Every year Apple comes out with a new iPhone and people suddenly believe that their iPhone from last year is now worthless. Learning how to detach from material things not only saves you money but it leads you into a more fulfilling lifestyle.
When we focus only on acquiring material goods we are left feeling unfulfilled. There is always a bigger boat, a better phone, a better laptop. The game of filling the void of the soul is never-ending if you only attempt to fill it with material goods.
To learn how to detach yourself from material things will set you free and let you live a life where you are not endlessly searching for the next best thing to occupy your mind for the next five minutes. Detachment from material goods is a state of mind that takes time to learn but the payoff will not only fill your pocket but fill the void that has been trying to be filled for a lifetime.
1) Remove The Unnecessary
My mother lived in our childhood house for over ten years. It was only until we had to pack everything up and get ready to move that we realized how much useless junk had been piling up throughout the years. Old clothes we didn’t wear anymore, random electronics from years passed and even dishes that we didn’t use anymore.
It was surprising at how much in the end we actually needed to keep, it almost fit into a few suitcases!
If we had taken the time to just throw or give away everything that had been piled up we wouldn’t have an entire room filled almost to the ceiling with useless things that we have stockpiled over the years.
It was in this moment that we first learned how to detach ourselves from material goods.
When you take a moment to reflect upon what you actually need in life it can almost certainly fit into one or two suitcases.
At a certain point in my life I decided I wanted to move overseas and this was the first time in my life that everything I owned suddenly could fit into a few suitcases. It was an amazing experience, knowing that nothing was encumbering me anymore.
If you take a moment to get down and dirty and figure out what you really need, your effort will surprise you at how much stuff is really bogging you down.
Removing the unnecessary things from your life not only frees up real space but frees the mind as well.
It’s the act of letting go, the art of surrender. When we finally decide to throw away things we don’t actually need, it gives us a sense of freedom.
2) Wait Before Impulse Buying
It happens to everyone. You see something shiny, something you must have, and you get it.
In the moment it feels great, until you realize that it wasn’t as necessary as you felt it was.
This happened to me just recently. I purchased a fairly nice Audi and thought to myself “Wow, this car is amazing!”
While the car was amazing to drive, it sat in the parking lot for almost the entire year I owned it. I didn’t really need to drive anywhere except going to the gym and back as I worked from home. It would have been a better decision to buy a cheaper car or even just take an uber everywhere I needed to go.
In the end I made a sudden decision that I wanted to move overseas again. I had to sell the car for a loss.
If only I had learned how to detach myself from material things then I wouldn’t have impulse bought such an expensive car.
Next time you see something you must have whether it be a new car or a phone or a purse, sleep on it for two weeks. Only purchase what you need when you need it.
Not giving into the burning desire of sudden gratification is going to give you mental clarity and realize that most of your purchases are not worth buying.
A full closet of clothes you never even wear, a car that sits in the parking lot, a new phone that isn’t really an upgrade. It is so common to hear things like this and yet it is a fairly regular occurrence.
Take a moment, take a deep breath and reevaluate. Your wallet and mind will thank you.
If you take a stand next time you are about to make a purchase the next desire will feel less pulling, and the next and so on. It only takes one time to see through this illusion of instant gratification.
3) Find Happiness Through Life
When you are on your death bed, what will you think of?
Will it be the amount of money you have in the bank or how many clothes are in your closet?
The only things that will be important at that time are memories.
Finding happiness through life is one of the best ways to learn how to detach from material things.
When we find happiness through acts of kindness or pursuing our dreams, we can truly fill our souls with something of substance.
The reason why material things never make us happy for more than a short moment is that there is always something bigger and better. There is the saying “it’s never enough” and it even plagues multi-millionaires.
This is why we see such greed out of high powered individuals that control most of the wealth today. They have no other form of satisfaction other than filling their bank account and this only leads to a hole in their heart that can’t ever be dreamed of getting filled.
Life really is about small talk with the cashier, catching a smile on a walk or even just saying hello to a random stranger and seeing their eyes light up. Trying to buy our way to happiness is the most fleeting way to fulfillment in life.
While it may seem difficult at the first, the change of state of mind from material goods to an inner fulfillment is one of the best ways to improve your daily well-being. It takes some amount of effort and work to finally detach from material possessions but when you are reflecting on your past life it will all be worthwhile.
4) Try Living on a Limited Budget
Another way to explore ways on how to detach yourself from material things is to try to live on a limited budget for a set amount of time.
Instead of constantly running to Starbucks for your daily refill or going grocery shopping for the 10th time this month try to make a budget and spend only what you have allotted yourself to spend.
This will give you some breathing room and some time to reflect on what is truly important in your life.
A big part of materialism is that we are grown into it from childhood.
You must go to college and get a nice paying job and buy a house they said. If only they taught us early on that these things wouldn’t make us happy I’m sure that a different direction would be sought out from almost everyone.
It’s the American Dream trap that we have all fallen into. This state of mind is poisonous and for many it is only seen as a trap until it is too late.
When I lived in Mexico for a year, the thing that surprised me the most was just how happy everyone was.
I was almost envious at what kind of smiles I would see walking down the street.
In comparison, I was rich in their country and yet I felt so poor. I wanted to feel like them, to smile and cherish as they did.
I visited my girlfriend’s family at the time in a small town called Izamal. When I arrived, it shocked me at how people lived there. The meat wasn’t refrigerated, very limited amount of running water and no air conditioning to be found in any of their homes.
What they did have was entirely too priceless. Everyone there was so inviting, I felt a part of their family even though I had just met them.
With only having so little and nothing to purchase it was easy for them to find happiness in the day to day rather than grinding for their next purchase.
When I left that experience really stuck with me for my entire life. I haven’t ever forgotten it and I’m glad to have experienced it.
Next time you are thinking about a big purchase, ask yourself what is really important to you. Once we dig deep into our souls we find that there is only happiness within and everything surrounding us is never capable of fulfilling us like a full soul is.
5) Find What’s Important
When you live a life through materialism, it’s easy to get lost.
Understanding what it is that makes you happy from within is something that most never even get to experience. This is THE best way to learn how to detach from material things.
As has been stated multiple times, materialism is only a state of mind. Your mind can be worked on, improved on and changed.
It is up to you to find out what is really important, that watch on your wish list or the coffee you were going to have with your best friend?
The cliche that everyone hates to hear “smelling the roses” is a cliche for a reason. Life isn’t about the end goal it is about the journey to our goal.
Even if our biggest dreams affords us a bigger house or a nicer car we shouldn’t find happiness in these things. It doesn’t take a magician to figure out that materialism is a fleeting concept.
The mere fact that you are reading this article is a signal that you are willing to change.
- 1) Throw or give away everything that you don’t need
- 2) Wait two weeks before making a big purchase
- 3) Find what makes you happy in life
- 4) Live on a limited budget for a short period of time
- 5) Find your true purpose in life
Following these five steps will lead you on your learning journey on how to detach from material things.
The end goal for you should be to wake up and not feel the need to constantly buy new things or feel left out when you can’t afford them.
Life is much bigger than anything you can purchase, love itself is priceless.
Try to find your truest desire and try to make someone else’s day better, it’ll make you feel better than any watch ever could.