Just as materialism transformed life in the 20th century, experientialism has the power to do the same in the 21st century, says the author of an influential new book “Stuffocation: Living more with Less” by James Wallman.
Wallman is a big advocate of “investing in experiences and memories, rather than the short-loved appeal of objects”
We buy too much, have too much, hold on too much. We are weighed down “by our own excesses” and our insatiable hunger for ever-more stuff is making us “joyless, anxious, depressed”. Our obsession with having things is unsustainable, he argues. It has a huge ecological impact. It adds to our debt. And it no longer propels us up the social ladder.
Experientialism – a value system based on experiences. In experientialism, doing becomes the new having. Happiness and status are defined not but what people have, “but by what people do”.
Experientialism is better for society, better for the world, better for us as people in terms of our happiness and status and giving us meaning in life, he argues. “And once you have a greater sense of happiness, once you have a greater sense of identity, you will be more resilient in your life and in terms of making better choices.”…
To be happier and healthier today, tomorrow and in the long run, try the following experientialist habits:
1. Know Your Stuff
To make sure your possessions play a healthy role in your life, ask yourself these questions: How often do I use my possessions? How much stuff do I really need? Do my things give me experiences and make me happy, or are they bringing hassle, debt, stress and depression?
2. Enjoy the journey
Place less emphasis on the goal and more on the process – the journey to get there. You do not have to change your world and give up your job, but you should do something you love.
3. Be in the moment
To get the most out of experiences it is important to dive into them completely.
4. Be Your own Audience
Social scientists have discovered that there are two types of motivation – intrinsic, when you do something for yourself and the enjoyment of the experience, and extrinsic, when you do something to impress others or for some reward at the end. If your motivation for doing something is intrinsic it is more likely to make you happy.
5. Put People First
Prioritise the relationships you have.
6. Spend Well and Feel Good
Ask yourself: am I buying this for show, or to really use now? Am I spending my energy and time on what matters to me?
7. Choose Life, Choose Experience
Life is a series of events that you experience, one after another, like a daisy chain of moments. Enjoy experiences that bring happiness and give your life meaning.