(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


These two words are frequently confused, but their difference is dramatic. It’s similar to the difference between having a satisfying life versus merely having an impressive life-style. Let’s start there.

The key to this distinction is in what is felt. To feel luxurious is to experience your life from an internal frame of reference. There is something deeply satisfying and authentic — authentic to you, from you, and about you. You can enjoy the feeling of luxuriousness because you know it does not define you. It is a by-product of the expression of your life journey, not the definition of it. And your luxurious life can be comprised of a surprisingly few number of things.

Luxury, on the other hand, slips into an external frame of reference where you can begin to define yourself by what you have and what others can see. (Willie the Barber said, of a guy he knew, “He may not have much, but what he has, you’ll see it.”)

A focus on accumulating luxury can lead to playing a role, trying to be seen as ‘somebody.’ And if surrounding yourself with luxury is an attempt to get over feeling needy, you will always feel uncomfortable because you know, at a deep level, it could all disappear in a moment. ‘It,’ that luxury thing, is not who you really are.

Enjoy accumulating and surrounding yourself with fine things, experiences, travel, simplicity, relationships, whatever feels satisfying and luxurious to you. Enjoy it. Expand it. Even share it, if you want. Just know that you are far more than the items of luxury which may be involved.


Coaching Point: Doesn’t the unfettered word ‘luxurious’ feel really good?


Copyright 2013 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.