I recently read this awesome article on Medium about the importance in investing in life experiences by Sean Kim. Here’s a few bits and pieces from the great post, including three tips on how to start living a life full of experiences. I know this blog post is LONG, but I promise it’s very worth it. You can also read the full article here. PS, this photo is from one of the best and craziest adventures I’ve had – a trip to Marrakesh, Morocco!
We’ve fooled ourselves into believing that the sole recognition — no, definition — of success and happiness comes from the type of cars we own or the number of zeros in our bank account. We’ve put the notion of material success on a pedestal and convinced those around us to adopt the same beliefs.
In a society that idolizes the pursuit of happiness, carrying out a life where one’s destination is to find joy through material goods is not only ineffective, but it’s a never-ending journey.
The key to happiness is not spending our time & money acquiring goods.
The key to happiness is spending our time & money experiencing life.
Every experience brings with it a mistake or triumph, and often a realization about who we are as individuals. Experience helps us clarify how we think, who we want to surround ourselves with, and ultimately an understanding of what makes us happy in life.
We live in a society where tangible things appear more valuable because we can feel, hold, and touch the materials we purchase. Above all, it’s because tangible things are tied with currency that places a price of its value in the marketplace.
There’s no way to physically feel the experience of diving off a cliff on a Sunday afternoon with our closest friends. Nor can we “sell” the experience of our first fight with our partners. It’s the same reason that we can’t put a price value on a human being.
Experiences bring us happiness not just when we’re having the experience, but also when we simply think about them.
Here’s tips on how to live a life of experiences:
1. CHANGE YOUR BUDGET PRIORITIES.
If we want to start living a life of experiences, we need to prioritize our financial budgets to accommodate the adventures we’ll undertake.
It’s as simple as saving up for a flat-screen TV vs. a trip to South America.
Figure out what you actually need in your life, and what will truly serve you in the long-term. The truth is, we need very few materials to enjoy our lives. Learn to be prudent when purchasing materials, because salvaging those few extra nickels could lead to the experience that could change your life.
2. SAY “YES” MORE.
Growing up, we were taught to make decisions by calculating risks and carefully thinking things through. If we want to start fulfilling more experiences in life — we need to unlearn these principles.
The best adventures arise from moments when we least expect them.
Filling our mind with “what ifs” is only going to keep us on our couches watching other people live their lives. Before we know it, our “what if” will turn into “should have.” Start saying “yes.” Learn to be present in the moment. When the next opportunity for experience appears, ask yourself this simple question.
Will I regret not taking this opportunity?
Tomorrow, next week, or even next year?
If the answer is yes — or even maybe —your immediate response should also be yes.
The future will always be uncertain. That’s never going to change.
But you can control how you shape it by thinking less and taking action.
3. START WITH THE SMALL (AND CHEAP) ADVENTURES.
Are you the type of person that watches the same movies over and over again, takes the same walking route to the office, and eats at the same restaurants? You need to break out of your regular routine.
Opening our mind up to new experiences needs to start with the small decisions and interactions we have in our daily lives. Instead of going to that same Italian restaurant near your office because you know it’s a safe decision, go somewhere new.
The most fulfilling experiences don’t have to cost a lot of money.
Often times, it’s right next door. We just need to know where to knock.