In a world of scarce resources, inequality, and environmental meltdown, there are some things it’s no longer worth being impressed by. If we want to see a fairer, happier, and more peaceful world, we need to re-evaluate our measures of success.

Here are six things we should no longer be impressed by:

1. Square-footage

With so many people left homeless by war and environmental disasters, it seems wrong to be impressed by the size of someone’s house. Not that there is anything wrong with having a large house. However, the warmth of a person’s welcome is more important to me than the grandeur of their entrance hall.

2. Designer labels

We all know that even the most expensive designer labels can use pretty unethical practices, including unsafe working conditions and the use of child labor. I admire ethical clothing choices more than designer labels. Buying a quality product that lasts is more important than branding. Bring on the charity shop chic!

3. Dollars in the bank

I am not impressed by money, social status or job title. I'm impressed by the way someone treats other human beings.

I am not impressed by money, social status or job title. I’m impressed by the way someone treats other human beings.

Don’t get me wrong. Poverty sucks and I am all for having a healthy bank balance that contains an emergency fund for when things go wrong. The same goes for a sturdy pension plan or a college fund for the kids.

However, there’s no need to keep piling up financial resources after the point of security has been reached. With millions of people living below the poverty line, it just seems a bit awry. I am more impressed by someone’s kind heart and the good that they do in the world than by them flashing the cash.

4. Prestige cars

Ideally, we would use cars much less, as they are so harmful to the planet. However, they are a necessary evil for most of us. That said, having the latest, most expensive car is no longer something to be proud of. The resources it takes to produce a new car are mind-boggling.

Add to that the pollution that car will cause and we should really stop being impressed by them at all. I think a reliable car that will give years of good service before needing to be scrapped is more impressive. Even better, a second-hand bike – although I admit I’m unlikely to ever achieve that myself.

5. Gadgets

Technology is a good thing. It saves lives. That said, when piles of perfectly good technology end up in landfill, just because they are a year or two out of date, we have a problem.

When you think of all the non-renewable resources that go into making TVs, laptops and cell phones, then having the latest iPhone, laptop or TV doesn’t seem quite so cool anymore.

6. Social Media

Using social media can make us unhappy and envious, so I’m not too impressed by how many digital friends anyone has.

A study by the University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross last year found a direct correlation between time spent on Facebook and feelings of dissatisfaction, loneliness, and isolation. I’d rather cultivate a few deep, meaningful relationships than spend my time seeking retweets and likes.

We are also guilty of double standards when we blame advertising for presenting only unrealistic images of perfect bodies while simultaneously photoshopping our own lives for social media.

We know that images in the media can have a detrimental effect on body image, particularly that of girls and young women. With that in mind, I am not really impressed by the enhanced images I see on social media.

Making conscious choices

While there is nothing inherently wrong with having any of the things above, I think it’s important that we make conscious choices about how we behave and what we consume.

There are other measures of success we can use, like happiness, contentment, kindness, and creativity. For me, those are traits worth genuine admiration.

We’d love to hear your views on alternative ways to measure success.

Copyright © 2012-2024 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

power of misfits book banner desktop

Like what you are reading? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss new thought-provoking articles!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. James

    Makes me think of that song and video by Shania Twain. . . “That Don’t Impress Me Much” 😛 (or whatever it’s called).

    Other things nowadays that don’t impress me are:

    Education and degrees – Education is overrated, especially here in the USA, public education in particular. It sucks, actually. All the mind and real-life Matrix conditioning and programming to believe certain things that are more in the interests of corporations, government and authority, which helps keep children more easily controlled, predictable and compliant. Individuality, creativity are stifled and limited. Critical thinking skills are seriously lacking today in education. Children and students are taught more about WHAT to think than HOW to think.

    What does school really teach children? 1. Truth comes from authority 2. Intelligence is the ability to remember and repeat 3. Accurate memory and repetition are rewarded 4. Non-compliance is punished 5. Conform: intellectually and socially

    Pharmaceutical based health care – Or I should say sick care. Pharmaceuticals do not create cures, they create repeat customers. They make shitloads of $$$$$$$$’s from people suffering from diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, autism (thank vaccines for their contribution to this one), ADHD, which in most cases, at least, another fabricated and now publicly believed condition for big pharma to profit from. And many more ailments/conditions/diseases. More natural things like treating cancer with cannabis oil, properly diluted and administered hydrogen peroxide and other things known to kill cancer are suppressed. The list goes on…

    Okay, I’ve said enough. You get the idea. *_-

    1. kim domingue

      Very well said… would appear that we are of like minds. My father and his siblings were born from 1923 to 1937. They were reared in rural Alabama. Their public school education surpassed mine by far. I was reared in Alabama, Florida and Louisiana. My public school education was superior to the education my children received. My children were lucky to have parents who could fill in the holes left by the public school system. But what about all the children who aren’t so lucky? My husband and I taught our children to think, not memorize. Unfortunately, schools nowadays are teaching to standardized tests and teachers have precious little leeway in creating their own curriculums. Our educational system is sadly lacking and our children are being done a disservice by it.

    2. FRuck Tose

      Hey James, can you do me a favor ( I lOVed your comment bTW) can you send me some sources to back your claims? I would like to read more into, vaccines causing autism and so on. My dad happens to be a doctor so I could just ask him if you cant help me out. Anywya I know what youre saying is true because its the internet right? also im out of school so my mind is expanding exponentially from me living my minamalist lifestyle. LIVE LONG AND PROSPER BROTHER HH

  2. Monique DiCarlo

    Ditto! Well said…

  3. WThompson

    Great article… as I get older (mid-forties now), I find myself desiring to be free from electronics, gadgets, from wasting time, free from things, etc… I would rather live a low maintenance, minimalist lifestyle that is focused on family, health, spirituality, fitness, pets, fiscal responsibility, etc… We have to stop staring at screens and doing what everyone else is doing. I took up foster parenting and riding motorcycles this past summer… these things make me feel true to myself. I have 3 TVs I never watch and I don’t know even where my tablet computer is… this makes me happy. When I am online, I find myself spending my time researching interests that make me a better version of myself, such as the content in this article.

  4. Sakib

    A day without a hug is a day wasted. 🙂

Leave a Reply