Why Rewarding Yourself With Things Is Sometimes Fine

A week ago one of my friends spent a rather large amount of money on a watch. We’ve seen each other a couple times ever since and I know he has been feeling guilty ever since, torturing his mind with too many questions.

Spending thousands of dollars on a watch, or any piece of jewellery for that matter, goes against his (and my) principles. Nonetheless, rewarding yourself and appreciating the value of things is also an important principle to follow in life. Materialism, fake appearance and greed should and can be avoided if you take time to think of your purchases.

You don’t need things

My friend obviously didn’t buy the watch because he needed it. He bought it out of pure envy. He has always wanted a nice watch, and he knew he would eventually be able to spend a large amount of money on one. Because he kept his vision clear and his goals in sight, because he worked hard and committed, this day has come.

Wanting a watch is one of the most materialistic clichés of our modern society. But the reason you buy it and how you behave with it can counteract the materialistic dark side.

People who buy a nice watch for the sole purpose of looking like they can afford it are mistaken. They are fooled by our society’s standards. They don’t but the watch because they love the object, they don’t appreciate it. A watch is the symbol of an accomplishment. You are allowed to congratulate yourself for your accomplishments once in a while, as long as you acknowledge you don’t need these things to be happy. If you skip this step, you will only get short bursts of fake happiness and no long term personal development.

You deserve it

Every time I want to eat an unhealthy cheat meal, I think to myself: “I shouldn’t do this, it will have a bad influence on my well-being”. But you can’t live a life of infinite self discipline. It’s okay to let go sometimes. If you eat chocolate you might put on a tenth of a pound which can be burnt away with a 30-minute run. If you don’t eat it you will be sad. Have a break, eat some chocolate.

It’s the same with a watch (except you can’t eat it). If you know you have worked hard enough, saved enough, and if you check all the boxes you think you should check, then go for it. However, don’t lie to yourself. Be realistic in your desires and in your spending habits. There’s nothing worse than owing debt on something as stupid as a watch.

Don’t show off

It’s okay to have a materialistic side if you know how to behave. Appreciate the value of things and consider them as rewards you will keep in the long term. Remember the reason you bought them for. And by all means, don’t boast about these nice things you own. No show-off was ever truly happy.

People notice nice watches, they will notice yours. Whenever somebody asks you, be honest an truthful about the story behind it. It is a great exercise to work on your self-appreciation and gratefulness without sounding like a loser. Fake modesty is terrible.

Differentiate useless cravings and great rewards

I am not saying you should buy a Rolex or eat chocolate every time you feel like you worked your ass off. Be honest to yourself and stay outside of the raw materialistic circle. Know when to reward yourself, and try to live the simple life. That sweet spot is right in the middle of the good-life balance.

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