Live your materialistic dreams in your head until you’re bored. Now what?

A thought exercise that never fails to keep me grounded.

Imagine that you get 10 billion dollars in your bank account right now. Now live the most extravagant life you could ever imagine.

Picture your dream house with the finest paintings on the walls, your dream car, all the holidays you can take, and the parties you can host. Imagine what it’s like to taste all the luxurious foods from around the world. Fantasize about wearing nothing but the best and most expensive clothes and jewelry while getting gasps of admiration from your peers. Think about all the events you can attend with the most famous people in the world.

Do everything in your mind that you’ve ever said you’d do if you’d win the lottery. Do it until you’re bored of the fantasy—because as incredible as all of this sounds, the excitement in real life wears off too eventually.

Now for the second part of this thought exercise. How do you want to live your life when you’ve played through the game of materialism? Where do you find excitement after you feel like you’ve seen enough of the world? What makes you feel happy and fulfilled when outside admiration doesn’t feel like anything anymore and when there’s no one left to impress?

Usually, it boils down to things such as:

  • Strengthening relationships

  • Learning new skills—such as playing a new instrument—just for the fun of it

  • Reading books that expand your worldview

  • Taking up a new sport and challenging yourself physically

  • Doing charity in your community

  • Building something with your bare hands

Whatever it is for you, it likely won’t require millions. So why not skip the countless sacrifices needed for the materialistic dream life if you’ll end up searching for more sustainable fulfillment anyway? Why not take a shortcut?

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