Stuff vs Contentment

From SafalNiveshak on Investing, but also I think relatable in the context of everything we discuss on this forum.

"The world is increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more?

How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind.

To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business."

#Investing is not away from the reality Haig has talked about in his book… (read the tweet)


I think this is the Western influence having more stuff is a key to happiness is the misrepresentation of happiness, that spreads across the world, and with social media like Instagram, Youtube, and TikTok people showcasing wantedly to show off to the world to create their videos and that seen by people as happiness and people who don’t own much stuff feels inferior and that leads them to buy. buying more stuff means indirectly creating more trash in the world that ends up in oceans.
how can we plant this simple idea into our kid’s heads at least they escape from this trap.

I think the same thing happening with AI also, if your startup not using AI some investors think this is kind of a downvote thing.

Curious to know, if is there any brand that showcases simplicity and less is more kind of a cultural brand. this reverse marketing strategy will work very well to recognize the brand, in 1st place. One needs to name it as " LESS is more " just like showing less in the upper case and more in the lower case and promoting against the more as by saying more is bad, more is a trap and trash to you and the world and less is more and let’s buy one in the idea of " LESS is more " :grinning:

the last paragraph just writing to share some fun marketing lines. hope I’m not violating the community guidelines.

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Matt Haig’s work invariably takes me back to this classic essay on stuff by Paul Graham… and I imagine an almost daily struggle/guilt in the face of pretty things delivered to the doorstep for dirt cheap for most.

@Venkat your suggestions made me wonder - isn’t it ironical that our default setting is to think of things under the ‘market’ scenario - why do we need a ‘brand’? Also, if a brand were to exist with the belief of less is more, and it sought to perpetuate itself, would it be delivering on its belief?
Patagonia, btw, meets some of that less-is-more belief…


This is both bad news and good news:

If our today’s world is increasingly designed to depress us. And happiness isn’t very good for the economy - this means this is just the outcome of missteps of the last few hundred years.

The real question that we all should be asking is - how can we reverse this trend? How can we minimize depression from society? It would be just a change in narratives that can prove products and services builds towards a motivation to balance our happiness or mitigate our risk/unhappiness rather than a tool to multiply personal happiness.

If we start taking small steps, maybe in the next 20 to 25 years - we shall reverse the trend.

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This quote beautifully explains why we are never contented, no matter how much material stuff we have, and why we fall prey to fear and other marketing tactics.

I believe the first step to creating a happier society is to see what others are doing right –

Once enough people realize this, the economic system might finally change and start working for the betterment of society like it was intended to -

The question now is how can we get enough people to understand and internalize this?

Communities we are part of are crucial for mental wellness. We evolved as social beings. It is literally our strength.

While one of the known causes of significantly making lives depressive are social platforms most of us use today - by selling more stuff and less contentment with what we already have.

Social platforms that are meant to connect us with our communities which are crucial for our mental wellness, yet they negatively impact mental health. Ironic. How?

If only we remove the “for profit” AND “for attention” ways of designing our social platforms, it could lead to better mental health as communities naturally tend to taking care of themselves while continuing to interact in all creative ways of social interactions that platforms enable.

Social platforms could be designed in a ’not for profit’ and ‘not for attention’ ways through no paid ads and finite scrolling respectively.

Such alternatives could be key to people helping people to improve the state of mental health collectively.

Such redesign could also help people take necessary climate action as a consequence. I share some of the ways it helps on this grove thread.

I hope this helps. :smiley: