Growing up, I was always a bit more than envious that the other kids my age had things that I did not. But now that I’m a young adult, I am more than grateful that I was not taught that buying new things will make me happy, because I later learned that true happiness has to come from ourselves. It cannot come from outside sources. That is not to say I don’t have shiny object syndrome, because I do. The feeling you get when you buy new things is a rush. I get it. I get that feeling too, but I also know that my happiness and self-esteem cannot depend on physical matter, because true happiness and self-esteem has to come from me. It is not something a new buy can give me. The only kind of happiness I may get from that is temporary and conditional happiness, which means I need to spend more money to buy more things to feel happy again. It’s like being in a relationship. If you are dependent on someone else for your happiness, you are never going to be truly happy with yourself, because the love that you want is not coming from you, but from another human being. So you are always left feeling a little inadequate and you’re constantly trying to fill a void with someone else’s love. But as we all know, it is often unreliable and unpredictable. You cannot fill that void in your life with shopping, food, attention from others, etc. Because you will only crave more and more of it to fill yourself up, but you will never truly feel full or satisfied, because you’re emotionally dependent on something else. Throwing more money at a problem will not fix your problems. It will only cause more problems and cause you to become more dependent on things you can’t control. This is a behavior you’ve learned. If you learned it, you can also unlearn it. And to end this vicious cycle, you must learn to become comfortable with yourself. Once you become comfortable with yourself, you can learn how to be happy with your existence. Remember that there is not a quick fix or magic pill to solve all your problems. You have to do the work. You have to put in the time. You have to keep going even when you feel like giving up. Your happiness is your own responsibility: be more self-reliant!