mental closet cameraSometimes we give in to the illusion that we can get the perks of a designed life while going with society’s flow by default. We are easy prey for advertisers selling wares we don’t need, and probably won’t want five minutes after we get them home. For example, I once fell under the spell of a $600 camera I saw featured in a glossy magazine spread. I bought it with my hard-earned savings, used it once, and stuck on a shelf where it still sits to this day.

Take a moment right now to identify an unused “six hundred-dollar camera” in your life. Describe that “camera” in writing. What enticed you to buy it? Why do you regret the purchase? What do you wish you’d done with the money instead? Next, move that “camera” to the front shelf of your mental closet. For the next month, every time you open your wallet to buy anything other than groceries, ask yourself: Is this another “six-hundred-dollar camera”? Am I defaulting to society’s flow, or is this part of my design?

If you’re interested in learning more about living your life by design, I invite you to read my book, Mindful Money: Simple Practices for Reaching Your Financial Goals and Increasing Your Happiness Dividend.