Tag Archives: culture of consumerism

The great culture shift

The purpose of this category in the One in a Billion project is simply to get people to consistently do the right thing. As discussed in the previous two posts (1, 2), we actually have a pretty good idea of what the right thing is – the problem is just that we cannot seem to get ourselves to put this knowledge into action with any kind of consistency…

So, let’s start at the very foundation: our cultural mindset. Currently, the predominent cultural mindset in western nations is one of consumerism and entitlement. This sounds pretty bad and will almost certainly trigger some automatic denial, but I can illustrate this with two simple American graphs (which are pretty representative of the developed world today).

us debt vs personal savings

entitlements-historical-tax-levels

These graphs pretty much speak for themselves and I won’t go into any further details in this post. For now, the point to be taken away from these graphs is simply this: our distinct lack of mental control is a direct consequence of this debilitating culture of consumerism and entitlement that has taken over the developed world.

OK, so how does that work? Well, our culture of consumerism and entitlement simply puts us in a consumptive mindset (entitlements are nothing other than government-sponsored consumption) which is the polar opposite of the mindset we want – a creative mindset.

habitsJust think about it for a moment: Virtually all of the things that we know we really should be doing more of (building and maintaining intelligent strategies for personal health and finances, consistently delivering quality work ahead of schedule, bringing more joy to the lives of the special people in our lives etc.) are creative in nature. But on the flipside, virtually everything that we know we really should be doing less of (over-eating, junk-food, smoking, excessive drinking, excessive TV-watching, excessive gaming and all manner of other bad habits) are consumptive in nature. See where I’m going with this?

Yep, it really is pretty obvious that our cultural mindset of consumerism and entitlement is the primary reason why we are fatter, deeper in debt and more depressed than ever before even in this time of unprecedented material abundance. And yes, the fundamental thing we need in order to get ourselves out of this hole is a new cultural mindset – one of contribution and personal responsibility.

We will talk a lot more about this new culture of contribution and personal responsibility throughout this category of the One in a Billion project. It really holds the key to successfully building and maintaining a happy, healthy, wealthy and sustainable life.

Filed under: Mental control – Introduction