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8 Traps Materialistic People Easily Fall Into – Without Knowing It

8 Traps Materialistic People Easily Fall Into – Without Knowing It

What happened?

In a world where we’re defined by the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, and the size of our homes; material items speak louder than ever.

Materialism has been rapidly expanding and shows no signs of slowing down.  With the majority of Western Civilization falling victim to a materialistic lifestyle, it’s become the norm to care more about what you own rather than who you are as a person.

We all know materialistic people in our lives. You might even be one of them.  Material goods blind us from life, making it impossible to experience true happiness.

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By seeing the different traps materialists experience, you can avoid them yourself and steer clear of transforming into yet another individual defined by their possessions.

1.  They Always Need More

In a material world, more is never enough.  There’s always a newer, bigger, faster, more high-tech version of what you already have.  When it comes to material goods, there’s always a reason to need more.  Satisfaction doesn’t exist.

2.  The Rely On Instant Gratification

The beauty of material items is that you can easily fix a bad mood with a trip to the mall.  The tragedy is this becomes an addictive cycle and the emotional lift never lasts.

Materialistic people are programmed to want everything now.  This takes away the pridefulness in working hard to earn something that takes time to achieve, like mastering a craft or getting into peak shape.

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3.  They Crave Approval From Others

Materialists yearn for a sense of belonging.  People want to fit in. So when everyone is getting a new iPhone or buying bigger TV’s it makes sense that you would want to do it too.  However, materialistic people focus so much on the approval and acceptance of others that they never look for approval from themselves.

4.  They Try To Buy Happiness

Materialistic people believe happiness has a price tag and can be bought in a store.  Perhaps not literally (though I wouldn’t be surprised), but there’s always the feeling: “if I only had ____ then I’d be happy”.  In reality, one more thing won’t make or break your happiness.  If you aren’t happy now then buying a new pair of sneakers isn’t going to change that.

5.  They Define Who They Are By What They Own

Every year, people all over the U.S. meet up in various locations to hangout with others who have nothing in common with them except that they all drive Harley Davidson Motorcycles.  It’s a modern day cult where if you don’t own one, then you don’t belong.  From a materialistic view, who you are underneath doesn’t matter anymore.  It’s your possessions that show who you really are.

6.  They Become Slaves To Their Material Items

After buying happiness and earning approval from others, rather than owning their possessions, materialistic people become prisoners to the very items they purchased.  Always looking for new ways to signify their status, materialists become so lost in their possessions that they lose focus of the things that matter most.

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7.  They Treat People Like Material Possessions

Between beach bodies, calorie cutting diets, and idolizing super models, materialistic people treat others as products to be consumed.  Both women and men become objectified into desirable goods sought after by all.  Celebrities and “beautiful” people are considered super-human. Those of us who don’t have the proper appearance become like “the untouchables” from the Indian caste system.

8.  They Get Trapped In The Noise

In the end, materialistic people become lost.  There’s so much to be consumed that no one will ever have it all. Chances are, whatever you own, someone else has it too.  This endless consumption creates clutter; both in their physical life, as well as in their minds. Since there’s so much to keep track of they can’t even remember everything they own.

What is the ultimate goal of a materialistic lifestyle?  You could spend your entire life chasing physical possessions and you’ll die coming nowhere close to owning it all.  The reality is that when you die, nothing is going with you.  It’s all getting left behind.

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By turning your focus inward rather than on what you own, and by accumulating experiences that last a lifetime rather than material items, you can avoid the chaos of the material world and live a life that means something to you. Because, when all is said and done, that’s what really matters.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

Negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Negativity has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively.

When we make a decision to become positive, and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect.

Although negative and positive thoughts will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.

Here are some ways to get rid of negativity and become more positive.

1. Become Grateful for Everything

When life is all about us, it’s easy to believe that we deserve what we have. An attitude of entitlement puts us at the center of the universe and sets up the unrealistic expectation that others should cater to us, our needs, and our wants. This vain state of existence is a surefire way to set yourself up for an unfulfilled life of negativity.

People living in this sort of entitlement are “energy suckers”–they are always searching for what they can get out of a situation. People that don’t appreciate the nuances of their lives live in a constant state of lacking. And it’s really difficult to live a positive life this way.

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When we begin to be grateful and appreciate everything in our lives–from the small struggles that make us better, to the car that gets us from A to B every day–we shift our attitude from one of selfishness, to one of appreciation. This appreciation gets noticed by others, and a positive harmony begins to form in our relationships.

We begin to receive more of that which we are grateful for, because we’ve opened ourselves up to the idea of receiving, instead of taking. This will make your life more fulfilling, and more positive.

2. Laugh More, Especially at Yourself

Life gets busy, our schedules fill up, we get into relationships, and work can feel task oriented and routine-driven at times. Being human can feel more like being a robot. But having this work-driven, serious attitude often results in negative and performance oriented thinking.

Becoming positive means taking life less seriously and letting yourself off the hook. This is the only life that you get to live, why not lighten up your mood?

Laughter helps us become positive by lightening our mood and reminding us not to take life so seriously. Are you sensitive to light sarcasm? Do you have trouble laughing at jokes? Usually, people who are stressed out and overly serious get most offended by sarcasm because their life is all work and no play.

If we can learn to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, life will become more of an experiment in finding out what makes us happy. And finding happiness means finding positivity.

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3. Help Others

Negativity goes hand in hand with selfishness. People that live only for themselves have no higher purpose in their lives. If the whole point of this world is only to take care of yourself and no one else, the road to a long-term fulfillment and purpose is going to be a long one.

Positivity accompanies purpose. The most basic way to create purpose and positivity in your life is to begin doing things for others. Start small; open the door for the person in front of you at Starbucks or ask someone how their day was before telling them about yours.

Helping others will give you an intangible sense of value that will translate into positivity. And people might just appreciate you in the process.

4. Change Your Thinking

We can either be our best coach or our best enemy. Change starts from within. If you want to become more positive, change the wording of your thoughts. We are the hardest on ourselves, and a stream of negative self talk is corrosive to a positive life.

The next time you have a negative thought, write it down and rephrase it with a positive spin. For example, change a thought like, “I can’t believe I did so horribly on the test–I suck.” to “I didn’t do as well as I hoped to on this test. But I know I’m capable and I’ll do better next time.”

Changing our self-talk is powerful.

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5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

We become most like the people that we surround ourselves with. If our friend group is full of negative energy-suckers and drama queens, we will emulate that behavior and become like them. It is very difficult to become more positive when the people around us don’t support or demonstrate positive behavior.

As you become more positive, you’ll find that your existing friends will either appreciate the new you or they will become resistant to your positive changes. This is a natural response.

Change is scary; but cutting out the negative people in your life is a huge step to becoming more positive. Positive people reflect and bounce their perspectives onto one another. Positivity is a step-by-step process when you do it solo, but a positive group of friends can be an escalator.

6. Get into Action

Negative thoughts can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. Negativity is usually accompanied by a “freak-out” response, especially when tied to relationships, people and to worrying about the future. This is debilitating to becoming positive and usually snowballs into more worry, more stress and more freak-outs.

Turn the negative stress into positive action. The next time you’re in one of these situations, walk away and take a break. With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. Once you’re calm, approach the situation or problem with a pen and pad of paper. Write out four or five actions or solutions to begin solving the problem.

Taking yourself out of the emotionally charged negative by moving into the action-oriented positive will help you solve more problems rationally and live in positivity

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7. Take Full Responsibility, Stop Being the Victim

You are responsible for your thoughts.

People that consistently believe that things happen to them handicap themselves to a victim mentality. This is a subtle and deceptive negative thought pattern. Phrases like “I have to work” or “I can’t believe he did that to me” are indicators of a victim mentality. Blaming circumstances and blaming others only handicaps our decision to change something negative into something positive.

Taking full responsibility for your life, your thoughts and your actions is one of the biggest steps in creating a more positive life. We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.

Make positive choices in favor of yourself.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny” ― Lao Tzu

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Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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