As with needs our wants also hold a very personal measure of value. A large part of our modern lives are preoccupied with the ‘wanting of things’. This is largely due to extensive marketing campaigns from the advertising industry. They profit from our unending quest for happiness and social acceptance. They elude us into believing that we are somewhat inadequate if we do not engage in purchasing their products. In Roald Dahl’s 1971 film adaptation of his best-selling book, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, character Veruca Salt famously exclaims, ‘I want one. I want a golden goose!’ This precocious statement of ‘want’ shows the lust of instant gratification. In this moment of desire, there is minimal thought for the long-term impact such a purchase may have on the owner, or in this case on the goose!
Having or wanting is a concept of ownership. This abyss of wanting more is a shallow satisfaction that has us caught up in a cycle of replacement and acquisition. In our everyday lives, we have access to purchase many objects from a variety of sources. Anything you could possibly ever want is available from shopping complexes and websites. When Rightsizing, the question of ‘what do we want?’ will repeatedly be brought to the surface. ‘What we want’ will impact on the amount of objects that we decide to keep in our homes. ‘What we want’ will aid and hinder our projects as we begin to identify our needs in relation to how much space we have leftover to keep our wants. Before you buy something, to find out if it is a ‘need’ or simply a ‘want’, see how you feel about it before you make your purchase. If it’s from a store hold it in your hands and contemplate what value this will add and for how long; will it continue to do so? Alternatively, if it is an online purchase really think about this object before you frivolously click ‘add to cart’. Focus deeply on this object to see if it’s not just a token to symbolise something that may be missing from you emotionally or if it is just simply the vanity of owning the object in question.
The psychological ramifications of always wanting to own more things is addictive and leaves us increasingly empty as this compulsive dependency of ‘wanting’ takes over. As we saw in Chapter 1, having more belongings does not lead to an increased level of happiness. Looking for this fulfilment outside of ourselves will leave us with a lot of objects to maintain, look for and be responsible for in the long run. When we are in the PAUSE stage contemplating our wants it is important, to be honest with yourself about your self-worth in relation to the things you own. Begin to address your own feelings on how your possessions make you feel. Just because you own something are you more likely to feel either superior and important or inferior in the presence of others? Do you feel resentful or less worthy because you do not own something that someone else has? By investigating our relationship with our wants it will be easier to discard the excess in our lives.
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