With success traditionally defined by how much we earn and what we own, the pressure to work longer and harder to accumulate even bigger and flashier things can be a vicious cycle. Mental health issues in young people have increased by 70% in the last 30 years – and materialistic values coupled with the pressure to consume from advertising and the stage-set lives we lust after on social media have a lot to answer for.

The irony is that the things that make us most happy cannot be bought in shops. Research tells us many things improve our wellbeing but noticeably these are not possessions. Long term happiness is not related to wealth (after your basic needs have been met) but instead achieved through: time spent with friends and family, being outdoors exploring nature and/or getting physically active; time to value what we have or doing good things for others; and experiencing new things and learning new skills. What if we were to focus our new years’ resolutions, life goals and career moves on doing more of these sorts of things?

Many are - we are seeing a huge mindset shift, which together with new technology and growth in the sharing economy, is helping millions to reimagine how they live and work.

Young people are leading this movement by re-claiming the definition of “success” to demand healthy bodies and minds, a great social life and work with purpose. If we focus on these things and want less stuff, who’s to say we couldn’t work less and live more? So let’s re-claim the meaning of our lives and re-purpose the age-old saying to, “only spend the money we have, to create experiences we actually want, to share with people we really love”.

It’s time to RE-INVENT our relationship with stuff….read on.

(See references for proper data on the trends/stats eluded to)