How to Overcome the Disease of More

The constant search for more may seem ambitious, but it does more harm than good. Read on to learn more about the disease and how to overcome it.

More doesn’t necessarily mean better. That should sink in.

Yet, our minds constantly fool us into believing that we’ll be happier when we have more. The unconscious assumption is usually rooted deep inside our minds, almost impossible to shake.

The possibility of the next thing seduces us, and we find ourselves in an eternal chase. We’ll continue accumulating everything we need as we go, then what?

We still need more, and the ambition never stops. You can’t ultimately satisfy it – at least not how most people try to satisfy it.

Yes, you’ll get a temporary hit after getting that thing you really wanted. But this dopamine rush is never enough.

This is what is referred to as the disease of more.

What Does the Disease of More Entail?

So what’s happening? How possible is it to want something awful, get it, and then go back to unhappiness?

Well, hedonic adaptation is a crucial driver of this condition. This is where we become accustomed to the significant changes in our circumstances and then settle to the new standard as if no change transpired.

You need help to overcome the disease of more

The adaptation stems from social comparison and our ever-growing aspirations. These dynamics result in a hedonic treadmill: we keep running faster to have more things, but end up nowhere in terms of being happy.

From a distance, this situation is absurd.

This immense desire to gain more is a distraction that we’ve learned to use to avoid relationship distance, pain, or emotional emptiness.

Lastly, the disease also results from paying more attention to the negative aspects of our lives than the positive, professionally known as negativity bias.

The Problem with The Disease of More

“No matter how much value our current production—whether it’s measured in dollars or sales or widgets or goods —it’s never enough. We stretch out our arms further, run faster, and stay at work longer.

We’re too busy trying to keep up that we don’t notice we’re in a Sisyphean race we can never succeed in.” — Tony Schwartz (The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working) 

The problem with this life and mentality is that it doesn’t work. Acquiring more stuff won’t fix the underlying issues.

While the pursuit keeps us driven and occupied, wanting more and more can leave us less fulfilled and happy. Instead, we become cynical, mercenary, and transactional.

Our hearts harden, we begin to experience accumulation anxiety, and instead of filling our days with love and grace, we prioritize the need for busyness.

I’m not saying that our pursuit for more isn’t helpful. We actually need more sometimes, and having more things can be good.

Many people in this country and planet live through economic uncertainties or poverty. Most reside in food and actual deserts with limited access to basic health care, clean water, stable income, or employment opportunities.

Others also face repression and violence.

In the face of such difficulties, additional security is a godsend. However, the problem with being comfortable and financially secure is that it can make you develop the disease of more. 

How Do You Treat the Disease of More? 

Changing your perspective and approach to life isn’t easy. However, paying attention to these activities can help you escape the dangerous cycle of need, greed, and speed:

Stop The Madness

Begin with a resolution to turn your back from the endless, futile pursuit of more. We all want to be happy, but obsessively chasing happiness can backfire and lead you into an epic ego trip.

You’ll find yourself in a narcissistic pursuit that leaves you in need instead of satisfying your needs. Rather, get over yourself and connect with others.

Practice Gratitude 

Next, you’ll list all the things you’re grateful for rather than focusing on what you lack. Your life or family may not be flawless, but you’ll find joy, comfort, and help when you’re depressed or ill.

Be grateful, always.

Be thankful for the safe neighborhood you live in or your reliable friend with whom you can discuss your problem.

Also, appreciate the fun things that come naturally, like your backyard garden or the ability to explore the park or beach during holidays and weekends. Through gratitude, you’ll discover that you have all you need.

Avoid Comparison and Define Your Purpose

It’s important to adjust your perspective from being comparative to contributing. Escape the comparison trap and discover how you can be of value to the people around you and priority causes. 

You also have to clarify your purpose and follow it the best way you can. This way, you won’t be climbing your ambition ladder only to end up hollow or in a worse psychological condition that sends you to look for another ladder.

You’ll then use your will and courage to fight for them and defend them against priority bombardment and unreasonable societal success notions. 

Work Out

When you only focus on the things you lack and entertain negative thoughts, chances are you don’t exercise regularly. Such physical activity releases endorphin hormones that make you happier and calmer.

Just ten minutes of daily exercise can boost your mood. When you’re happy, you’re less likely to experience anxiety, and you’ll have thought clarity. It doesn’t have to be a marathon.

Just take ten minutes to walk, stretch, or cycle, and you’ll feel better. Moreover, 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times every week can significantly boost your mental and physical health.  

Creatively Express Yourself

When you express yourself through art, you release any pent-up sadness or jealousy. So draw, write a journal, sing karaoke, or paint.

Creativity is more affordable than therapy, and exploring your imagination can help you discover hidden talents.

Stop Unhealthy Comparisons

You may earn a six-figure salary from your job, have a special rank, or get the opportunity to travel the world. But you’ll never be happy if you compare yourself to others.

If this is a serious concern, you may limit your time online or even delete your social media accounts. This will help you avoid the resentment, jealousy, and low self-worth that bombards Facebook users who dedicate their emotions and time to what their friends post.

Ignore neighbors and coworkers who gossip, and focus on your goals without allowing them to consume you. Earning the Type-A personality takes time and patience, but the peace of mind you’ll get makes it worthwhile.

Define Enough

It’s easy to focus on arbitrary goals like having “fuck you” wealth and becoming a billionaire. We allow our surroundings to shape our belief system instead of using our belief system to shape it.

Maybe you can have everything you’ve ever wanted without the billions. Perhaps that McMansion, yacht, or jet you want won’t address your inner needs.

Maybe they can. But until you know how much is enough, your life will be filled with scarcity.

Live by Your Own Lights

Finally, it’s essential to live by your lights and nurture genuine self-worth distinct from your possessions, role, or title.

Make your life easier by eliminating the extraneous activities that waste your money, time, or space. Change your “more is better” philosophy to “less is more,” because “less” has a margin and is light and free. When you have less, you’ll be free to focus on the stuff that matters.

Final Thoughts

By failing to consider the consequences of the disease of more, you’ll live a life of greed, unattained ambition, and perpetual dissatisfaction. It’ll also land you on the hedonic treadmill from which there’s no escape.

Regardless of your achievements and wealth, you’ll still feel poor and need more.

The best way to beat this disease of more is to disconnect yourself from every external metric. Fortunately, the above guidelines will simplify things for you.