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Vanities and Purpose – Nerdful Mind #129

July 3, 2022 by Simon Mannes

A friend of mine started a job last year.

He finished his master’s degree and then started working at a big corporation. He moved into a new apartment, financed a new kitchen, bought furniture, got new car, crossing off item after item on his mental checklist.

But despite spending so much money on things he wanted to get, he didn’t get happier. Instead, he became unhappy. When previously he used to talk about his plans and dreams, he now only talked about the small but negative things happening at his job.

For me, this comes down to uncertainty of purpose.

Many people get their sense of purpose from their job. Others remove their identity and purpose from their job and get it from their family or hobbies.

But if you don’t get a sense of purpose from anything, people look at possessions for comfort.

Uncertainty of purpose leads to overvaluing vanities.

Finding purpose can be hard, but a great starting point is this question: “what makes me truly and sustainably happy?”

“A lot of people are always desiring desiring many things in life not knowing what it is they are actually desiring for. The absence of desire also makes life very difficult since the one living as such cannot define his purpose in life.” — G. S Clason

Reading Recommendations

Ethical Mindfulness: An Interview with Tibetan Buddhist Monk and Scholar Geshe Lhador

“Ven. Geshe Lhador has served His Holiness the Dalai Lama as his translator and religious assistant since 1989, and has translated numerous books by His Holiness from English into Tibetan and from Tibetan into English. He is now the director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives and head of the Science Education Project. He is also a widely sought-after speaker on contemporary Buddhism, known for his ability to communicate the Buddhist teachings in common, everyday language.”

Want Stuff? Why We Are Driven to Buy More

“I know people who seem to be buying things all the time. A steady stream of brown boxes arrives at their doorsteps, carrying their latest online purchases. Weekly trips to the mall are a fixture on their calendars. Why do we want stuff? Psychological science provides a number of possible answers.”

Criticism of Java - Wikipedia

Did you know this has its own Wikipedia article?

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

A three-step mindfulness exercise check-in with your body:

Step 1: ask yourself what you are doing in the current moment. What are you hearing, seeing, and feeling?

Step 2: breathe consciously for 6-8 breaths.

Step 3: expand your awareness outwards. First include your body and then your surroundings.

End Note

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Have a great week


PS: What do you think about this? Please hit reply and let me know. I’m curious!