The Products You Buy

The products you buy will not make you smarter.

They will not make you successful.

They will not make you more attractive.

They will not make you popular.

They will not make you a better person.

They will not fill your hours with joy.

There is only one thing that can do all of these things, and that thing isn’t found at or on the shelves of your local grocery store.

That one thing that can achieve all of this is you. Not products. You.

If you want to be smarter, don’t buy a product. Instead, head to the library and pick up some books to read on the topics you want to know more about, then spend some evenings actually reading them. Take things you don’t understand in your life and take the time to understand them. Ask questions and seek answers to those questions.

If you want to be successful, don’t buy a product. Instead, work hard. Be reliable. Produce results. Try to look at everything you do through the eyes of your employer (or client or customer) and ask yourself what you would need to do to appear valuable to the situation.

If you want to be attractive, don’t buy a product. Instead, get some exercise. Go for a walk each day, for starters. Practice good hygiene and bathe daily.

If you want to be popular, don’t buy a product. Instead, talk to people. Don’t let your fear of making a fool of yourself hold you back – everyone makes a fool of themselves sometimes. Strike up conversations. Go to meetings of people with similar interests and ideas to your own. Invite people over to your home for dinner. Most importantly, when you’re in a public environment and you see someone you know, go over and talk to them.

If you want to be a better person, don’t buy a product. Instead, make a concerted effort to help others and be kind to them. Watch yourself for cruel remarks and actions and focus on cutting them out of your life and your thoughts.

If you want to fill your hours with joy, don’t buy a product. Instead, do whatever it is that really makes you happy. If you can’t do that, then spend an afternoon completely in the service of others who really need your help, like working at a food pantry or building a Habitat for Humanity house.

Notice how nothing described above involves buying a product, yet they all result in the kind of change that you want in your life. Even more important, products you buy won’t achieve those kind of changes.

You can’t simply buy the person you want to be. You can only achieve that through your own actions. Keep your money in your pocket and work on yourself instead. You’ll find that, before long, you have the best of both worlds.

Trent Hamm
Trent Hamm
Founder of The Simple Dollar

Trent Hamm founded The Simple Dollar in 2006 after developing innovative financial strategies to get out of debt. Since then, he’s written three books (published by Simon & Schuster and Financial Times Press), contributed to Business Insider, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, and Lifehacker, and been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and elsewhere.

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