Why is it that some of us(okay lots of us!) tend to “want” various material items. Certainly advertising and marketing comes into play. We are bombarded by adverts and commercials nearly 24/7. We are also brought up to believe that we “need” new things all the time. Make money, spend money. I firmly believe that the more money a person earns, the more they will spend.

And of course a lot of us fall victim to the “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. Someone you know has something and you feel that you deserve to have it as well.

I will admit that lately I have been feeling the pull of this way of thinking. How is it that some young, new employees at work can go out and get a new car? Why can’t I have a new car? I work hard! I deserve a newer car!!

Deserve has nothing to do with it of course. The rational thing to do is to save up for a vehicle. I can easily do this. I have my financial house in order. If I think I want monthly vehicle payments I need to start making those payments to myself. And this is what I am now doing.

Our ego gets in the way of just accepting who we are and being happy. Being happy with our looks, our relationships, our place in the world.

We have to let go of this way of thinking. Not always easy, I know.

What have any of you struggled with in this way?

Have you ever given in to your ego?

Share your struggles and successes.




6 thoughts on “Check Your Ego At The Door

  1. Excellent post. As you point out, this is something we all struggle with on some level, even if we don’t necessarily acknowledge it.

    For myself, I do struggle with the “need” for material goods. But in the past couple of years, mostly due to financial reasons, I’ve gotten in the habit of using the “cost/benefit” analysis when I see something I “want”. My wife and I have begun a lot of outdoor activities with our kids, and as a result we’ve purchased several hundred dollars worth of gear for these outings. I consider this an investment since the gear we’ve purchased will serve us well for years to come, versus the temporary nature of electronics and gadgets that are obsolete in 18 months.

    “Stuff” will always be needed for life. The trick is to not get caught up in the proverbial rat race and think of the value and longevity of our “stuff”. Taking some cues from generations passed would be wise I think.


    1. Very good idea. We do need to weight the benefits of purchases. If there is real value, then go for it. How often would we realize that putting off a purchase just because we want something is the right thing to do? Quite often I suspect.

  2. I think that because of the way we have been bought up we also use purchasing as therapy. The old ‘retail therapy’. I often fight with myself when I feel the pull and force myself to stay away from the Mall and go for a walk on the beach. ‘Later – I can shop later’ is the trick I play and when later comes I feel better and the ‘need’ has gone. It is an ongoing challenge though and a lifestyle choice that takes strength, stamina and one-going self-reflection. Keep talking and living the minimalist dream! Your posts are inspiring.

  3. Less is more, but we generally only discover this – if discover it we do – as we grow older. Possessions that go beyond the practical are mostly a source of displacement , as your previous commentator rightly says. I too would rather go for a walk along the beach and window shop.

  4. Right now my husband is struggling with turning 40 and some mid-life crisis (so this has become my struggle). I happen to be totally happy with who I am and where I am going in life. I’m not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but I am pretty normal. We have a 3 year-old son, who I delivered by emergency C-section after already being cut open once for a pelvic reconstructive surgery (my son was a 6-year project). This last spring my husband told me that he would be happier if I was thinner. I’m actually a pretty normal person, not obese at all, but certainly not a super model after all I have been through. I told him that I always thought we would be just 40 and happy, he said he thought we would be 40 and “hot.” I saw a quote today from C.S. Lewis that said, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” I struggle today with someone else’s ego and trying to remember that my soul is what matters. I’m not sure that this totally relates to minimalist living, but does anyone else struggle with this???

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