When I first graduated from university, I was so eager to start my career, only to find the job market at the time was about as dry as the Sahara desert. This of course left me with fewer options than most due to the lack of professional experience on my resume in a saturated market of talented and seasoned candidates.
The one thing I was sure of in my career was I wanted to write and utilize my creative skills. In order to gain professional experience, I started volunteering as a copywriter. I would write copy to entice folks to register for engaging and highly intellectual conversation in the realm of the marketing world. One of the first pieces I co-wrote was the concept of "trading up."
If you aren’t familiar with this concept, it basically begs the question, why is a person willing to spend six bucks on a highly branded cup of coffee, but purchase the generic brand of fabric softener? Or why a different person would buy the highly branded fabric softener and a generic cup of coffee?
How do we perceive what is important to us and why? What are we willing to "trade up" in our lives? This concept focused on the psychology behind purchasing behavior and influence.
This had me thinking quite a bit about the material possessions in our lives.
As I enjoyed the best summer I have in nearly three years after a long and painful bedridden state, I had the chance to enjoy the outdoors much more. Tackling countless bike rides, walks, and jogs, I needed to wear sunglasses to protect my eyes from the sun gleaming overhead.
The one thing I learned in my life as many others that have suffered a chronic or debilitating illness and make a full recovery, is the realization of just how much more grateful they are for their lives each and every day.
Suddenly the view becomes priceless—beautiful at all angles. I think about all the wonderful things in the world that don’t have a price tag—the sunrises and sunsets become much brighter and more colorful. Animals that prance, jump, fly, and maneuver around us. The thrill of talking to loved ones becomes much sweeter, and a home-cooked meal satisfies the taste buds even with too much oregano for some extra zing.
Suddenly what I thought was important in my life has a lot less relevance—the customer that takes a little longer in line or the person that is in a hurry on the highway. This brings more space to the mind for what you actually value in your life.
So, as I write this wearing my discount twenty-five-dollar aviator style sunglasses that are just a little too large for my face, I say the view of life is priceless.
I try not to get hung up on all the material possessions in life because they are just that-material. I’m cheering for you.