The journey from ‘having’ to ‘being’ is not an easy one. If you have had a deprived child hood, you may not yet be mentally ready for minimalisation. When you simplify things like deciding to have only white shirts and black pants, you are making a choice. If you are really rich and your servants make you a big range of breakfast, and you choose to have just a banana, you are making a choice of living a simple life. Not because you must, but because you can, and you are happy making that choice.
Let us look at the following “impressive” things which are refusing to impress the kids of today.
- The brand and size of your SUV: Many of the kids of today are doing well in their jobs and are earning about Rs. 2 million and are married to Rs. 2 million earning spouses! Imagine, almost any car is within their purchase reach, and (perhaps because of) this transport has become a commodity. I see many friends driving a Merc – and saying ‘this is maya’ and I will discard it as soon as this marketing role ends. One another way of looking at a big car / suv is to see how much damage these cars are doing to the world around us. Then suddenly you have far more respect for the public transport using person than for the big car, big brand kinda people? Already see it happening in a small way.
- The Rs. 2 lakh rupee Diamond necklace: really? this family which barely has any surplus money suddenly splurged on a vacation and came back with jewelry worth a few lakhs! why? it is cheap abroad? It makes no sense to go on a shopping spree to impress. People like me would not even notice the price / value. Ok, I do not matter, but even those who notice are not impressed just by one piece of jewelry. In fact people start wondering…how or why did he/ she get this piece. Frankly people do not care.
- The square feet on your house: Once upon a time people partied at home, and friends / relatives stayed over too. Today the partying is in a club, and other than some 70 year olds…people prefer staying in a club, hotel, guest house, etc. so like transport, shelter is becoming the next commodity.
- The label on your clothing: A friend picked up shirts for which we pay about Rs. 3k in India for Rs. 200 each in China. Seriously, the brand is under threat. If clothing were to become a commodity, the labels on your lapels are not going to matter. And with such a huge range of prices in one brand, the ‘value’ of many brands is going south, and pretty fast. Thanks gen Y for killing the brand craze for clothes, bags, perfumes, ..
- The model of your cell phone: Gimme a break, if you are changing your phone every 18 months, do brand relationships really grow? Yes there are Apple bhakts and Nokia bhakts, but hey Samsung, ..and now a few Indian players have helped one to commoditise the cell phone market too. Pulling out an I Phone or an I Pod to impress people is a thing of the past.
- Your net worth: Today there is no way how you can guess the net worth of some of your friends and clients. I know people driving around in big cars and living in big houses with worrisome EMIs. I also know of people with a huge networth living a minimalisation lifestyle. If you decide on how much money a person based on spending pattern you could be wrong. Dramatically wrong. Now that you know that, does it really matter what is your net worth?
- Your social media contacts: I do not do much of a background check when I get a FB, Linked In,..request. I have no clue what people get by being my ‘friend’ – frankly I think they get NOTHING. If that is how most of us value a link, should we bother how many ‘friends’ we have on the social media? this is a media driven madness, ignore this stuff.
- Your travel, age of retirement, whether you are in business or in a job….are all personal choices, not a scorecard!!
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