It’s amazing how quickly we adapt to something that we previously thought was the ultimate and the best thing we ever get. A case in mind is a big flat screen TV. Just the other day, my family and I were enjoying a good movie on our relatively new flat screen TV when one of the kids commented, “We need a bigger TV as I cannot see all the actions.”
The thing is, we were so excited when we purchased the TV not so long ago. Back then, we heard the totally opposite comments such as, “Wow, this TV is so awesome!” or “I feel like watching a movie at the cinema!” All of us were just simply awed by the sheer size of the screen. The actions came alive and we even had to watch from a longer distance than before just to ensure that our eyes did not get all watery by the flashing screen. It sure beat the tiny images we were used to enjoy on the old TV before.
It grows on us!
Yet today, barely 2 years later, I do agree that the new TV seems smaller as if we had never replaced our faithful 29-inch TV screen before. Thinking about it now, yes, the pattern seems familiar. Before we purchased the 29-inch TV, we were happily enjoying our 21-inch TV until we saw the “bigger” screen TV in a shop. I cannot even imagine how we put up with the 14-inch screen!
That is just one of amazing human capabilities – to adapt to a situation quickly and seamlessly – either for the better or for the worse. In this case, it seems like the previously overwhelming size of the TV screen has become just a new standard.
It may not be a bad thing if we use correctly as it would drive us to be better than before. However, it also can cause us to be permanently stuck in the race to achieve the ultimate happiness and satisfaction through acquisition of bigger and newer things. People would work even harder just to be able to afford bigger houses and more luxurious cars while creating a bigger size for themselves. There seems to be a need for everything big while at the same time we hear cases of lesser happiness. The price: lesser time with the family and even lesser satisfaction with oneself.
Needs for bigger things
Once they acquire all those big things, pretty soon, the cycle repeats itself. When they see a bigger screen TV on sale at the local store, they suddenly feel that the TV at home is not so big anymore. Their cars which was faithfully serving the driver all these years suddenly feel slow, sluggish and inadequate in all departments. The successful companies have also successfully made us feel less happy with what we already have.
Hence, we desperately need to find better strategies to get ourselves out of the endless cycle of chasing bigger and newer things for greater happiness. One of it is to try to look for ways to do “less for more.” We all have families, friends, close relatives and neighbours. Have we ever stop to think about finding happiness through spending more time trying to get to know them better or helping them out when they need us. This is in fact a very powerful strategy to achieve that elusive happiness.
Do less for more
A bigger return awaits when we invest in the family and friends, not the gadgets. When we spend more time with them, we will discover the new sides which we may have not seen before. Just by talking to the neighbours, watching the kids at play or listening to our kids narrating what happened at schools, we will find free entertainment that is not available on TV. We may even learn a few tips or tricks that are not shown even on the educational channel. There are many real life feelings and emotions that we can experience through these interactions that we will never get through TV, no matter how big the screen is.
Bigger TV with no guarantee
Yes, movies, documentaries or even normal series do provide some values to our lives but they are no match to the real interactions with the world. They can make bigger TV with more buttons and colours than we can ever imagine, but they can never guarantee that these gadgets will bring greater happiness.
Only healthy relationships with our loved ones and important people in our lives can do so. Their numbers and hopefully sizes will stay the same over the years, but the happiness that they bring will grow year after year without having the need to replace them with “bigger or newer” version.
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