Choice is our greatest power. It’s what allows us to use all our resources to live our best lives. But the consumer culture trains us to make decisions by default rather than by conscious choice. Truth is, questioning the status quo and making conscious choices can seem daunting. Many of us are happy to let others decide because we don’t know how to make choices consciously.
In a BBC viewpoint article about the hazards of too much stuff, trend forecaster James Wallman describes an American study documenting what most of us already know—that we have a lot of things in our houses.
According to Wallman, 2 out of 3 people wish they had less stuff. These people are experiencing what he calls stuffocation—an intriguing word that describes the feeling of drowning in stuff. Not surprisingly, the resulting clutter crisis leads to mental stress, which causes physiological symptoms such as elevated cortisol levels. In this way, the mental stress of excess damages our physical health.
I’m with him until he proposes that we solve the problem of excess stuff by spending our money on experiences instead of things. Continue reading →