Bright Shiny Object Syndrome…



Over on the Sanguine Stories Podcast last week, I was talking about keeping up with the Jones. Today, I’m asking us to look at one very specific problem that all too many of us suffer from + what we can do to become who we truly are, without the need for constant external validation.

Bright Shiny Object Syndrome – a condition causing sufferers to seek instant gratification from things.

I can see the attraction. In the past (what now feels like eons ago), I would enjoy a delicious rush when I’d purchase a new jacket, phone, purse, sheet set, whatever beautiful object just caught my eye. But the problem is that feeling just doesn’t last.

Are Your Suffering From BSO?

There’s a difference between BSO and enjoying new things.  You can be happy with what you have, while also enjoying the anticipation of what is yet to come. You can appreciate your beautiful new home, while knowing that you will love it even more once it’s redecorated.

On the other hand, if you’re feeling annoyed about how your new home looks and frustrated that it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as it might be, you could be experiencing BSO. If so, there’s a good chance that after you’ve finished redecorating, you’ll yearn for a new kitchen, or pool, or car.

You’re always one new thing away from happiness. Then when you get that thing, you think of something else that you want.

It’s a VICIOUS cycle.  One that can sink us into debt and put us on a perpetual treadmill of never being truly satisfied with all that we already have.

Why BSO Will Make You Miserable

The problem with Bright Shiny Object syndrome? You are never satisfied with all that you already have.  You are constantly looking for the next best thing.  The validation, thrill, pleasure experienced by controlling external conditions is fleeting. And when it’s gone, you often feel worse than you did at the start.

how to look within, benefits of looking within

Longer Lasting Happiness

I’ve said this so many times but I’m going to say it again…

Long term, real happiness comes from within.  It’s really that simple.  There’s just no way getting around that.  Look within.  Don’t like what you see?  Get to work!  You can learn and grow and become the person you want to be from within yourself, not from some short-lived sense of joy.

Bright shiny objects mean nothing compared to the treasure within you.

Making The Shift From External Validation To Self Love

So how can you stop grasping at bright shiny objects in search of happiness, and start finding joy right here, right now, within?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Be grateful for all that you already have.
  • Don’t worry about what you cannot change. Focus on what you can.
  • Look at how you’re showing up in the world. And who you’re showing up as.  Are you kind?  Compassionate? Giving?
  • Center your attention on what truly matters.

Whenever you find yourself yearning for something external, turn your attention within and seek long-lasting happiness there.

In upcoming podcasts, I’ll go a bit deeper into this topic of creating a life we love, how we can start living our dreams rather than chasing our dreams as well as how to shift our priorities. Stay Tuned!

For now…

Please know… You are enough.  While I always believe in growth, can you start to see that perhaps you already have everything you need?


Share the love…

Now over to you… I’d love to hear more about who you are, what lights you up, and anything else you’d like to share!


  1. Rob Emert

    Whoa! Is that the current Chrissy pic? Girl, you are looking healthy and great.

    You look a bit different than the gal I flew down from Atlanta in May, 2008. 🙂

    I hope this message finds you well. I was able to Pura Vida-it 5 months last year–I’m getting there.

    • Chrissy Gruninger

      Awww thanks Rob! I can’t believe it’s been nearly a decade. Next time you’re down here, we’ll definitely have to connect! <3


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chrissy gruningerChrissy Gruninger is an author and mindset coach. She mentors people on how to live their ONE beautiful life, wherever they may be. Her latest book, Lost and Found in the Land of Mañana explores her life in Costa Rica and both the challenges of working and living abroad as well as the beautiful life we can create from those experiences.

She loves her rainforest beach shack in Costa Rica, the sunshine and the rain and passionately believes that through intentional actions we create more happiness, health and harmony in the world. 

Her goal: to empower others to thrive in an imperfect world.