for your buck from these experiences. Don’t aimlessly throw money away at any opportunity that comes your way; rather, research and decide what experiences are right for you. What experiences are important to your well-being? In most cases you will know immediately, and the money you invest in them will be money well spent.
Go ahead and fill your life up with experiences. Many of them will cost you nothing. Some of them will be reasonably priced, and maybe some will be expensive from a financial standpoint, but rich with rewarding memories and life lessons. Always link these experiences with your passions and purpose if you desire complete satisfaction. You can always spend your money on more “stuff” with a limited authenticity of happiness or you can invest in purposeful experiences that will contribute to a substantive feeling of joy.
This article has been republished from LifeHack
About the Author
Mike Oppland obtained a B.A. in Business Management from Calumet College in 2006 and a MBA in Sport Business from St. Leo University in 2011. Mike has played professional basketball in Europe for seven years as well as coached college basketball for two years at Macalester College. Mike is co-founder of xpertcoaching.com along with his twin brother Dan. He currently lives, plays and coaches basketball in Luxembourg City.