How To Stop Always Wanting More?
My wife used to ask me why I could never sit still.
Once I got my new favorite toy, accomplished a new task, or reached a new goal, after a short period of satisfaction, I craved for the next change.
It got me thinking why most of us, especially living in the modern world, function like that.
We always want to improve our lifestyle, buy a better house, a better car, earn more money, travel more, and accumulate more and more stuff.
There seems to be no end to it.
Why are humans never satisfied with what is and continuously crave for what could be?
And the answer is simple: due to our lack of gratification, the comparison game which I’ll talk about later, and the habit of taking everything for granted.
Shame on us!
But always wanting more is a mindset and a habit that can be changed.
Since I discovered the principles of minimalism, I found powerful ways to change that habit and stop the craving for wanting more.
Let me show you some simple tactics that have been very useful to me that you can apply to break your habit of never being satisfied.
In this post:
Reasons why we always want more
Our inability of gratification
The comparison game
Is wanting more a bad thing?
The problem with always wanting something new
Wanting makes us less present-centered
Wanting creates frustration
How to change the habit of wanting more
Embracing simple pleasures
Differ your wants from your needs
Stop comparing yourself with others
Changing your mindset about stuff
Create a clutter-free home
Own less, keep it simple and live more
*Disclosure: This article may have affiliate links, so I may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
Reasons why we always want more
1. The comparison game
From an early age on, we compare ourselves with others.
As kids, we always wanted the toys of other kids and were sad if we didn’t get them.
Those toys didn’t necessarily even have to be better or more fun, just different or newer.
So it is totally natural to crave something that we don’t have. The question is, do we learn to control our cravings by intentionally questioning if we really need more things?
Most of us sadly don’t.
And I get it, it’s hard. Especially when we keep playing the comparison game, where nobody wins but the companies that are taking advantage of us.
Additionally, society makes us feel as though we continuously lack something and that we should work harder and longer to build a better status.
And then there is social media which robs our time and makes us compare ourselves with everybody else in our feeds. Everybody seems to show off how beautiful their lives are and we question why we don’t have what they have.
However, if you don’t start being mindful of it and change your habit of comparing and wanting more, you will forever remain a victim in this game and become unhappy.
2. Our inability of gratification
The second biggest reason why we repeatedly want more is our habit of taking things for granted.
After a short period of joy with new accomplishments and new stuff, we get bored and feel a lack of something better.
Think at the time when you got a new smartphone. How did you feel? Great didn't you?
How do you feel about it now?
You’ll probably say normal. There is nothing special about it anymore, right? And so does it feel with your house, your car, your job, clothes, furniture, and other stuff.
We no longer appreciate what we have. We don’t care about it as much. We simply are ungrateful most of the time.
And that is one of the main reasons why we always want something new.
Is wanting more a bad thing?
I think there is nothing wrong about wanting to become a better version of ourselves. We can and should all work on personal growth and on becoming better human beings.
But when we get caught up in the comparison game and continue wanting what we don’t have, we get stressed out and miserable. Then it becomes a negative thing.
Further, acquiring new things always comes with a price.
We lose time, money, and natural resources.
When we think about it, we understand that becoming a better human being doesn’t require a lot of material things. Nor does it require polluting the planet by ditching old and buying new stuff.
We need to understand that the more we want, the more we buy. And the more we buy, the more resources are being used.
And because we are never satisfied, the more things we throw away and the whole circle starts again.
I think you get it.
The problem with always wanting more
1. Wanting makes us less present-centered
Wanting for more makes us live in the future.
When we crave constant change we admit our dissatisfaction with the present.
Our minds are filled with negative thoughts and we pressure ourselves to reach our next goals.
Then it becomes impossible to feel content with our present life.
2. Wanting creates frustration
Setting higher goals and pressuring ourselves chasing a better life by accumulating more stuff can get frustrating if we don’t succeed.
Thoughts like “I wish I had a bigger house, a better paying job, more vacations, more friends…” and so forth instantly make us unhappy.
“Want to know how to make yourself instantly unhappy? Compare yourself with someone else.” - Fumio Sasaki
Frustration is exactly the feeling I often had when I used to crave for more. I could never sit still and enjoy what was happening around me.
Until I realized that my life was actually great, and that got everything I needed.
Again, it was about changing my mindset. When you step back and take time to think about what really matters to you, you can save yourself from falling into the trap of feeling dissatisfied.
Let me show you some useful tricks on how you can instantly change your habit.
How to change the habit of wanting more
1. Express Gratitude
One of the most powerful ways I’ve found to change the mindset of wanting more is to practice gratitude.
If we actively express gratefulness for what we have, we overcome the danger of getting used to things and taking them for granted.
Remember, that everything you accomplish or acquire in life costs you money, time, and energy.
You should be proud of your life and be thankful wherever you stand.
Make expressing gratitude a habit and save yourself from discontentment, anxiety, and depression.
2. Embrace the simple pleasures in life
Living a happy life doesn’t always require giant changes.
Mostly, it’s the small things that make all the difference.
Simple pleasures are everywhere around you, and you can make use of them anytime.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched- they must be felt with the heart” - Helen Keller
And when you take the time and relish those moments, you’ll realize that simple pleasures are what bring great joy to your life.
3. Differ your wants from your needs
Our wants are sadly often misunderstood as our needs. But differing them from each other can make all the difference to live a happy and content life.
So, what are our needs?
Our basic needs are simply things that we necessarily must have to survive and live a healthy life like shelter, food, water, other people, education, clothes, medical care, and money to supply ourselves with all that.
All excess stuff we possess is basically not essential. Some things are good to have and have become standard items that make our lives easier like machines that save us time, our computer, or our phone.
Anything beyond that I consider luxury goods which fall into the category “wants”.
It’s as simple as that. Nothing fancy to explain, right?
So whenever you get the itch to buy something, first ask yourself: “do I really need this?” In most cases, the answer will be no.
Focus on the things you need, and you will be welcoming happiness.
You will not only be more satisfied with what you have but also save space, time, and a ton of money!
“I make myself rich by making my wants few.” - Henry David Thoreau
4. Stop comparing yourself with others
Stop assuming that the grass is greener on the other side because it doesn’t necessarily have to be.
Focus on your life instead of copying the lifestyle of others. After all, that’s the beauty of life. You can design it however you want to.
Limit your time on social media. The majority of people posting on those feeds spend a ton of time presenting themselves from their very best side.
That only triggers the feeling of being envious and again leads to discontentment.
5. Change your mindset about stuff
Decades ago, people didn’t have as much stuff as we have today.
First, they simply did not need as much. They were satisfied with the basic needs, and luxury goods were too expensive.
Secondly, consumer goods were not produced in such high volumes as compared to now.
Today you can get anything almost anywhere within a few swipes and clicks. And the least of us question how things are being produced and where they come from.
No wonder we take things for granted. When something breaks, buy new. When we get bored of something, buy new.
And of course, we produce tons of waste doing so. Earth's resources are limited, and our planet is becoming a huge trash can.
For the sake of our all well-being, we need to change our mindset about stuff and realize that if we continue to mindlessly buy and throw stuff, we soon will suffocate in our own waste.
6. Create a clutter-free home
Paring down your stuff will give you a clear picture of what you really do and don’t need.
A tidy home leads to a tidy mind, and that ensures you that you won’t get enticed by ads that try to convince you to accumulate stuff you may want but don’t need.
A clutter-free home is not only calming but also much more fun to live in.
Your home looks bigger and cleaner, and you can find things much easier. Not to speak about how much time you save in cleaning and organizing your stuff.
Experiencing those benefits will definitely reduce your wants.
7. Own less, keep it simple, and live more
Are you still asking these questions:
Why do I always want something new?
Why do I always want more money?
How do I stop wanting things I can't afford?
Or how do I stop the urge to shop?
Then you’re probably making everything too complicated for yourself.
The way to go is to keep life simple.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” - Leonardo da Vinci
Life can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.
You and nobody else can control that!
Live frugally and change your lifestyle to owning fewer things. By practicing being more mindful of your buying habits and expenses, you will find great joy in having more time, energy, and money for what really brings you happiness.
Your wants will automatically reduce, and you will find yourself more relaxed, confident, satisfied, and are able to live more.
“Purposefully owning less begins to take us out of the unwinnable game of comparison.” - Joshua Becker
Glad you made it to the end of this article. It means you really want to change your mindset about wanting more.
Remember that true happiness comes from within. It comes from living intentional, being mindful, serving others, practicing gratitude, and a long list of other beautiful elements that don’t cost a thing, or at least not much.
Practice appreciation for what is around you, don’t compare yourself with others, and your urge for constant change will stop.
Differ your wants from your needs and try to keep life simple.
Do that, and you’ll get back control over your life and nothing will stop you from being happy.
Ok, that's all for now. I hope you found value in this article, and that my tips will help you on your journey.
I'd appreciate it if you left a comment below, don't be shy! :)
Finally, let me leave you with this beautiful quote:
“You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” - Vernon Howard