I realized the beauty as well as the futility of luxury during my job at a private equity fund.
In that company, every few months, we had offsites at the most exclusive luxury resorts in India, some of which had suites costing a few lacs a night.
Undeniably, luxury feels great. You get fussed over, with people attending to your smallest whims. Once, in a restaurant, when we asked for the menu the chef said — “Here, we don’t have a menu. Just let us know whatever you want, and we will bring it to you.”
Who would not like that pampering?
But then, I also had a realization — this is pretty much all that money can buy.
One particular hotel would lay out a full set of perfumery on the bed every evening so that you sleep well. But if you are anxious and stressed, will any perfume help?
Sure, beautiful linen feels great. But at the end of the day, a bed is just a bed.
I neither intend to glorify luxury nor minimize it. But it is a second decimal place item.
There are much bigger items to the left of the decimal place, that make life worth living. Do we find meaning in our jobs? Do we get into flow doing things that matter? Are we mentally and physically healthy? Do we have people in our life who care?
The key to a meaningful life is what we do every day, not the twice-a-year vacation, however fancy.