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YOU ARE WHAT YOU CONSUME: Taking A Look at Society’s Addiction to Consumption

YOU ARE WHAT YOU CONSUME: Taking A Look at Society’s Addiction to Consumption

“We’re consumers. We are byproducts of a lifestyle obsession.” – Tyler Durden, Fight Club

Is consumption the key to individual happiness? Or does the opposite occur with the more we consume? Can a human in today’s society ever be completely fulfilled? 

As people of the Western world, we inevitably consume endlessly and constantly absorb something. Food, drinks, sex, drugs, alcohol, vaping, all types of smoking, gambling, information, TV, movies, media, news, numbers…and the list goes on and on. Consumption is embedded in our lives to the point that we may not always be aware of what is absorbed through our conscious and subconscious minds (let alone our physical bodies). This lack of awareness in our daily consumption ends up influencing our lifestyle and the decisions we make every day.

Do you enjoy making decisions that are blind? Do you wish for things to influence your life without you even noticing how those things sway your actions or inactions? It is important to be mindful of how we spend our time, energy, attention, focus, and money; especially in this day and age. 

Why do we feel the need to consume as much as we do? 

It could be escaping reality or masking negative and uncomfortable emotions. Most people would rather eat their feelings away than sit with the energy in motion (e-motion), observe it, and let it go if it does not serve an individual’s highest and best good.

When we consume beyond fulfilling our basic needs, it can also be a social matter. Many people are out to climb a social ladder, which leads them to a habit of consumption that is based on acting like everyone else around them. Many are looking to achieve a level of similarity to those they perceive to be “better” than them. Everyone wants to “fit in” to the scene and crowd they are a part of. It all only goes so far because there will always be someone who has more than us. 

Funny enough, the chase for happiness through material means does not lead to happiness. Rather, you find yourself much more frustrated, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled. Instant gratification works only for a moment. In the long run, it distorts pleasure and feels truly good; all while the individual becomes a prisoner of his or her habits. It leads to nothing but a vicious cycle. 

Not all consumption is created equal. It’s always easier to take the route of instant gratification and impulsive behavior because it brings direct stimulation for a moment. 

Why not enhance the mind to be intentional instead of compulsive? You are what you consume after all, so it’s always best to make better and conscious decisions as to what enters your mind and body. If you’re going to consume, why not make sure it is of the highest quality? But alas, less is always more in the case of consumption. We can always listen to our bodies to become aware of what we truly need. 

When we put thought and focus into what we choose to be influenced by (and why), it changes our perspectives on how we choose to absorb what is available around us. With proper and pure intent, we can grow as individuals, while also raising the consciousness of the people and the world that surrounds us. 

We all have a significant influence on our lives and the environment. We all have the power to make a change in an instant. If we are to be healthy, happy, considerate, and kindhearted, then everything we consume – words we read, the food we eat, the music we listen to, what we breathe in, and the people we interact with – should reflect those elevated qualities. 

May we enter 2021 with an elevated view of life, a higher awareness as to what is going on internally and externally, and a happy and healthy heart that radiates infinite love in all directions.