Top Risks for a Consumer-Driven Society

consumerism

Buy, buy, buy. Get, get, get. We’re all buyers; consumers of stuff. There are things we need and things we want. Separating our wants from our needs has become more difficult with the growing ideology of consumerism. The encouragement of acquiring more and more stuff at an increasing pace continues to change our society. The “one who dies with the most toys” philosophy has propelled the age of consumerism as our appetite to acquire things has skyrocketed. I wonder though if this is healthy for our society?

I’ve watched over the years, as people become less likely, or unwilling to engage with other human beings due to the “great and powerful Oz”, otherwise known as the Internet of Things. We’ve done an excellent job of removing the people from the business of buying. You can buy shoes online, get a college education online, and buy a car online, all without speaking to, or looking another person in the eye. What will the eventual repercussions be 10, 20, 30 years down the road for this shift in how we interact with one another?

What will happen to our negotiations skills, our conflict resolution skills or our ability to nurture, coach, treat, and develop one another? Our interpersonal skills have already been numbed by texting and surfing. Now there are sites like ibreakup.net that will actually tell your current boyfriend or girlfriend you’re breaking up with them. Unbelievable. Are we lazy or just scared as hell of conflict? I’d argue though that those awkward and uncomfortable moments are critical to the development of the human mind. We learn more from mistakes and adversity than we do the happy stuff. Taking away life’s difficulties isn’t making us better, it’s making us less valuable, less effective, less human.

So as we enter the Holiday season – whatever Holiday you celebrate – think about your own gift giving habits. If it’s cheaper online, I get it. That’s simply being fiscally responsible. But if it’s not, I’d challenge you to go to the store, walk the aisles, smile at others and say hello. Let’s not slip so far into our rabbit holes that we forget that the difference between living and being alive is the amount of interaction and experience we have with one another. Would any of us really want to be walking around this planet alone? Would that be alive? Not me. Make the choice to live alive. Connect with someone. Today.

 

The focus is YOU!

You

Stop listening to all those who tell you it can’t be done, you’re too old, you’re not strong enough, smart enough, talented enough, or good-looking enough. Cut your ties with those who always seem to be holding you down for your “own good”. Their approach is littered with falsities all in the name of protecting you or not wanting to see you get hurt.

Be selfish. Be bold. Take a stand. There is more in life that we can control than we think. You can’t change how tall you are so don’t waste any energy wishing you were taller. Focus on the things you can change; your intellect, your strength, your talents, attitude, and your appearance are all within your control. No you can’t be 18 again, so stop worrying about it or wishing you could change it. Embrace exactly where you are today. If there is a part of today you don’t like – your job, the scale, your living conditions – change it.

The focus is on you. No one else. The saying, “you’ve got to love yourself before you can love others” is so true. If YOU are not important enough to change for YOU, then who is? Everything starts from within. Sure there can be external factors that motivate but if your changes are based on those factors rather than what’s inside they simply won’t stick.

Take charge. What if you don’t have the skills to get a new job? Read. Find as many books as you can on the subjects you want to improve on and read, read, and read some more. Sure it takes time, but how badly do you want what you’re so desperately missing? What if you’ve tried to lose weight and haven’t been able to? Look at what you’ve done and determine where the gaps are. What did your diet consist of? How often did you exercise? Everything from food to caffeine, and exercise to sleep, affect weight gain and loss. Dig in, be honest, make a pledge and then grade yourself, daily.

Most importantly stay close to those who provide positive influence and thoughts. The world is filled with naysayers and doomsday thinkers. These people are easy to identify as they use words like “can’t”, “never”, “be careful”, “watch out”, “tough”, “impossible”, “it won’t work”, and “we tried it before”. Find those that say “go for it”, “you can do it”, “study hard”, “work at it”, “keep plugging away”. Anything in life worth doing is worth doing well, and the best things in life are always the toughest things to do. Don’t settle. Be tough.