A pound of experiences is much more valuable than a pound of stuff.
Don’t get me wrong, I still buy things—I’m a minimalist, not a Luddite. But most of the things I purchase aren’t things in the traditional sense.
During my lotus-eating twenties, I spent much of my hard-earned moolah on material possessions: luxury cars, a massive house, expensive furniture, every new gadget available, expensive clothes, shoes, watches, collectibles—you name it, I probably had it.
However, none of these things fulfilled me.
The things I purchase today, though, are experience-laden creations, not material possessions. Instead of spending money on consumer goods, I prefer to purchase experiential goods: music, books, movies, musical instruments, etc. While these purchases might come packaged in physical packaging, that’s not what I’m paying for—the vehicle itself is irrelevant; rather, I’m paying to experience each creation.
Creations enhance my life much more so than material possessions. My favorite activities today include playing guitar, walking while listening to music or podcasts, and reading new books (often using my phone’s Kindle app, which allows me to enjoy books in five-minute intervals—while standing in the checkout line, relaxing on park benches, or waiting in my dentist’s waiting room).
I find value in experiencing these things, not in the things themselves: a Rolex will never buy you more time, but experience-based goods possess the potential to add value to your life, and, thus, to help you grow.
So buy that fancy new wristwatch, if you must; I’ll be over here experiencing life—growing—not concerned with the time.
If you find value in The Minimalists, consider donating a dollar.