Japanese Minimalist Lifestyle – “Why Is There So Much Furniture?”
We own all the items we desire
In this chapter,
I want to tell you about the process:
“Why do we pile up a lot of stuff in the house?”
Once you understand this process,
it will be easier for you to reduce your belongings.
In the past,
I used to buy myself all the necessary things in life,
but I always felt that life was far different from the life I wanted.
People are always immersed in the thought:
“Far from the ideal”.
And when we look at the reality that is not like the dream,
we only hold in our hearts a feeling of unhappiness.
When I don’t have what I want,
I feel equally unhappy.
Even though I have a big room with one
or a large covered balcony that can host outdoor parties,
it’s still not a high-rise apartment building
with a view of the night view of the city.
At that time,
I only saw that my dream could not come true.
But the reality is quite the opposite,
in fact my dream has completely come true.
Why is that so, let me explain to you.
For example, at work.
We interview at many companies
and go to work at the successful company.
That may not be your first wish,
not even your second or third wish.
The company also doesn’t operate in the field you want to work in,
maybe you even do it just to make a living.
So you always complain about your boss,
about your company
and always think about changing jobs.
However, when you sent your application
and went to the interview, you thought:
I want to work here.
If you thought:
“Absolutely don’t want to do this”
then you wouldn’t have gone to the interview.
Maybe at some point,
you wanted to work in the company
and when you received notice of acceptance,
you were certainly very happy.
The same goes for the house I live in.
I have lived in this house for 10 years ago,
I only had the wish to move here no matter what.
It is a house that I had to look for a long time to find.
To this day, I still remember clearly how happy I was
when I moved here.
At that time,
I was happy because I found a house
that was fully designed and comfortable,
not because of its price.
I even felt excited when I started exploring this dream neighborhood.
However, after 10 years of living in this house,
I gradually felt uncomfortable with the crampedness
and oldness of the room.
My dream from 10 years ago has come true,
but why do I always feel so dissatisfied?
The same is true for my appliances.
For example, clothes.
Before, I always had the feeling:
“I don’t have any clothes to wear out anymore.”
On my day off,
I spend a whole day shopping.
Even though I was exhausted,
I still kept stuffing the clothes I liked into the shopping cart.
When I got home,
I tried on each outfit one by one
and looked at myself in the mirror.
The next day,
when I first wore the newly purchased clothes out,
I felt confident and excited.
Maybe at that time I only had one wish:
to have all my favorite clothes in hand no matter how much I had to pay.
the clothes I like are piled up into mountains,
yet I always find myself “nothing left to wear out”.
Likewise, most of us have our desires fulfilled,
but why do we never feel enough and always feel unhappy?
Harmful effects of habits
Surely everyone can understand this answer.
We are “familiar” with the desired items we have in hand.
Gradually, the “habit” will become “obvious”,
and eventually we will feel “bored”.
You just bought a dress.
The first time you wear it,
you feel so good, so happy.
But after five times of wearing it,
you feel “familiar” and the feeling of happiness gradually fades.
After 10 wears,
the dress becomes a “normal” item in your wardrobe.
And after wearing it 50 times,
you get bored.
Following the process from familiar to normal to boredom,
the sparkling light of a fulfilled wish gradually turns black,
the item also follows and becomes something not worth paying attention to.
That is the cycle from familiarity to boredom.
Even though all of our wishes come true,
due to the above process of changing from familiarity to boredom,
we are never satisfied with what we have.
In short, if there is no sense of familiarity,
we can still continue to feel happy with our favorite items.
If we feel satisfied with the items we have,
we will not accumulate new items.
You can see how dangerous this familiar feeling is.
Why do people always want new things?
When talking about this familiar feeling,
we first need to reconsider the human sensory structure.
This may be a bit of a confusing story,
but it’s a big theme in this book so I hope you’ll pay attention to it.
The nature of the human nervous system is
to find “changes” between stimuli.
That is the change when moving from one stimulus to another.
I can give you an easier to understand example.
Fall is also the time when the swimming season ends.
But seeing the sea,
you suddenly have the thought:
Oh, the sea is as blue as spring,
I want to swim here so much.
And so you just run into the sea.
But immediately you will have to exclaim:
Oh, so cold!
Because the water is much colder than you think.
At this point,
your nervous system has found the difference between
the temperature on shore and the temperature in sea water
and receives a cold stimulus.
However, if you soak in sea water for a while,
you will get used to this stimulation and will say:
Oh, but it’s still warm after a while.
In the case of one person sleeping on the sofa,
another person turns off the TV,
he will immediately wake up and say:
“I was watching” just like that.
(Surely the person who turns off the TV will think:
“Obviously he’s sleeping!”).
In this case, initially when you leave the TV on,
it will be very bright and the sound will be very loud,
usually making it very difficult to sleep.
But over time,
this person will “get used to” such stimulation and can sleep very well.
Even when this person is used to this state,
if the TV suddenly turns off,
meaning there is no more stimulation,
he will realize the difference and suddenly wake up.
The human nervous system does not focus on the amount of stimulation,
but on the difference when the stimulation changes.
In the above case,
the stimulation coming from the TV is quite large,
but this person is used to the stimulation so he can sleep well.
Conversely, when there is no longer stimulation
from the sound or brightness of the television,
he will wake up because of the change in stimulation.
This situation is similar to a child taking a nap
and being woken up by the sound of footsteps.
It’s just that the order is the opposite.
In order for the human nervous system to recognize a stimulus,
there needs to be a difference between the two states.
For example, turning off a television that is on
(change from stimulation to no stimulation),
or a sleeping child being awakened by footsteps
(difference from no stimulation to stimulation),
or it may be waking up due to changing the TV channel
(from one stimulus to another),
or even waking up due to increasing the TV volume
(from having a stimulus to a larger stimulus)…
Returning to the issue of desires or things we have,
our feeling of dissatisfaction is
because our nervous system perceives
that there is no longer a difference between the above stimuli.
Seeing only the same object all the time,
the nervous system cannot recognize the difference,
leading to a feeling of familiarity,
followed by a feeling of obviousness and finally a feeling of boredom.
Why are girls not satisfied with rings?
This process from familiarity to boredom can negatively affect every aspect of our lives.
It’s as simple as buying all the clothes you’ve always wanted,
but then you quickly find them ugly and think to yourself:
none of them are wearable.
Or you no longer find joy in the job
that you used to be very satisfied with.
Or it could be that you are bored with your face
that has undergone cosmetic surgery and continue to have surgery.
Even though you already know several girlfriends,
you still continue to run after other girls.
Or breaking up with the girl you swore to be together with,
whether sick or healthy…
All of those things are due to the influence of the process
of “depressing habits”.
If you give a little girl a plastic ring,
she will be immediately happy.
But gradually, that girl will throw that ring aside,
and even get bored with the 50,000 yen ring
she bought from her pocket money savings,
then the 300,000 yen ring she bought from her salary.
Perhaps even if she had the most famous
and most expensive ring in the world,
that girl would still get bored of it.
As for boys,
the first day they get a toy car,
they will jump for joy.
But you will also be bored with it,
bored with other toy cars.
Because he’s bored,
he quickly throws them away.
When you feel bored with your things,
you are no longer stimulated by them.
The nervous system confirms the same state anytime,
anywhere, so you no longer see disparities between stimuli.
And to create that difference,
the only way is to turn off the stimulus,
change it, increase the stimulus or make it bigger.
If you apply it to an object,
you need to buy another item (change the stimulus),
buy more (increase the stimulus),
or buy more expensive things (make the stimulus greater).
How to encourage Honda Keisuke who failed at the World Cup?
From the problem of “boring familiarity”,
there is an even more troubling problem.
Familiarity or boredom are just individual feelings.
If we look from another person’s perspective,
we will see that many things are too satisfying in this life.
A 50,000 yen ring,
a Japanese car,
why is it only the owner who feels unsatisfied?
That’s because comparing stimuli
to see the difference only happens in the person who owns the object.
The condition of player Honda Keisuke right after the defeat in the World Cup.
He was disappointed and sat slouched in the locker room.
If I were there,
I would say:
Even though you lost the match,
it’s okay, cheer up.
His salary is several hundred million,
the car he drives is a Ferrari.
he can travel around the world and also work as a coach.
His future is nothing to worry about.
Just look at me and see.
So please be happy.
No matter what he thought,
he couldn’t be convinced by my words and couldn’t calm down.
And he won’t say things to me like:
Yeah! No matter who I compare to,
I am much luckier than them.
I still have so many good things.
Thank you, I’m fine…
Because the comparison is only in our own heads
and cannot be done by anyone else.
And if Honda Keisuke doesn’t win the match
then he can’t satisfy himself.
The joy of victory can last up to three hours?
The speed of transition from “stimulating” to “familiar” happens quite quickly.
There was once an interview with athlete Andre Agassi,
who won four Grand Slam tournaments.
After winning Wimbledon in 1992,
Andre Agassi said:
Only a few people know about my victory.
This victory cannot compensate for the bitter defeats
I have encountered.
The joy of victory does not last as long as the pain of defeat.
So we cannot say they are equal.
In the books of Tal Ben-Shahar,
the student-favorite psychologist at Harvard University,
the same thing is mentioned.
At the age of 16,
he won the championship in the Israeli Squash Champion tournament.
This is the result obtained after his practice for 5 years,
six hours a day.
However, after the victory celebration party,
when he returned home,
he no longer felt the joy of victory when his dream came true.
And according to him,
his joy of victory only lasted three hours.
Even if you achieve some great goal that few people can succeed in,
you will immediately get used to the great joy.
Can Bill Gates eat six meals a day?
The truth is that whether you receive a ring for 10,000 yen,
30,000 yen or 50,000 yen,
the feeling of happiness
when receiving it is the same.
The joy of receiving a 50,000 yen ring is not five times greater than
the joy of receiving a 10,000 yen ring.
Your smile won’t be five times brighter
and that joy won’t last five times longer.
The value of objects may have no limit,
but human emotions do.
If the joy when you receive a 50,000 yen ring
It is actually five times greater than
when you receive a 10,000 yen ring,
then we can be happier with just money and material things.
No matter how rich you are, no matter how many assets you have,
that wealth is no different from the joy you are currently feeling.
And no matter how many things you buy,
you still don’t feel comfortable
because the joy of having new things in your hand is just like other small,
Just like emotions, our bodies also have certain limits.
Even if he is the richest person in the world like Bill Gates,
his stomach is just like ours.
Even if you become someone like Bill Gates,
you still can’t eat six meals a day.
And your day cannot increase to 25 hours.
What is the function of an Apple Watch that costs 50 times as much?
If we consider the function of objects,
I can say they have the same function.
A 10 million yen sports car cannot go 10 times faster than
a normal car costing a million yen.
You just need to drive twice as fast as normal to get caught.
Similarly, an Apple Watch costs two million yen compared to a 40,000 yen one,
its battery is not 50 times larger and the processing speed is not 50 times faster.
When comparing the functions of objects,
if a car that costs twice as much can run twice as fast,
or a coat that costs twice as much can keep twice as warm,
then we can be happy with This money,
But unfortunately the truth is not like that.
Each person’s innate mechanism of going from “familiarity to boredom”
if only viewed from a physical aspect is a bit lacking.
It is thanks to this “familiar” mode that when people encounter difficulties
or obstacles, they can overcome them and move forward.
People not only get used to advantages
but can also get used to difficulties.
However, if only considered
within the scope of the cause of the increase in furniture,
this mechanism obviously has a negative impact on us.
Therefore, we need to be clearly aware of this issue.
Future love is unpredictable
So even if you buy a lot of things,
you will quickly get bored of them.
Even if there are enough things that according to others are so perfect,
then for a while someday you won’t like them anymore.
If you think about it this way,
you will see that even if you add more items in the future,
you will still be bored.
So why do we keep buying more things
and repeating the process of “not bored” to “bored”?
The main reason is that people often predict “future” feelings according to “current” feelings.
Among animals, only humans can predict the future,
but that future distance is actually very short.
Have you ever gone to the supermarket to buy everything
when you were hungry?
Or have you ever regretted ordering a table of snacks at a pub on an empty stomach?
The cause of these things is that
you misjudged your future condition based on your current empty stomach condition.
People think they can predict the future,
but the reality is that we can’t even predict the future after 30 minutes.
The day before,
you drank a lot of alcohol and were drunk until the second day.
Holding your head as heavy as a stone,
Never drink to this level again.
Almost everyone is like that.
But in reality, after the headache goes away,
you drink to get drunk again.
In the middle of a hot summer,
you cannot imagine the feeling of warmth in a room
with a heater in the middle of winter.
And in the middle of a cold winter,
you cannot imagine the feeling of cool air conditioning in the summer.
No matter how many times we experience it,
people still rely on the “present” to predict the “future”.
The joy of wearing the jacket for the 10th time
Humans are the only animals that can predict the future.
However, this ability is only effective
when making short-term judgments.
when we encounter a scary enemy,
should we hide or should we fight?
When hunting prey, we should catch them in any direction…
Humans cannot foresee the future a few years from now.
And in fact,
the range of speculation is shorter than we think.
Please review the following example.
You go out to buy clothes.
And you only like this one coat.
Compared to the shabby shirt you’re wearing,
from the color to the design,
this shirt is great.
When you get home,
you immediately put it on and this happiness remains unchanged.
However, the unfortunate thing is
that even though you can see
“the feeling of wearing the shirt for the first time”,
you cannot predict
“the feeling after getting used to it
and wearing the shirt for the 10th time”.
“feeling bored wearing the shirt after a year”.
Before you buy something,
it’s hard to imagine the process from “familiar” to “boring” after having it.
When you don’t have an item yet,
you always want to prolong the feeling of happiness
as soon as you have it until later.
That is one of the reasons
that create a vicious circle that makes you like
to buy things more and more,
the more things you have,
the more you want to buy more.
The reason why there are so many things in the house is a bit complicated,
so let me summarize it briefly.
We always have on hand all the items we ever wanted. Why so?
That’s because everything around us are items
that we wanted to have at some point.
There is no item that when you buy it,
You don’t like it at all!
Absolutely don’t want it at all…
However, once you have that item,
over time you will feel from “familiar” to “boring”.
That’s why you want something new to stimulate you.
You need more valuable things to create greater stimulation.
And you also want to create more stimulation,
so you’ll increase the amount of furniture in your home.
Even if it is a new purchase,
you will immediately get used to it and quickly get bored of it.
Then you will continue to find other new items.
Even if other people feel that this is more than enough,
only you can compare these stimuli
and only you can create the differences in stimuli.
A domestic car costs one million yen.
In terms of features,
anyone can be satisfied,
only the owner of the car is not satisfied.
even if you buy new things to create different stimulations for yourself,
the joy when you have it is no different from how you feel now.
In the feeling of happiness and joy, there is a “limit”.
No matter how expensive something you buy,
the joy of buying it does not increase with its price.
When you receive a 50,000 yen ring,
your smile is not five times brighter than
when you receive a 10,000 yen ring.
No matter how much effort you put into buying good things,
the joy you feel is much smaller than you imagine and it hardly changes.
That’s why you feel dissatisfied and continue to look for new things.
Just as pleasure does not increase with price,
the functionality of objects also does not increase.
A coat that costs twice as much as usual won’t be twice as warm.
So you can’t satisfy yourself,
you hope the next item will help you meet your desires
and buy another one.
Even though all the items go through the process of “familiarity” and then “boredom”,
but you can predict future feelings from your current emotions.
However, that future is only a very near future for us.
You cannot know your feelings after a long time
when you are tired of that item.
That’s why you feel dissatisfied
and look for new things again.
We are gradually drawn into that eternal circle
and the furniture in the house gradually increases.
The more stuff you accumulate,
the more time you feel dissatisfied.
Even you yourself understand
that even if you continue like this you won’t be satisfied,
but you still hope for your next item.
And it’s a pity to tell you that you don’t feel happy
because you have fallen into this vicious circle.
Stoneware and ceramics were once essential items
Why do we buy so many things to bring home?
Please join me to learn a little more.
Since ancient times,
when people used items made from stone,
these items were used to the fullest of their wonderful abilities,
and they were true tools.
And those stone tools have paid us well for the time
and effort we spent making them.
Heavy work such as hunting animals, skinning…
thanks to stone tools,
is much easier.
Even if it takes a day to make a stone tool,
the time you can save later is much more.
In other words,
compared to the effort you put into making stone tools,
what you get back is much more.
Furthermore, once you have made a stone tool,
you do not need to spend any effort to maintain it.
Indeed, stoneware was once an essential item for humans.
Developing a little further,
people could use pottery.
At that time,
whether people could pick fruit to eat or not,
whether they could hunt animals or not,
completely depended on nature.
When fires or natural disasters occur,
everything is wiped out.
People at that time did not know when something would happen,
so it was best to store food in pottery.
At that time, pottery was also an essential tool in human life.
Through changing times, today,
there are many items that are not used for their intended function
but are used for other purposes.
In addition, owning items that are more than necessary
It will take a lot of your time and effort to preserve them intact.
And people are having to work hard
to serve unnecessary items in their lives.
Items that are not properly used,
tools like stoneware,
will at some point become our own owners.
Items used to “express your value”
Why do you have so many unnecessary items?
What is the real purpose of wanting so much of something?
Let’s go to the conclusion of the matter.
That purpose is “showing your value”.
We always want to show our value to everyone through our items.
Anyone can install the “lonely” application
Next, I will explain it to you from the beginning.
Humans are social animals and operate in groups.
Compared to large animals,
humans do not have strong arms,
sharp nails or horns,
and perhaps no one can catch a mammoth by themselves.
Therefore, to survive,
humans need to live in groups.
When people separate from the population to operate independently,
an application called “loneliness” is installed that makes us feel lonely and lonely.
This “lonely” application has the effect of giving warnings
when we are alone such as:
getting back together with people,
or contacting someone…
This application will not be deleted no matter what we do.
Okay, because it’s installed by default in each person,
so even if you want, you can’t do anything about it.
The loneliness of dogs and cats
Let’s also look at the differences between dogs and cats.
Cats can stay home alone
when you’re away without being bored,
but dogs can’t.
If you leave a dog alone at home for a long time,
it will bark wildly and run everywhere in the house.
It is also believed that a dog left alone
for long periods of time will suffer from depression.
And the truth is that the species closest
to dogs is not the cat that specializes in living alone but is human.
Like dogs, humans have social, collective actions.
That’s why people can feel loneliness.
And loneliness is not just one person’s problem but everyone’s problem.
No matter who you are,
no matter how happy you look with your friends
or have a harmonious family,
you cannot eliminate loneliness forever.
At some point,
loneliness will suddenly visit you.
Perhaps many people will complain:
I’m so lonely!
But you don’t need to care about it,
because no one can completely delete this “lonely” application.
Everyone installs this application by default,
it will start automatically and you will be bothered by it a lot
Humans are animals that live in groups and live in a society.
And to be accepted in that society,
we need to have “some value” to serve the society or the group.
If under the eyes of others,
you cannot find your “self-worth”,
then you cannot exist.
A big cause of depression
or suicide is the thought that “you have no value”.
Dogs are the same way.
The reason why a dog gets depressed
when left alone for a long time is
because when there are no people,
it has no one to affirm its self-worth.
It’s a pity that dogs can’t tweet posts like “Home Alone” like humans.
They also can’t write posts on other social networks like:
“Sad news. The owner is away
so I’m alone” so that everyone can share their sadness.
Then they also don’t know how to use social networks
to chat with other dogs.
There is no technique that will cure them of loneliness in the slightest.
That’s why we just need to be a little distracted
and they will get sick right away.
Too many people commit suicide
There are reports that the number of people suffering from depression in Japan is up to 10 million,
and every year more than 25 thousand people commit suicide.
In the 2011 East Japan earthquake and tsunami,
about 20,000 people died.
So what causes the number of people
to end their own lives each year more than the number of people killed
by natural disasters that occur only once in a thousand years?
Currently, Japan is a developed country and there is no war.
So surely not many people have to worry about basic needs
such as sleep or personal safety.
People often say “work to earn a living”.
But if we take the word “food” literally,
then in Japan there are only a few dozen people who starve to death.
So why do 25,000 people die every year?
What are the causes?
When people no longer see “themselves as having some value”,
they will no longer be able to live.
When they think they have no value in this society,
they will no longer have the energy to work and even no motivation to live.
There are only two destinations ahead of them:
depression and suicide.
So, to be able to continue this life,
never lose love for yourself.
For the above reason,
the desire to be recognized as “valuable” is second only
to physiological needs such as eating and sleeping,
it has an impact on all of our activities.
To be able to affirm that we are “valuable”,
we need to be recognized by others.
In other words, humans, social animals,
can only assert themselves through being recognized by others.
In my opinion,
your value is only determined by yourself.
However, if we look at this statement correctly,
we humans will fall into a state of loneliness,
not meeting people,
not contacting friends via social networks,
and accordingly our self-worth will be reduced.
Anyone, no matter how lonely or lost,
wants someone to pay attention to them.
And letting others see
it is the most effective way to affirm your own value.
Without a mirror reflecting other people’s opinions,
we wouldn’t be able to see our own appearance.
All for the sake of feeling “self-worth”
If the person you like likes you back,
you will be very happy.
And if the person you like
(the person you consider most valuable) recognizes your value,
there is nothing happier.
On the contrary,
if you are betrayed by your lover,
you will definitely be very angry.
“How can that guy be worth more than me?”
And if your partner breaks up with you,
you’ll probably blame them.
“If I’m like this, I think it’s not worth it,
I look bad in person…”
Let’s try to image.
The driver opens the car door for you.
You step down,
leading a group of employees.
Your sunglasses have gold frames,
so you show off your surroundings as you walk.
“Look, this is all I have. Watch out!”
At this point, even if you find it difficult to understand,
it is the source of all actions.
If you get someone to click “Like” or be followed on social networks,
you will definitely be very happy.
Because “So what, then I am also recognized by everyone.”
If someone scrolls through your post on LINE,
you will be angry,
if the employee in the store is rude to you,
you will also be angry.
At that time,
you will think:
“A valuable person like me also wants
to receive the corresponding attitude!”
You always live for the evaluation of others.
You will feel secure if someone else’s value is lowered
and always want to affirm your own value even just a little.
That is the essence of “assessment”.
If a person feels that he is worthless,
he will take extreme actions.
And to prove his worth,
he needs to have things weaker than him in his hands.
Maybe he will pick up a gun and riot in school:
This society, these people,
who do not understand the value of
it’s best to destroy it.”
Or maybe he will become a terrorist:
“Our values are not recognized fairly.”
And the motivation that motivated me to write this book is also to prove my own worth.
Maybe not everything,
but somewhere inside me there is definitely a thought that wants to prove:
I am definitely valuable.
Humans are animals with social behavior,
so if someone does not see “his own value”,
he will not survive.
And if he does not know how to love himself,
he will not do anything. get anything done.
“I have value to society” is not a bad thing at all.
The problem is how to convey to people that
“I have some value”.
A quick way to convey your value
“Human values” have many aspects.
The easiest to understand may be appearance.
The values of appearance can be mentioned as:
handsome, cute, beautiful, tall, stylish, muscular…
These values can be recognized with just a glance.
All women pursue beauty.
Recently, due to the influence of advertising and magazines,
men have also begun to exercise their muscles and take care of their appearance.
Appearance is an easily recognizable value
and has quite a great effect.
However, no matter how careful you are,
there is only a limit.
No matter how hard I try,
I can’t become a handsome guy like a fashion model.
In addition to appearance,
we also have inner values.
It can be gentleness, cheerfulness,
hard work, effort, vivacity, honesty, intelligence,
these values have no limits and you can Sharpen them to increase your self-worth.
However, these inner values are difficult to convey to everyone.
Even though that person seems enthusiastic,
you can’t ask them for anything.
Or a person who seems friendly
and sociable but may actually be a selfish person.
If we do not interact and learn for a long time,
we cannot understand the inner value of a person.
Communicate inner value through material means
What if we tried to convey our inner values through material things?
Through material things,
is inner value as easy to understand as our appearance?
If a person wears a well-fitting suit,
wears shiny brown shoes,
wears an exquisite watch,
and drives an imported car,
then he is a wealthy person and has the ability to work hard.
His money easily conquers everyone.
Working capacity, creativity, hard work, patience,
these factors can be shown to everyone
without needing anything material,
but it will take time and effort.
So using material things to express those values will be much faster.
Material things are different from “human inner value” in that
everyone can see it, so it can convey “one’s own value” much faster.
Perhaps in the past,
when humans still lived by hunting and gathering,
men did it this way.
Just looking at the amount of food brought home,
everyone can immediately understand how capable he is at work.
But it’s not like that anymore.
Japanese people themselves are no longer lacking in food,
even if you buy a lot of food in convenience stores,
it still does not prove “your ability to work”.
That’s why we cannot express our self-worth through the amount of food we eat,
but need to do so through another product.
For example, clothes.
Rock style creates a comfortable and unrestrained feeling,
natural style shows a gentle person,
high-end fashion shows perfect aesthetic taste,
casual fashion helps create a friendly and approachable impression.
Even if you don’t go deeply into the field of fashion,
you will still be interested in it as a way
to quickly express your “self-worth”.
In addition, your favorite household items,
antique camera collections,
wall posters or potted plants are also ways
to help you express your value to the outside world.
I really like Apple products,
because they always have more useful features than any other item.
If I buy one for myself on the launch day of the iPhone 6,
it’s probably because I like to show off.
If I buy a MacBook Air,
it’s probably because I want to score points at Starbucks.
With a compact, easy-to-use design,
Apple products demonstrate the owner’s value at the point of “smart choice”.
And perhaps anyone will have this feeling when owning them,
so there’s nothing to be afraid of.
The value of your belongings is equal to your self-worth
However, if you buy too many things just to show off your “self-worth”,
then there will be a problem.
If you consider objects as a means to convey “your value”,
the furniture in your home will gradually increase.
And of course, the more stuff you have,
the easier it is to express your value.
However, those ever-increasing items will not be a means
that will become the goal of expressing “one’s own value”.
In other words, the “object” has become your “self”.
And you mistook “stuff” for “yourself.”
If you think your furniture is you,
you will continue to buy furniture endlessly.
Because “furniture = people”,
naturally increasing your belongings also means increasing your self-worth.
Just like that,
you will continue to spend time,
money, and effort shopping,
and arranging item after item.
when you consider the value of your belongings as your own value,
you will consider preserving
and arranging your belongings as your top goal.
I used to think of bookshelves as myself
It might be a bit difficult for you to understand here,
so I’ll take an example that’s easier to imagine.
For example, before,
I had a large bookshelf filled with all kinds of books in my house.
Even though there are so many books,
I only vaguely remember the contents of a few books,
completely unable to grasp the content of each book thoroughly.
Ever since I was a student,
I bought quite difficult books.
Many books I only skimmed a few pages.
After a few years,
even though I read quite a bit,
I never remembered any books clearly.
I only vaguely remember whether they were books about modern thought
or a very long novel,
a typical work of the 20th century.
Now I understand why I can’t throw away books,
even the ones I don’t intend to read.
I used this bookshelf to express my own value.
But do I really want to convey my values this way?
“I have this many books. Just look at this bookshelf
and you’ll see that I’m a person with quite broad interests
and someone who likes to learn new things.
I know this book,
I also know that book.
Even though I only know the name,
it’s my hobby,
so I still want it.
I may not understand it all,
but I’m still reading it.
A seemingly ordinary,
quiet person like me has such a deep heart and such rich knowledge.
I am the one with deep understanding.”
Even though I never read those books carefully,
never let them penetrate deeply into my mind,
I still continued to buy more books.
I feel like my value is expressed by the number of books I have.
And from some point on,
I considered those brand new books to be “myself”.
But in reality, most of those books are not needed.
And the same goes for the DVDs and CDs I have in my house.
The same goes for camera magazines,
wall pictures, tableware or camera collections.
I have them all over the house even though I never use them.
And when the things in the house are overloaded,
they are beyond my control.
Too much furniture made cleaning more difficult,
I ended up leaving the room dusty.
Because of that,
I gradually lost faith in myself
and no longer had the motivation to do anything.
Finally, to escape that feeling,
I turned to alcohol,
and the more I did it,
the more wrong it became.
Items that weaken yourself
At that point,
the items I had were no longer things that conveyed “my self-worth,”
nor were they even “myself,”
but they were items that “weakened me.” I”.
It seems the story is a bit complicated for you,
so I’ll summarize it a bit.
Initially, objects were used for their proper functions such as stoneware and porcelain.
At that time,
appliances were truly necessary items for us.
As society began to develop,
things began to be used for other purposes.
That is the purpose of expressing people’s great aspirations,
expressing “valuable self”.
Humans are animals with social behavior and live in groups,
so if they cannot prove that they are “valuable”,
they are susceptible to depression and suicide.
Therefore, people need to be recognized by someone as valuable.
In addition to external value,
which can easily express our self-worth,
we also have intrinsic value inside.
However, this internal value is very difficult to convey to the outside and takes a lot of time to do.
There is a faster way to convey people’s inner values that is through furniture.
Because unlike internal values, furniture is visible to everyone and is more easily recognized.
However, if you rely too much on this advantage,
it can easily lead to overloading your furniture.
The items that represent your self-worth will gradually become your values.
That is, “things = people”.
Then you will continue to buy things non-stop
because you see that increasing things also increases human value.
And at this time, appliances will take root in the house,
robbing you of your time and effort.
In the end,
things that were just household tools become your own owners.
They are no longer items used according to their function
or items to express “your value” but become things that wear down your personality.
The furniture is the master,
and you become the servant.
Items that increase to the point of “harming yourself” will continue to increases
to the point where it absorbs all your energy and time.
Those items are no longer tools but exist in your home as your owners.
Under their influence,
you will have to spend your whole life for them
and have to fight with others for this master.
These items themselves are neither good nor bad.
But when you increase it to such a level,
you are turning it into a bad thing.
We need to change this perspective.
Your belongings are not who you are,
nor are they your owner.
They are just tools.
They are also not items bought
because of other people’s views,
they are just things that are necessary for you.
In the next chapter, I want to specifically introduce methods
and rules to reduce furniture.
If you have too much stuff to the point of wearing yourself out,
I recommend you try moving away from it for once.
Even without any items, you can survive in this society.
Be bold enough to throw away items that are harming you.