The Number 1 Way to get Everything you want in Life… Seriously

By Lauren
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    Lauren Greutman Recovering Spender

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    Well geez, with a title like that, there are probably some pretty high expectations for this post. Buckle up! If you are wondering how to get everything you want; my first question is this: Can you actually get EVERYTHING you want in life?

    So what do you want? A better job? A bigger house? A new car? You could work your butt off at your job, work your way up the ladder and get all of that stuff. It would be a lot of work and take several years, but you could do it.

    Or, you could win the lottery… which would be quicker, but the odds are definitely not in your favor.

    There's a much faster way to get everything you want… although it is definitely the road less traveled.

    Are you ready?

    how to get everything you want

    The Number 1 Way to get Everything you want in Life:

    Stop Wanting Stuff.

    I know you may have wanted a more complex answer, but hear me out. In my own life, I've found that true happiness is most often found in perspective.

    Let me start by telling you about my son:

    He's almost 11, and he's your typical boy of that age I suppose (although I think he's the greatest kid in the world). He loves Minecraft, Legos, baseball, and riding his bike with his friends. He gets a small allowance from us, gift money around his birthday, and then money from watching neighbors' pets every once in a while.

    When he has money – even if he's simply planning on having money – his heart gets completely wrapped up in his plans to buy the next toy or video game. It's literally all he can think about… throughout the day I hear questions like:

    “Mom, do you think I should get the jungle tree house Minecraft Lego set? Or the dungeon?” “Mom, what if I saved up to get a new bike instead?”

    And when he finally has the money and has decided what to get, he WILL NOT stop asking, “When can we go to the store? Now? How about now?” Finally, we get to the store and he heads right to the section that it's located with the most intense tunnel vision. In the most business-like manner, he picks it up and then heads right for the register. He cannot stop talking about how awesome it is the whole way home.

    At home, it completely monopolizes his time and thoughts for the next couple days. It's like he's not even around. After school, he heads right up to his bedroom to play with it.

    And then…

    …then he's no longer excited about it. It doesn't give him joy anymore. He's moved on. He will play with it sometimes, but for the most part, it just sits. If it was a video game, this would probably occur when the game was “beaten”.

    On to the next item to get excited about.

    The above story is probably typical of a kid that age. One of our goals as parents is to help him grow out of this. But what if we never grew out of it? Perhaps the only difference between age 10 and adulthood is that the toys have gotten bigger and more expensive. Instead of a larger more awesome set of Legos, it's a bigger house. Instead of a nicer bike, it's a nicer car.

    “You've never seen a hearse with a trailer hitch.”

    If stuff is what you want out of life, you might get some of it, but you won't get even close to everything you want. And you DEFINITELY won't take any of it with you when you die. You will have those moments of fleeting joy, which wane and then lead to more wanting. But here's the thing, was it a true joy that you experienced? Maybe you simply stopped wanting for a short time. Maybe you had a taste of contentment for just a little bit because you weren't longing for the next thing to get.

    Since it is a feeling that comes and then goes, is it actually more like a distraction that actual, true happiness?

    When you want stuff, it is an insatiable appetite that will never truly be quenched. Enter Overspending.

    Did we ever actually “grow out of it”?

    When I describe the person that never really “grew up” and stopped wanting stuff, I am describing myself. I remember when we had a new custom home built. The months leading up to it were tantalizing. I just imagined myself cooking in that new kitchen, sleeping in my HUGE new master bedroom, using my new bathtub with jets… and my husband imagined his new garage to put his tools. We were both filled with that exciting feeling that finally… we will have ‘arrived'.

    I mean, once we move in, we won't want anything else, right? We are getting our dream house, the pinnacle of American achievement. What else would there be left to want? Since we already had a couple nice cars, the house would complete the trifecta. We would have it ALL.

    The anticipation grew as the weeks came closer to our moving date. And then finally the day came… we moved in. It was AMAZING. We filled that empty house with lots of other stuff (i.e. furniture bought on credit). I stayed excited for quite a while. It was awesome.

    But about a month and a half after moving in, I had this strange feeling. It was suddenly just a house. And that feeling of wanting… it came back with a vengeance. Just like Andrew's latest toy just becomes another toy. Except our house came with a huge pile of debt that we couldn't afford. Not only was I again discontent, I had this constant feeling of regret in the pit of my stomach. It was a purchase that I couldn't return to the store…

    What if you had to Choose?

    The simplest way I've found to help reorient my desire for more stuff is to consider one question – What if I had to choose? Among everything I value or own, what If it came down to me having to make a decision? Let's say everything you own and everyone you love is in a burning building and you only have time to save 3 things. (I'm not saying only 3 people… you're family can be one thing 🙂 )

    There's no way you'd leave your spouse, kids, family, etc. in the building to save a car, or makeup, or handbag, or TV. Whatever or whomever you'd take out of the burning building is what you need to find your fulfillment in and be satisfied with.

    Think about it, you just said you'd let everything else in your entire life burn to ashes to keep those few people with you. That is what you truly value. This is truly how you get everything you want in this life. – Match your desires with these things. Stop wanting more stuff, and focus on those few things you just named.

    Wanting Stuff is a Choice.

    Over the next few years – through constant struggle (financial, marital, etc.) – I learned that wanting was a choice.

    I wanted happiness, contentment, financial security, a happier marriage. The desire to fill my life with material things was at odds with all of those…

    • You can't want a huge house you can't afford AND also want financial security.
    • You can't want a closet full of designer purses (purchased behind your husband's back) AND also want a happy marriage.
    • You can't want more and more stuff AND also want contentment.

    Being a recovering spender, I still struggle with wanting stuff. I have to regularly examine my heart and my wants. If you want to read more detail of that internal struggle, and how I've truly changed my financial future by changing my desires, then you would DEFINITELY want to read my new book called The Recovering Spender.

    Wanting stuff only leaves you wanting more stuff… and you will never have everything you want.

    Want to know how to get everything you want? The only way to get everything you want out of life is to stop wanting.

     

     

    Wondering how to get EVERYTHING you want in life? The trick isn't actually trying to buy it all. It's something much simpler, cheaper, and easier.

    COMMENTS

  • Yes yes yes! It is amazing how wanting stuff can tie you to a life of misery… and if you get what you “want”, then you are tied to the stuff (you have to clean the furniture, use the gadget, etc).

  • Hello – I would like to stop my impulsive spending and many other types of spending. I can’t help wanting some things that I believe will make my life better, like a house. Renting is so difficult because someone can raise the rent without consideration of the tenant. It is so difficult to heal from the wounds which lead me to want to feel better by spending, sometimes trying to gain relationships by spending money on someone. Hoping I will be valuable to them for that reason. Thanks for your free resources. I do pray for help, so I won’t be so mislead by my feelings.

  • Things are not the most important things i life. We decluttered our house starting in 2012. By September 2015, we had decluttered ourselves right out of our house. We enjoyed things we got rid of and much of our stuff went to friends and family because they asked for that stuff. We felt a whole lot lighter as well. We sold the house in early October and landed in Melbourne in early November. My sister was estatic and we lived in the guest room as renters for a year. This was living our dream, exploring Australia, New Zealand, Bali, parts of the USA and back into Canada to see our family. We got another 1 year travel Visa in February, 2017. Again, my sister and her husband wanted us with them. This is our 5th visit to Australia and love it here. Thank goodness for SKYPE, as we get to visit with friends and family in Canada, USA, Australia. Being with my husband as we travel has made our lives so much richer. When we see our grownup kiddos in person, we have so much catching up to do and there is a lot of laughter and joy. That is what makes life worth living. So Lauren, go the the gold! Wishing you all the best in life!

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