Is consumerism linked to happiness?


Consumerism is not inherently linked to happiness, and often, pursuing material goods under the influence of societal expectations can lead to discontentment. Joshua Fields Millburn, during his conversation with Jordan Harbinger, shares his journey from achieving material success to realizing that it did not equate to happiness. He points out that consumerism is fueled by mimetic desire—wanting things because society tells us to want them, not because they genuinely fulfill our needs or desires. This realization helped him recognize that possessions can often "incomplete" us rather than bring fulfillment 1.

Furthermore, Robert Waldinger's research emphasizes that happiness is significantly influenced by our relationships and how we manage comparisons with others, rather than the consumer goods we accumulate. He notes that comparison is a natural but manageable aspect of human behavior that can impact our happiness if not properly handled 2.

The Minimalist Journey

Joshua shares his journey from achieving the American dream to realizing that consumerism wasn't his dream. He discusses how mimetic desire produces consumerism and how decluttering can bring a feeling of peace.

The Jordan Harbinger Show

594: Joshua Fields Millburn | Love People, Use Things