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We spend so much time on the hunt. But nothing ever quite does it for us. And we get so wrapped up in the hunt that it kind of makes us miserable. News anchor: "Black Friday shopping mania still playing out tonight at malls across America." "High hopes of saving some big bucks on those holiday gifts." [sounds of a chaotic crowd] We as a culture have lost our minds. There’s no question that what it means to have achieved the American Dream has increased tremendously in material terms. This is not something that just happened
yesterday. This is something that has been sold to us over the past hundred years by those that want to make a whole lot of money. "Now that’s what I call a good looking car!" You have this thing that you were obsessed about, but then the new version comes out, and now you no longer care about the one you have. In fact, the one you have is a source of dissatisfaction. People are beginning to recognize that they have been tricked. There is no "out" until you become aware. You’re not going to get happier by consuming more. Ready? I was born ready. There’s nothing wrong with consumption.
The problem is compulsory consumption. We’re tired of acquiring things because that’s what we’re "supposed" to do. When I heard about minimalism, it wasn’t about just getting rid of my stuff. It was about taking control of my life, and stop being told what to do and actually deciding what I wanted to do. When I first started reducing the number
of things in my life, I found out that I had 51 things in the entire world. We probably sold or donated at least 90% of our stuff. As I started to move that stuff out, I was able to finally realize what I had sacrificed. I don’t know what the most common
three words are in American homes. I don’t know if it’s "I love you" or if it’s "I want that." This same thing that’s not making us happy is also causing the degradation of our habitat. We’re going to have to give up a lot, but the secret is that a lot of that we’re not actually going to miss. What I found with minimalism is it’s a way of saying "let’s stop the madness." When you recognize that this life is yours, and that is your one and only, and when that seeps directly into your bones, and you recognize that this is it, everything changes.