When I got out of college, I had a job at a large fortune 500 company waiting for me. The increase in my compensation drastically changed the way I interacted with “things”, almost as if I had money burning a hole in my pocket. It is somewhat stereotypical though, I followed the popular vein and began to want the things everyone else wanted. However, I eventually came to the conclusion that material things shouldn’t be the end that you pursue. Houses can burn down, wood can rot and wither away, cars can rust and fall to pieces eventually no matter how much you take care of them. You can gain things, but you will inevitably lose them as well, no matter how hard you try.
Your body, mind, and emotions will follow you wherever you go, it will not remain the same through it, but that’s the point. It is a gigantic open white canvas begging to be painted. Everything you do, little or small will add to that canvas, so why choose things that will leave it blank or add more grey, when you can add color? Instead of pursuing things, pursue experiences, pursue states of mind. Experience the feeling of pride as you exhale while standing before something you created. Travel across Europe, Asia, or even anywhere. Take a dart, throw it at a map and travel there. Experience different cultures, order sushi in sushi bar in Tokyo, go hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro, have a giant Märzenbier at Oktoberfest in Munich, Climb a mountain, go camping under the northern lights, stand at the precipice of the Grand Canyon, or even learn another language. Learn how to play an instrument, write a book, go tornado chasing, cook a romantic meal for someone, plant a tree, kiss in the rain, get lost.
The list of experiences that will change you is endless and you will always have them. Even if when you get older and you have Alzheimers, you may have forgotten them, but as experiences that have altered you personality and your character they will always be there. Material things aren’t bad entirely, but they just shouldn’t be the end,they should just be the means, the means to find a better end.
Experiences are the reminders that push us forward, that make us feel more alive.