Recent surveys show that western society has a problem with possessions.
In fact a large majority of British (79 per cent) and Australian (88 per cent) residents admit to hoarding items they will rarely, or never, use and in the USA, it is estimated that 80 per cent of all stored possessions are never utilised.
Although a large number of items are kept for sentimental reasons, many other possessions remain untouched for years because they are saved for those rare “special occasions”.
Gary Douglas is an internationally renowned thought-leader and personal development speaker. He believes it is counterintuitive to have one’s most prized possessions locked away out of sight.
“What are you waiting for? Life itself is a special occasion,” he says.
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A collector of fine art and antiques, Douglas understands the hesitancy to overuse expensive or beloved items
“I went to Hong Kong and bought the most expensive piece of clothing I’ve ever owned; a $9000 jacket. I love it. It’s exquisite and I wear it once in a while because I can’t stand that I might wear it out,” he admits.
“(But) my point of view is, if you’ve got it, use it or get rid of it. Your life could end tomorrow; if you wake up in the morning, it’s a special occasion. If you realised your life was a special occasion, you would not be waiting for a special occasion to occur.”
His three top tips for those with unused items:
Take an inventory of everything you own – explore those unpacked or unopened boxes
Make each day special – use or wear one thing each day that is saved for special occasions
If you don’t use it, get rid of it – donate unused items to charity, gift them to someone who will appreciate them, or sell them for some extra cash
Enjoy the best of everything – if you are buying a bottle of wine, buy the best one you can afford, and savour it. If you are eating dinner out, don’t just grab fast food; go somewhere you will have great cuisine and an enjoyable experience.
Most importantly, Douglas would love people to appreciate that every day you’re alive is a special day.
“Life is celebration. Are you celebrating?”