How to Handle Luxury

In Minimalism, Philosophy, Self Improvement, Short Thoughts, Stoicism

I think the first thing to understand is that there is a difference, a really big difference, between living well and having a good life.

The former, in many cases, actually impedes the latter, as once triggered, human desires have repeatedly shown to have no bounds.

There is no the end to the race when you are running on the hedonistic treadmill.

The body is to everyone the measure of the possessions proper for it, just as the foot is of the shoe. If, therefore, you stop at this, you will keep the measure; but if you move beyond it, you must necessarily be carried forward, as down a cliff; as in the case of a shoe, if you go beyond its fitness to the foot, it comes first to be gilded, then purple, and then studded with jewels. For to that which once exceeds a due measure, there is no bound. Chapter 39, Enchiridion of Epictetus.

There is nothing wrong with luxurious goods and experiences in by themselves, only the incorrect way of handling them.

The best way to think of luxuries is that they are, and should be, transient and that you should be lucky to be experiencing them. This simultaneous heightens the enjoyment while protecting you from a surplus in desire.