Why you should value experiences over things


Welcome to this week’s thrive in five. A tip I can impart to you in five minutes or less that you can think about actioning or implementing in five minutes or less.

I’m pleased to see that there’s still some sunshine, even though we are now in Autumn. I’ve just come back from a very cold part of the UK, just outside Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. Some of you might know already that I was doing the Bear Grylls five-day extreme survival course – which I have recently come back from. And it got me thinking about what’s really important to me at the moment, and how that relates to my wellbeing, my mental health and physical health and my emotional and spiritual health.

It’s really all around valuing experiences over things, and it’s a process I’ve been going through for the last couple of years.

You can’t buy a thing that will give you what I’ve taken from the Bear Grylls survival experience for example. I’ve now learnt how to do so many different new skills, some of which I hope I’ll never have to implement like catching animals, field dressing them and then coming back and cooking them on a makeshift fire. But it’s just such a valuable experience and huge for confidence and for resilience – and you’re really putting yourself to the test.

The Arctic Circle race that I did in March I actually found tougher than the Bear Grylls experience, but it’s five days and four nights. You’ve got five full days of not washing and no usual facilities. You’re outside, you’re having to make your own shelter. You’re having to get on with the other people doing the experience too – there was a team of 11, and it was me and 10 men. The weather was pretty good, but still it’s freezing cold out there and can be a lot to endure.

I really believe that if you put yourself in this discomfort zone, you come out of it stronger, more resilient, better able to deal with adversity. And perhaps even a little bit more reflective and less reactive.

But primarily it’s really about experiences over things, and that’s just something to have a bit of a think about. Are you spending your time and money on objects? And if so, are those objects making you happy? If they are, great. But if they’re not, think about shifting towards spending money on experiences, because I think we get a great deal more value from those things than we necessarily do from material objects.

I’m going to do a podcast all about the whole Bear Grylls experience and I’ll bring that to you in the next couple of weeks, which I’ll share on all our social platforms. So, enjoy that concept, have a think about that, experiences over things and what you get from that experience that strengthens you and helps with your general wellbeing.

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