Society and media tells us that we always need more, need new, and need better. We need more clothes, a new phone, and a better car. More is better, new is better, and better is better. If we don’t get the latest and greatest, we are failing. We aren’t good enough. That’s what the message is.
This is a lie.
More is not necessarily better. More often comes with complications and stress. More requires more…more time, more money, and more resources.
I try to keep my life fairly simple. I want to simplify it so I am able to free up my time, money, and resources to focus on what makes me happy and brings value. For example, even though I have a well paying job, I still have yet to get a new car. I still drive a 1998 Toyota 4Runner with about 185,000 miles. I could afford to get a new car, but I don’t want to pay $200 or $300 a month. I’d rather use that money to save or invest or travel or something else my heart desires. While it’s not the sexiest thing on the block, or even in my driveway, my car gets me reliably from point A to point B and has plenty of storage so I can travel whenever, wherever. That’s way more important.
Likewise, I have no desire to buy a house right now. I’m probably close to having enough money to make a downpayment on a house, but I haven’t even looked into it yet. Why? Because buying a house would occupy my time and money.
Despite what society says, less is often more. I prefer to keep my life less complicated, which means I have more resources to travel, hang out, and do the things I enjoy. I read a post on Art of Manliness where a barber extolled the virtue of simplicity:
“Whether it relates to your relationships, hobbies, or even your personal grooming, simple does not have to mean boring. Focus on your end goal and purpose at all times and let the superfluous aspects fall to the side. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity of interacting with men who live their lives operating in the space of what society suggests that they HAVE to do, which always seems to be “more” — accomplish more, acquire more. And without fail it doesn’t take long before they feel miserable and trapped. But, the men who appear to be content are the ones who found a way to escape the sounds and pushes to “fit-in” by ignoring them, and focusing on what made them happy. Those guys are always the ones I learn and grow the most from.”
With this in mind, here are a few important things to simplify in your life (courtesy of Becoming Minimalist):
- Your Possessions. Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values. If you will invest the time to remove nonessential possessions from your life, you will never regret it.
- Your Time Commitments. Most of us have filled our days full from beginning to end with time commitments: work, home, kid’s activities, community events, religious endeavors, hobbies… the list goes on. When possible, release yourself from the time commitments that are not in line with your greatest values.
- Your Goals. Reduce the number of goals you are intentionally striving for in your life to one or two. By reducing the number of goals that you are striving to accomplish, you will improve your focus and your success rate. Make a list of the things that you want to accomplish in your life and choose the two most important. When you finish one, add another from your list.
Live life with as few complications as possible. It seems so simple, but that’s the beautiful thing.
What do you think?
1. Share this post with your friends and people you know (click the Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or email buttons below)
2. Subscribe for free updates, either in your inbox or RSS (look at the top right of this page next to the title)
3. Join The Unlimited Project community on Facebook
4. Follow me on Instagram (@therealjmoney36) or Twitter