10 signs that material wealth doesn’t define you as a person

There is more to life than material wealth.

In our modern, fast-paced culture, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we need more, more, more…

Maybe you’ve felt like this in the past or maybe you even feel like this now. 

Are you wondering how much material wealth has a role in defining who you are as a person? 

These 10 signs will signal that you’re someone who doesn’t let material wealth define you!

1) You value experiences more than possessions

We are conditioned to believe that we need to acquire material goods to be defined as successful.

I don’t know about you, but I grew up believing that I needed to strive towards buying a big house and fancy cars. 

I saw these things on television and in magazines, and thought these were the things I needed to work towards in life.

If I’m honest, I still need to consistently check in with myself and remind myself that these aren’t the most important things in life…

…You see, the conditioning runs deep!

But the truth is that material wealth isn’t the only wealth that’s out there.

There’s something I believe is so much richer:


If you agree with this, it’s a sign that you don’t let material wealth define who you are as a person.

You see, our experiences have much more power to actually define us as people.

In other words, our experiences have the ability to shape us as people.

On the other hand, buying a new pair of shoes will not define the course of your life and shape who you are as a person.

Even if you feel like a pair of shoes has the ability to change your life…

…Truth is, they won’t!

2) You don’t criticize yourself for not being good enough

People who have low self-esteem tend to change material things.

They do this because it makes them feel temporarily better about themselves. 

Simply put, the people who live in the biggest houses are often the most miserable. 

You see, the outward display of richness is simply trying to make up for what they lack inside.

In other words, because people can’t cultivate a sense of feeling good enough from within, they try to find it outside of themselves.

But it never is enough for material people.

The quest for more doesn’t end when you’re stuck in the cycle of trying to fill a void… 

…And this manifests and those who are obsessed with material wealth often criticize themselves.

This critique might include not being or having enough.

In essence, people who chase paper are hard on themselves because they’re in an endless quest to fill a gap in their lives.

3) You don’t care about social status

It’s sad, but true, that many people chase material wealth to impress others.

Material wealth is seen as social currency around the world. 

Simply put, owning assets and being wealthy buys someone social status.

I’m sure you’ve been exposed to the idea that if someone has a bigger house, they’re considered as being better than the next person.

People are very quickly given the tag of being ‘successful’ and seen as having a higher social ranking than others because of the material things they have.

Here’s the thing: 

By having a lot of things and dressing in a certain way, people can be put in higher social standing orders than others…

…And it’s a motivation for people!

It comes back to the feeling of hoping they’ll feel better about themselves through things.

If you’re someone who couldn’t care less about accruing social status and being recognized as a wealthy person-about-town, it suggests that material wealth doesn’t define you as a person.

This is a good thing!

In my opinion, there are many other things that are worth caring about in life other than your social status. 

What’s more, how you’re perceived by one person will be different from the next!

4) You don’t spend time comparing yourself

Comparison never does anyone any good. 

But people who are motivated by material wealth are quite likely to find themselves comparing what they have to another person.

You see, people who are focused on material wealth can often let it absorb them.

This means they’ll be eyeing up their neighbors’ car and wondering how they afforded that, or eyeing up a colleague’s watch and wishing it was on their wrist. 

The comparison could be endless!

Simply put, people who are motivated by material things will spend their lives looking at what other people have…

…And wanting it for themselves!

Now, of course material possessions are a part of our human existence and it’s normal to want and need certain things.

However, if someone is totally fixated on gaining more material wealth and having more than the next person, it’s a sign that they define themselves by the material!

5) You don’t care about brands 

People who really care about material wealth don’t just accept any old car or any old piece of clothing.

Oh no… People who are really about material wealth want to have only what they perceive to be the best!

They want to be wearing all of the big names in fashion and all of the latest technologies from new brands… And they want people to know about it!

For people who care about material wealth, they want to flaunt what they have!

This means wearing tops that shout out the brands names and the latest gadgets.

In my experience, you can spot a person obsessed with material wealth on the street pretty easily.

They tend to be overly flashy and they want people to look in their direction!

…Now, if this type of person repels you, it’s a sure sign you’re not a person who places an emphasis on material wealth.

6) You don’t care about your ‘personal’ brand 

A big difference that separates people who care about material wealth from others is chasing the idea of a personal brand.

You see, people who are concerned about material wealth are often on a quest to keep up appearances with their personal brand.

This means they don’t want to seem like they’re ever “off-brand” and seen doing something that isn’t like them. 

For instance, people that chase material wealth might have a signature aesthetic that they believe that defines them…

…Maybe they only ever wear black or maybe they always wear sunglasses inside.

Take the editor of American Vogue:

Anna Wintour is never seen without wearing her signature glasses indoors!

What does this mean for you?

If you think it’s a ridiculous idea that you have to keep something up in order to stay in check with your personal brand, it’s a signal that you don’t allow material wealth to define who you are as a person!

7) You don’t go into debt 

People can end up in debt for a number of reasons…

…So not everyone who ends up in debt will be fixated on material wealth.

However, there is a portion of people who allow their pursuit for material wealth to drive them into debt.

It seems counterintuitive that someone who wants wealth would end up in debt.

But, the thing is… People who define themselves by material wealth want to give off the impression of having material wealth even if it’s not an entirely true picture.

In other words, they want to look rich while they might actually be broke.

They care more about how they come across than the reality of their situation! 

For instance, it’s like seeing a man with nothing in the bank driving around in a Jaguar that he’s got on finance.

It’s all a facade to keep up appearances and to seem like something you’re not!

Now, it comes back to what I spoke about earlier: a lack of self-confidence.

On the other hand, if you’re someone who’s careful with money and who doesn’t spend outside of their ‘means’ to get the latest gear, it’s a sign that material wealth isn’t where you put your worth.

8) You care about the environment 

You might be wondering what the environment has to do with material wealth…

…But the answer is a lot.

Truth is, those who are driven by material wealth and the accumulation of things are pretty disconnected from the environment.

Now, I’m not suggesting that people who place an effort on material things are actively trying to destroy the planet…

However, I believe that you can’t wholeheartedly care for the environment and still find yourself buying clothes, gadgets and appliances that are bad for the environment because they’re flashy, new and exciting. 

Simply put, if getting your hands on the latest release of a pair of trainers is more important than planting a tree, it suggests that your worth is on material wealth.

Ask yourself: do I care more about the things I collect in this life or the positive impact I can have on the environment around myself and you’ll get an answer on our values.

9) You don’t find security in possessions

If you’re someone who believes that our possessions possess us, it’s a sign that material wealth doesn’t define you as a person.

Truth is, the more possessions we find ourselves with, the more complex things get!

While storing belongings is expensive, running a home is costly and it only gets more costly as you continue to upsize! 

That said, people who are motivated by material wealth can find a lot of security in their material things.

It’s as though the material makes them feel safe and cushioned…

…Even though it can cause numerous problems and expenses!

Here’s the thing:

Whether it’s numerous houses and wardrobes stacked full of clothes, things can make people feel a little less alone in the world.

In my experience, I’ve been someone who’s found that my things have anchored me and given me a sense of purpose

…But I’m pleased I’m not like this anymore!

10) You place less value of relationships

It’s quite common for people that value material wealth to care less about relationships

…And more about their material world.

By this, I mean that people who care about material wealth are the sort of people that would rather spend their last dime on a new piece of clothing than going out for dinner with a friend.

They would likely find an excuse for not being able to go, but really it’s because they’d rather spend their money on something material.

In other words, they place the weight of importance on buying something for themselves as opposed to spending that money to be with other people. 

That’s not to say that they’re not social, but that things come before other people. 

Now, if you’re someone that would always rather opt to spend time with people you love as opposed to buying more things for yourself, it shows that you don’t let material wealth define you! 

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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