I have already mentioned the subject of numbers and minimalism here, but I have been thinking more about that feeling of having enough. Does simplifying one's life help reaching that contentment state of "enough"? Is that feeling compatible with the desire for new things?
As Serge Latouche put it in his concept of "False Abundance" (or Fake Abundance, whichever is the most accurate translation), we live in a world where, although we do have (more than) enough objectively, we always feel that something is missing.
The Consumerist Cycle
The Desire for New Things
However, much excess can be fueled by desire, and, in our consumerist society, human desires have clearly been channeled into buying new things. This is only how the consumerist society has wired us, but we could redirect our natural tendency of desire toward other, more positive energy, like a desire to cultivate friendship, learn new skills, better ourselves, level up.
The Feeling of Enough
The good thing about "enough" is that it is personal. It is not the objective state of having enough, because we all objectively have enough (at least in the "West"). It is the subjective feeling that you don't really want something new right here, right now to fill some virtual gap in your physical possessions, no matter how many (or how few) you already have.
"Enough" and Purchase Habits
If you use the metaphor of food, eating healthily and treating yourself with a piece of cake once in a while is different than stuffing yourself silly with cake when you are depressed. You enjoy the cake much more when you eat only one piece in a while, without any "unhealthy habits" guilt looming over. Besides, you make a special occasion out of it because you don't eat cake every other day.
I feel like it is the same with new material purchases. A new item would be enjoyed more when we buy less often, and when the motivations for the purchase are healthy. Besides, there is the joy of anticipation, and the pleasure of integrating this new guest into your everyday life afterwards. And buying less doesn't feel like a restriction when you feel like you already have enough.
I still have a lot to ponder over the subject, and a long way to go to actually reach that state of mind when you don't get obsessed with new purchases. But I think that actively making myself realize I have enough is already a huge step toward buying less, simplifying my life and redirecting my energy toward other pursuits.
What about you? Do you feel like you have enough? How do you enjoy new purchases, are you satisfied with your current purchase habits and mindset?