Experience week is upon us! From the 11th to the 17th of April, either you know it or not, you’ll be living through what the Internet age has defined as a good time for you to reflect upon the importance of putting yourself through new experiences.
Having experiences vs acquiring things is a very current topic, which comes as a result of our contemporary lifestyle, and recent studies tend to favor the first. Here is some of the rationalization behind it:
The Monkey Mind
Our minds are constantly processing new thoughts, spewing out desires, fears and last night’s TV highlights. This is problematic because a healthy and happy mind is mostly situated on the present moment. The point is that experiences tend to have a longer “lifespan” and more of an intrinsic value when compared with things.
Popular author and podcaster Tim Ferriss recently talked about how every year he schedules a family trip 6 months in advance, so that everybody involved can have something to look forward to. The anticipation of an experience is only second best to actually living in the moment, while longing for things tends to lead to impatience.
This is one of life’s big traps: although comparing yourself to others can have positive aspects like helping you get a sense of where you are at in relation to where you want to be, it’s easy to fall into all the toxic aspects of it, like low self-esteem. Experiences always make for better stories, which are worth sharing; people simply don’t want to hear you enumerate all the stuff you purchased recently – Experiences make for stories, whereas things make for shopping lists.
Experiences build stories and memories; while we are progressing in life this become more and more important as we realize that they shape us. One can even argue that we are the sum of our experiences, while things tend to lose their appeal as we are constantly exposed to them – when was the last time you reminisced about that phone you once bought?
In a time where minimalism is starting to be a trend, we do not mean to trash on any material possessions and say that having things is wrong. The sweet spot seems to be (like always) on being reasonable and be conscious of where you want to invest your time and money. And when you do decide upon buying “a thing”, try to experience it.
One more thing, if you liked this text and find yourself highly motivated to experience the world and make good use of your time, consider downloading Karta GPS: it helps you save time, has many great suggestions for your next experience and is available for iOS and Android.