Materialism is a deceptive game that keeps us from living fulfilling lives

There’s just enough fleeting pleasure to keep us preoccupied with it

Materialism is the placeholder game to play in modern society when we don’t have a better idea of what we want with our lives.

Unfortunately, most don’t, so it’s a typical game to play. And because it’s such a typical game to play, most default to materialism without even trying to figure out anything beyond it.

It’s an easy route to take. You just upgrade your lifestyle for as long as you live. There’s a clear direction, and you’ll run out of time and money before you run out of expensive things to buy. The most expensive yacht today costs 4.8 billion dollars.

Materialism gives us the feeling of progress, even if it’s toward a meaningless goal—and we crave that feeling. We get regular bursts of pleasure from achieving goals (buying something) and from telling ourselves people admire us when we get to wear our expensive shoes to a class reunion.

There are enough characteristics emulating a fulfilling life that we can make materialism our whole life’s purpose.

But if we choose that route, the question of “is this all there is?” will always haunt us. We can silence it temporarily by hunting for the perfect coat or planning a trip for next winter, but the question keeps coming back. Is there really nothing more to life than the endless chase the majority of us take part in?

There is. It’s just impossible to uncover when participating in the rat race.


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