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Focusing on Luxuries

The idea of lux­u­ry

I have been asked “Why is it that most humans of this gen­er­a­tion have a thirst for lux­u­ry?”. Well, it is not just about humans of this gen­er­a­tion. It has been this way for a very long time. Peo­ple have this thirst for lux­u­ry. What do we mean by lux­u­ry? Each per­son­’s idea of lux­u­ry would dif­fer, and it depends on their back­ground. For instance, the idea of lux­u­ry that the Indi­an mid­dle class have might be to own a car, a bun­ga­low well-fur­nished with sofa sets, a nice bed, air-con­di­tion­ing, a home the­atre, and being able to trav­el by air or by air-con­di­tioned rail­way com­part­ments. I reit­er­ate that each per­son­’s idea of lux­u­ry depends on the back­ground and each per­son­’s back­ground is unique.

Com­fort zone and fear of the unknown

This is not wrong, this idea of lux­u­ry can also be called a com­fort zone. You have got an idea that this is com­fort- “If I have all this, then I will be fine!” . You are fine because it is the known. Unknown ter­ri­to­ry cre­ates fear, dis­com­fort, and you don’t know how you will react. Even when peo­ple go to the Himalayas, peo­ple car­ry their food tastes there! They are not okay with what is avail­able there; they want the same kind of food they have here to be be pro­vid­ed there also! If it is pro­vid­ed, they feel com­fort­able. Oth­er­wise it is too much to han­dle! This is not wrong. This is the idea of com­fort, or the idea of lux­u­ry that one car­ries. Per­haps if one, who has a cer­tain idea of lux­u­ry is giv­en too much lux­u­ry then one would again be uncom­fort­able! Say for exam­ple, if a mid­dle class per­son goes to a 7‑star hotel, with peo­ple attend­ing to him all the time, he might get uncom­fort­able, and it might not be exact­ly lux­u­ri­ous for him, because it is beyond his com­fort zone. So this is to show that the idea of com­fort peo­ple have is bound­ed by lim­its on two sides, with a lit­tle tol­er­ance allowed on both sides, but not too much tol­er­ance! One feels that these lim­its should not be chal­lenged too much and wher­ev­er one goes this is car­ried for­ward. If there is a chal­lenge to this, or if some para­me­ter in one’ s com­fort zone goes off-track, one’s inner expe­ri­ence goes com­plete­ly hay­wire- “No, I can­not take this!” And hence many peo­ple have this con­fined idea of lux­u­ry.

Con­di­tion­ing and free­dom

Now why is this a prob­lem? Because it lim­its our free­dom — free­dom of oper­a­tion and the free­dom of explor­ing the new! How­ev­er, there is also this thirst to grow, and this thirst comes in active con­flict with the idea of lux­u­ry that one car­ries. So the thirst to grow and expand your bound­aries con­flicts with this thirst for lux­u­ry, or stay­ing with­in the com­fort zone — the known zone. This is always a tug of war that is hap­pen­ing with­in you. But if you have suf­fi­cient inner pres­sure, called moti­va­tion, then you will see that you will keep aside this idea of com­fort, or lux­u­ry, and go ahead with what you wish to achieve. Your aspi­ra­tions dri­ve you, and that leads you on the path of great­ness. Oth­er­wise, if you stick to lux­u­ry, you will see that you will miss out on the most “hap­pen­ing” moments of your life! You will trade great aspi­ra­tions that you have, great dreams that you have, with your lim­it­ed, con­fined idea of lux­u­ry and you will suf­fer and be mis­er­able! How­ev­er, you might not have the courage to break it and move for­ward, because there are social con­di­tion­ing process­es. The soci­ety con­di­tions you and you accept that con­di­tion­ing. And hence you feel “Oh, this is enough for me”. Any­thing beyond this con­di­tion­ing is too much to han­dle, unless you encounter great peo­ple who have done it — great peo­ple, who have tak­en risks, and hence have become great- be it in busi­ness or any oth­er field. So when their ener­gy rubs off on you, then you feel moti­vat­ed, atleast for the time being. Sus­tain­ing that moti­va­tion requires a lit­tle more effort – for you to under­stand this con­di­tion­ing, for you to slow­ly grow your will pow­er so that it is strength­ened to the point it breaks open your con­di­tion­ing for a com­fort zone, for lux­u­ry. Lux­u­ry is only in your own eyes. Each per­son­’s con­di­tion­ing is dif­fer­ent and hence your idea of lux­u­ry might not be some­one else’s idea of lux­u­ry. So what is it that you want to trade this lux­u­ry for? If it is your own free­dom that is being trad­ed, then you def­i­nite­ly should not trade free­dom for lux­u­ry.

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