Meaningful things are not easy to achieve.

One reason consumerism has such a hold on people is because they promise an identity without any of the work. Which is obviously a façade because the money you use to purchase something – I assume, must have been earned from your hard work in the first place.

But leaving that aside, a healthy identity seems to be built on things which are hard to pursue. They are hobbies, skills, crafts, and meaningful pursuits. Picture playing an instrument, making art, and creating good products that people actually need. These seem so much more intangible than a simple consumer good.

A meaningful identity is found in intangible pursuits. Maybe because they approach something like ideals, and so are more abstract.

Such pursuits then demand things which you cannot easily fake or obtain. Instead of the gear you own, you actually need to have the skills to swing a bat in baseball. Your skills in the sport probably more accurately reflect your passion for it. Skill demands time and effort.

Maybe most people are not willing to put in that effort.

So the answer is to actually put in that effort. There is nothing else for you to do! If you want meaning and enjoyment, then of course you need to know what you like in the first place. But once you know what you like, then all there is left is to pursue it earnestly.

Accept that things are hard. And then feel free to pursue your desires.

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