If you are not playing in the game of life, then you are free of the fates and the next roll of the dice or spin of the roulette wheel. Buying a fancy car or expensive china dishes is like putting all your money on “red” on the roulette wheel or the slot machines. Play small (please don’t gamble in the first place). Buy the inexpensive dollar store plates, which serve the same purpose and won’t give you any grief if they break or stop shining. Remember, for every up there is a down. That sports car which will draw attention and envy will also bring endless grief in the form of expensive car payments, nervousness about it getting damaged or stolen, and very very expensive repairs.
Even if you end up elated that you are driving an expensive fancy car, the novelty of it will wear off very soon, and you will feel the exact same thing as you would have if you had opted for the much cheaper, less “glamorous” alternative. Except you will still carry the anxiety and depression of loss when accidents will happen to it, not to mention expensive repairs.
Take no stock in the ups and downs and this applies to your car and all your possessions. It would be as if you just put a penny down on the roulette table instead of $1000.00 or (gasp), even more. If you equate the penny to an inexpensive car, it is a good analogy because you won’t care about the outcome, and that gives you an infinite peace of mind. So what if the color you chose, say red, was not chosen but the ball landed in the black. You won’t care and thus you become an observer that floats above the game, instead of in it. The loss of one penny is nothing, and so is your suffering.
Another example is in the stock market. Don’t chase the highest price glamour stock hoping for a quick buck and a giant rise in price. Chances are, you will lose money (a point which I will not digress here), and your nerves will be tested. You will awaken during the night, checking the quotes on the Internet, praying for a rise in the stock price or your hard earned money will be gone. It is not worth it at all. If you just chose the less glamorous stock, and put a small portion of your wealth into it, then you will not be attached to the outcome, and thus peace will be waiting for you at the beginning and end of the stock market bells. Better even to just put your money in bonds or the safety of the savings accounts, even if the returns are paltry. How much more is your peace of mind worth?
Therefore, to conclude, don’t lose your precise present moments by putting and investing money or effort into things that have the greatest chance of uncertainty and which you have no power or control over. To fully live in the present, you must not possess or invest your energy into the superficial things in life. The more importance and investment you assign to something, the more vulnerable you are to the vagaries of life.