Do you remember that saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping?” Turns out there’s some truth to that adage. Research shows when we shop, we’re actually looking for wisdom, common sense and insight.
Here are three alternative ways to get what you need – and take the emotional charge out of shopping.
What is it about shoe shopping that makes you feel better about life? You slip on an expensive pair of pink heels and suddenly the world makes sense. You walk with a spring in your step and added confidence in your stride. But that feeling of “wisdom” is short-lived – you’re feeling lost again before you even get the credit card statement.
If you’re looking for some real wisdom, try walking in someone else’s shoes for a day – someone less fortunate than you. If you really seek the understanding and peace that comes from wisdom, don’t drive to the mall, drive to a local homeless shelter or youth center and volunteer your time. Not only will you make a difference in someone else’s life, you’ll gain perspective and wisdom about your own.
It’s Monday morning and you’re struggling to get it together. You work hard and you deserve something good to make it all better – maybe that $5 latte from the coffee house on the corner. By afternoon, your head is foggy again and you’re craving another dose of high-priced caffeine. You could just have the free coffee in the break room, but you’re worth the good stuff, right?
Little indulgences add up day after day – not only on your body, but your wallet, too – yet they never provide the clarity you’re trying to buy. If you’re really looking to clear your head and return to common sense, forget the $10-dollar-a-day coffee habit, and opt for some good old-fashioned exercise instead. A workout in the morning will kick-start your day and give you the energy and focus you need to make sound decisions all day. Feeling sluggish in the afternoon? Opt for a walk outside instead of a coffee break. You’ll feel better in mind, body and wallet.
Your stomach’s in knots, you can’t focus at work and you toss and turn all night – it’s natural to be in a funk when you’re wrestling with an important decision. So you head to the make-up counter and drop $100 on products. At first, you feel better about yourself. How could someone who looks this good make the wrong decision? But pretty soon tears are streaking that overpriced mascara down your face and you realize you’ve gained no insight at all.
Next time you’re looking for insight, don’t go to the make-up counter or shoe store – seek out a real expert. You’ll feel better immediately and take away insight that lasts a lot longer than a day at the mall.