In the 1990s, the phrase “Got milk?” went from a question to a mantra for an American advertising campaign. The objective was simple: to increase consumption of milk.
Thirty years later, corporate efforts to inflate consumption have only increased. The average American sees five thousand ads per day. These ads are peppered on billboards, TV shows, magazines, and the Internet. We inherently know physical goods won’t make us happier, yet we all have items we desire to acquire.
The fast car.
The big house.
The sleek iPhone.
The ads show the item at its prime to spark the initial excitement. What the ad doesn’t show is the trail of discontent that follows: paying the car insurance, cleaning the house, or repairing the cracked phone screen. Maintaining the item takes our time and attention, resources we can never get back.
What if we used our limited time and attention for activities we really value?
To go on a beautiful walk and be mindful in nature?
To have meaningful conversations with family and friends?
To read a new book that gives us a fresh perspective on life?
When we spend our time intentionally, we get much greater results in return.
These emotions are free, yet they are valuable and priceless. We don’t have to do anything grandiose or profound; a simple walk in the park or call to a friend can make all the difference.
When we are tempted to get material possessions, we should ask ourselves whether we’ve got peace instead. It’s worth more than any glass of milk will ever be.