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.