I’m in the UK at the moment.
I’ve been making the most of things I miss back home in Germany, like a decent cup of coffee and delicious food (I am not in any way suggesting British food is delicious by the way. I am referring to the restaurant and takeaway offerings from other countries like Thailand and India, of which, in my tiny little village in Germany, there are ZERO).
I’ve also been sorting out “life admin” stuff, like finding a phone plan that lets me use my UK phone in Europe without charging me a gazillion pounds to do so.
Standing in the phone shop, I was given the choice—as part of the new phone plan offered to me—of upgrading to a new iPhone—the latest super-duper model that comes in lots of different colours and is waterproof and, in a nutshell, is the best ever iPhone! My eyes widened as the sales assistant showed me the new super-duper iPhone. She explained how it has all these brilliant features and talked to me about processors and operating systems and IPS LCD screen technology and gigabytes until my eyes glazed over. All in all, I was informed that I should have the new iPhone because my emails and apps and things will load 50% faster than before and all in all, it’s a much better version than the iPhone I currently have.
I asked the sales assistant for a moment on my own, so I could have a think.
“Sure!” she said, in a lovely sing-song voice, “I’ll be over there when you’ve decided.”
I took my old iPhone out of my pocket and looked at it. I noticed how it was starting to look grubby. And how little scratches ran across the home-screen. I remembered how the lock screen sometimes takes a while to load when I type my 4-digit password in. I compared the weight of my iPhone with the weight of the new super-duper one. Gosh, how much lighter the newest model is!
“It’s all yours for just £15.00 more a month” said the sales-assistant as she walked back over to me, interrupting my comparison between the two phones.
My brain quickly did the maths. It was totally affordable. And for just £15.00 a month I would get a way better phone.
“I think I’ll leave it, actually” I replied—the words coming out of my mouth before I’d even fully thought them through. “I’m happy with my current phone.”
“Oh!” was her almost-incredulous response, “are you sure?”
“Yup, I’m sure.”
And I am. I like my current phone. I don’t need it to load my emails 50% faster, because they already arrive within seconds anyway. I don’t need more gigabytes, because I seemingly have enough. I don’t need it to be lighter, because it’s not even heavy.
My phone is ok just as it is.
It’s not perfect. It’s not the fastest. Or the best. It doesn’t have all the super-duper features. No-one is going to be impressed by my phone.
And actually, all of these things about my phone weren’t even an issue until someone pointed them out to me. By showing me something even better.
And it’s not just phones, is it? It’s a message constantly broadcast to us everywhere we look, everywhere we go. If we buy this shampoo, then we’ll feel worth it. If we apply for this loan, then we can have the holiday we’ve always dreamed of and our life will somehow improve ten-fold. If we drink this whiskey then we’ll suddenly feel sophisticated. Worryingly, it’s also a message touted in my industry too—I’ve noticed a rising tide of coaches telling me that I must be constantly upgrading my life! And doing more! So much more! And being better! And waking up at 5am and journalling and chanting for 3 hours! And making more money (at least 6-figures, but better still, 7!) And tapping into and unleashing my unlimited potential! And hustling, hustling, hustling! And following a 6-step plan to hack my happiness! And running my business with systems and strategy that will make everything faster! And more profitable! And more efficient! And! And! And!
It makes me want to just lie down and take a nap. It’s overwhelming. And exhausting.
I don’t need to be constantly upgrading my life.
Or my phone.
And neither do you.