When we chase external validation, we often fall into the trap of seeking approval through material possessions.
We convince ourselves that owning the latest gadgets, fashion items, or luxury goods will impress others, prove we are successful and bring us happiness.
But this pursuit of validation comes with a hefty price: a miserable and unfulfilled life. We've all heard the stories of the lonely billionaire class.
So, why do we engage in this cycle of approval-seeking?
Are those expensive purchases really capable of providing us with long-lasting joy?
The truth is that the 'cool' appearance and boost in self-confidence fades away as fast as it appeared once we realize we can't impress others by flaunting our latest purchase.
Not to mention, we are all so incredibly busy and self-absorbed that no one will likely even notice your new car or sneakers.
We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
Whether it's the validation of a single person, a community, or society as a whole, we need to remember that only our own validation is what truly matters.
People who are only impressed by our material possessions do not genuinely value us as individuals; instead, they only appreciate what we chose to spend money on.
Whatever happened to impressing others through compassion, sincerity, acceptance, and honesty?
Wouldn't you want to invest in things that can cause a ripple effect and lasting impact, rather than constantly chasing after the next object to impress others?
Relying on material possessions to gain approval makes sense on the surface level because it is a tangible thing that others can see, assess and judge.
The things that are the most impressive, to me at least, are the unquantifiable, the intangible, and the intentional.
The next time you want to take the easy route and trade money for approval, ask yourself, "Who am I trying to impress with this?".