After spending years judging my success (and others’) on the volume of shiny objects I had, I realised that attaching happiness to material things – or even to a specific outcome, in fact – is a recipe for disaster. Obsessively chasing that next promotion or collecting designer watches might seem like the mark of a winner, but if you need to have something in your life in order for you to be happy – if you are attaching your happiness to external factors – you will always be searching for that next hit of dopamine. It’s like an addiction: you’re always chasing that first-ever feeling of euphoria, and the satisfaction you derive becomes less and less every time.
It wasn’t until I lost what I thought was everything – until my career and my material possessions were stripped away – that I claimed back my true values and gained clarity, perspective and gratitude for all that I had. I was forced into a position that made me see the world through a different set of eyes and appreciate the small pleasures in life. As a result of my own experience, I now see that it’s the simplicity and fundamentals of life that hold true beauty. You don’t need more, you need less.
I’m not just talking in terms of material possessions. In today’s world most of us are searching for a new tool, a new skill, more information, more knowledge – but everything we need is already inside of us. Under all the layers of fear and self-doubt, our true potential is already there, waiting for us to uncover it. It’s not until we remove what’s not serving us that we can see clearly what truly matters.
As I set out on my own journey, I soon came to realise that the best things in life aren’t things at all.They are people. They are experiences.