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Material Things Don’t Guarantee Happiness Part I

There are a lot of things in this world that can make most of us pretty happy. Simple things like a sunset, an ice cream cone on a hot summer day, or a having a good friend stop by unexpectedly. These can be our concepts of content.

Or, happiness can also be having plenty of money to buy what you need and want, having a family to love you and to love them back, and enjoying good health. Yet, there are 350 million people worldwide suffering from depression, with rates expected to rise.

Right now, we are experiencing a global epidemic of unhappiness. While there are tons of experts out there sharing their thoughts and ideas about what we need to be happy, not many people are really talking about things you don’t need. To me, knowing what I need and what I should eliminate are both of equal importance.

So how do you figure out what you don’t actually need to feel and be happy? What exactly do we need to eliminate in our lives to achieve happiness? Here are my favorite top seven.

1) A Huge Bank Account

While money is definitely a need in this world (as we need money to clothes, feed, and shelter ourselves, etc.), there are a lot of studies out there that show you only need a certain amount to be happy – and it’s not a lot. In fact, the more money you have, the more problems you may encounter.

So while you’re sitting at home feeling like a loser because you haven’t made your first million, remember that happiness exists without money.

Monks and nuns take vows of poverty on purpose, and yet seem so content and serene. They realize as long as their basic needs are met, they have every reason to feel happy.

2) A Large Wardrobe Full Of Luxury Clothing

One of the things you don’t need to be happy is a large collection of the best clothes out there. If you pulled out all your clothes and put aside only the ones you find yourself frequently wearing, you’d probably find that you wore just a small portion. Might even discover a few items you had completely forgotten about.

I’ve heard people say that ‘his clothes make him what he is’ and I also think there are a million things wrong with that sentence. Your clothes don’t define you. A pair of jeans can’t translate your entire personality to another stranger walking past you. What portion of your money you spend on your clothes is just a fraction of what you utilize it for. Maybe your prefer spending on food, that you eat eventually and you don’t keep for a showcase that people would assume you’re rich. Happiness is a flexible concept — for you and for the person who might be looking at you to find it within yourself.

3) Being Perfect All the Time And Everywhere

Whether that means having or living what looks like a perfect past, present, or future, perfection isn’t reality. It’s definitely not possible to be perfect all the time. It cannot lead to happiness because it’s an unattainable goal.

Also, the idea of perfection differs from person to person.

We all have things we do well (some more than others), but we also all have lessons to learn, issues we struggle with, and a past that sometimes may not look so pretty to others. That’s okay. It’s what we choose to do in those moments that matter the most. You can choose to just show your sides better off or talents you only excel at but just because people can’t see your weak points doesn’t mean you don’t have your bad days.

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