Life is about experiences. Ditch the material things.

A long time ago I realized that material possessions are far less important than experiences. In this work life integration blog I want to get into that a bit more, while showcasing an innovative new way to give back to nonprofits through Omaze.

Life is about experiences

When I started my first company I was excited to see the revenue start coming in and thought about buying fancy cars, the latest tech, and a big house. I wanted material things. At the same time I started leaning in to my love for travel and exploring new cities. I would start using the credit card points I racked up to travel the world. I visited cities like Paris, Madrid, Mallorca, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, and even took a 36-hour trip to Bangkok. I quickly realized that I enjoyed these experiences way more than the Audi sitting in my garage collecting dust while I was gone. So instead of focusing disposable income on material possessions, I started looking for amazing experiences, and if I could get a friend or two to tag along that would be even better.

Experiences are proven to provide happiness and memories

Experiences result in longer-lasting happiness and provide better memories than material possessions. If you've ever splurged and bought a nice watch or maybe a new Xbox, I want you to think about that moment. Do you remember being somewhat excited? Probably, but that excitements wears off pretty quickly. The compliments of your new Rolex start wearing off quickly or maybe your friends didn't compliment your new watch at all. If you bought an Xbox, it's only a matter of time before you get sick of playing the same games or they release a new updated counsel that you want to buy. Compare this to a trip you took with friends or family. Maybe you took a backpacking trip the summer after college with your best friends. Those memories last a lifetime and thinking back to your trip makes you smile every time. Not only do the experiences provide more happiness and better memories than material things, they allow you to connect on a deeper level with others.

Give back to charity through your experiences

With everything going on in the world, we are all looking for ways to give back. I stumbled across an awesome company, Omaze, that allows your to donate to charities and nonprofits, while getting chances at crazy awesome once-in-a-lifetime experiences! Omaze raises money for charity by offering incredible experiences. They work with the globally recognized Charities Aid Foundation America (CAFA), which validates and facilitates giving to charities around the world. Donations first go to CAFA, and they make a grant to the designated cause for each experience. This ensures that funds are securely and efficiently delivered to the causes, both internationally and domestically. Here are a few past winners:

Double Date with John Krasinski & Emily Blunt, while giving back to a charity that helps with financial barriers that accompany a cancer diagnosis.

Be Dolly Parton’s VIP at Dollywood, while supporting a charity that started a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children until they begin school, no matter their family’s income.

Have Dinner with Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) & Go to the Star Wars Premiere while supporting a charity that offers pre-college programs designed to prepare students from South and East Los Angeles for admission to a college or university.

Workout with Michael B Jordan, while supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Omaze has countless other opportunities with actors, musicians, athletes, and yes you can win a new Tesla too. I am fortunate to have done a lot of really unique experiences so far in life. Enjoying these experiences with my friends and family are what I remember most. I encourage you to switch your mindset from wanting material possessions to wanting experiences. That will help you on the path to work life integration.

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