How many times have you met somebody who lives by the things that they own? Many people try to base who they are on what they buy. That’s not personality. That’s boring. Personality is what you do, how you treat others, and how you live. It has nothing to do with stuff.
What Makes A Great Personality?
Is it how you look? How you act? What you believe? Maybe it’s a combination of all of those things? Where do we start? Let’s start out with a definition of the word personality. Personality is:
the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character.
Material stuff does not form your distinctive character. You do. It comes from the inside. So why do so many people try to impress others with the things they own? This is a hard question to answer because the answer is multifaceted.
The Downside Of Consumerism
- We’ve been sold a lie: First, it’s not completely our fault if we believe that what we own makes us who we are. We’ve been sold this idea our entire lives. Like a fish to water, so is the consumer to the media. Does a fish know it’s wet? Consumerism is an ever-present environment. But we don’t have to live and breathe it. We can recognize our surroundings and choose to change the way we think and live.
- We think it’s what we’re supposed to do: Our families and friends also support the lie. After all, we’re supposed to go to college, get a good job, get married, buy a car, and a house, right? We’re supposed to have all the modern conveniences, right? This is just what good people do, right? Would you want your daughter to marry a guy without a job or a car? It doesn’t have to be that black and white. We can live with less and still be productive.
- We’ve stopped being creative: Consumerism kills creativity. Why would we want to create something new when we have so many mind-numbing products at our fingertips. Products keep us occupied. We’ll never be bored. But perhaps we’re actually becoming less creative and more boring. An article at 99u.com, says this:
When we have less to work with, we have to be more creative. Think about that the next time the consumerist impulse is threatening to encroach on your creativity.
You Are Not What You Own
You were born a distinct individual. You were born to produce, not consume. Each one of us has special talents that we can share with the world. I’m a writer, a musician, and a teacher. I make a point to put those skills first, before the things I own.
Certainly, some of the things I own may communicate something about me. My guitar tells others that I’m a musician. The Golf TDI that I drive tells others I believe in good fuel economy. Yes, our products can say something about our personality. But they are simply reflections, not the personality itself. We can communicate much more about who we are through the things we do, the way we act, how we treat others.
Better Options To Develop Personality
- Teaching a child how to write
- Planting a garden in your back yard
- Holding a cancer patent’s hand
- Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail
- Writing a book to help others
- Showing gratitude for simple gestures
- Being faithful to your spouse and family
Nothing on this list is materialistic. Everything on the list is action-based. Everything on the list is productive in some way. Everything on the list helps reveal personality and character.
Stop trying to buy your way to being more interesting or more popular. Start tapping into the talents and traits you already possess. Next time you’re tempted to go shopping to make yourself feel better about yourself, STOP! Choose personality over products.
Life can be simple. It all starts with you. I’ve written a short ebook that will help you make connections between happiness, simplicity, and productivity. Just click the link below for an instant PDF.