The Infinite Reasons Why Millennials Invest in Experiences over Things

Renowned scholar James P. Carse writes: “There are at least two kinds of games, one could be called finite; the other infinite.” In his book Finite and Infinite Games, Carse goes on to explain, “Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play.”

If the game is life, opening our eyes to the infinite possibilities around us through travel ensures our ability to keep on playing. Our day-to-day lives are mostly lived to ensure our successes in the finite games at play: making rent, climbing the corporate ladder, sporting events, and the ins and outs of surviving as a human being on this planet. Yet, it often takes a step back and a widening of our field of vision to recognize that we are also simultaneously playing infinite games: games that have few rules, are not time-bound, have no end and no objective winners at all. These are the games that provide meaning and inspiration rather than sustenance and survival. These are the games that make us want to keep playing and where traveling and embracing the unknown fall.

Today, millennials are investing their time and money in games (or experiences) with greater dividends and longer lasting rewards. Research has found that 3 in 4 millennials (78%) would choose to spend their money on a desirable experience or event rather than a desirable item. Not only will the latest car only decrease in value and desirability the moment the doors are unlocked, but experiences allow the player to actively live in accordance with their passion and purpose. Moreover, the pursuit of things is a pretty solitary venture and what we crave today, perhaps more than ever, is a sense of community and belonging. Authentic relationships, living with passion and being guided by purpose is the magic that infinite games are made of. They are ultimately an investment in not what you own but in you, the player with infinite possibility. What could be a more important investment than that?

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1 Comment

  1. Erin Nicole Bick

    Well said! Couldn’t agree more! Investing in experiences, over stuff is the best change I have ever made in my life. Going from living downtown Toronto for 11 years, working as a hairstylist in a high end salon, where fashion was all that mattered. Looking the best. Having the best was a top priority. TO… Selling my downtown house, donating most of my stuff, and traveling full-time with our online business… I no longer care about things. Sure, I still have a little city gal in me, and like to have a few nice clothes. BUT honestly, I just want to stay in a gorgeous place, have the love of my life with me, and enjoy different cultures, cuisines, and wild adventures. Love this post! High five to all millenials out there choosing to live freely, instead of under the thumb of society. If you are questioning whether you can do it… Take a look around you, and see all the people who are. If you have an idea, RUN WITH IT! Nothing is more freeing then ditching the stuff, and building a biz online that allows you to BE where you want, when you want.

    Love your content Unsettled. Keep it up. 🙂 SO inspiring.

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