Letting go of emotional attachment to “stuff” and finding the satisfaction of enough for today doesn’t happen overnight. We know that. In fact, for most people who grew up in a society of “more, more, more,” the trip from mass consumer to postconsumer can be a long one. We don’t expect it to happen overnight, and we don’t dictate where on the path is the right end-point destination for you. What we do, however, is provide you the information, support and encouragement that you need to complete your journey. And sometimes the most important part of that is inspiration and encouragement in the form of easy-to-remember memes. To help you along, we’ve collected ten of our favorite mantras that you can repeat whenever you find yourself potentially falling into a trap of addictive consumerism that you’d rather avoid!
Number One: You Are Not What You Own
This, of course, is the core message of all Postconsumers’ beliefs. Society and the machinations of addictive consumerism have tried to make you believe that you are defined by where you shop, the brands that you wear, the size of your house and car and the amount that you own. This is not true. You are not what you own. You are much deeper than that. The next time you are about to buy “stuff” to feed your ego or “create” your identity, remind yourself of what you are truly made of. And that is not “stuff.”
Number Two: The Things You Own End Up Owning You
This, of course, was uttered by Tyler Durden, played by the incomparable Brad Pitt, in the iconic movie Fight Club (which one should always remember was first a book). If you’ve never seen the film, it’s one of the best explorations of our current society. It highlights more than just addictive consumerism, but this Tyler Durden quote has become the battle cry of those looking for more than just “stuff” and materialism to fill their lives. It’s so true, so succinctly said and such a great way to remind yourself that you’re creating your own masters when you willingly yoke yourself to the stake of consumerism.
Number Three: Be Your Own Brand
This one is obviously one of our personal favorites as we’ve devoted an entire gallery to it. One of the marketing traps used to draw you into repeated addictive consumerism is the myth of believing that a brand – or the brands that you buy – define who you are. We want you to define who you are. Whether that’s in how you look, how you act, your overall being or your personality. We don’t care what you buy, but we do care if you’re buying it because you somehow think that it makes you who are you. The next time you are about to make a purchase that’s driven by the idea that you emulate a brand, remember that you are, indeed, a brand. Your own brand.
Number Four: Live More, Buy Less
This is another common refrain from Postconsumers, because at base we believe the two to be mutually exclusive. The more you are buying and channeling both your financial resources and your energy into purchasing “stuff,” the less you are out actively living. We promise you that you’ll find more joy and more satisfaction from living than you will from buying! We think this mantra is best repeated before you even leave to shop. Stop yourself from shopping and instead start yourself in living a fulfilling and active life, both physically and emotionally.
Number Five: Find Your Personal Less
What’s a “Personal Less?” It’s like a “Personal Best” but it’s a step on your way to understanding where your satisfaction of enough lies. You’re starting a postconsumer journey because you’ve identified society’s model of addictive consumerism and are not finding the peace you deserve emotionally or mentally. So what’s your Personal Less and is the purchase that you’re about to make a step in the right direction to getting there? You don’t have to throw away stuff that you own or stop buying things. But you do need to be mindful of whether you’re working towards your Personal Less or not in each decision.
Number Six: A Media Diet is Healthy for the Mind and Soul
What does this mantra have to do with keeping your “less stuff” journey on track? Media of all kinds is the gasoline that fuels consumer addiction. Any time you have a screen or a print publication in front of you, you are being bombarded by consumer messages. There are plenty of mental and emotional health benefits to reducing your screen time and media exposure, but it’s absolutely essential as you’re working on letting go of the need to buy more “stuff.” Give yourself some media diet time every day, and remind yourself to do it with the above mantra.
Number Seven: I Can Take Back My Power
Consumer addiction isn’t any different from any other kind of addiction in that it makes you feel powerless against it. But the most important thing to remember is that the consumer always has all the power. If you’re unsure of where to start to take your power back from the consumer machine, we have a four-part article series to help you. But in the meantime, repeating the mantra that you have the power each time you feel powerlessly compelled to buy something will go a long way towards your own mindfulness.
Number Eight: Find the Satisfaction of Enough
Of course, finding the satisfaction of enough for today is the essential belief upon which Postconsumers was founded. What is the satisfaction of enough? It’s the stress relief, peace and joy that comes when you realize that you have enough “stuff” for now. That line is different for all people, but once you realize where yours is, you’ll remove yourself from the rat race and the constant struggle to find identity through “things.” You’ll find fulfillment, relaxation and a sense of knowing who you are. Are you stress-shopping? Remind yourself that life is about satisfaction and that you’ll find yours somewhere other than the clearance sale bin!
Did we miss a mantra to keep you stuff-free and stress free? Tell us about it on the social media channels below.
Photo Credit: Caribb via Flickr