Finding Peace of Mind by Changing Your Lifestyle
The Whole Friggin’ Point
Living Simple has nothing to do with frugal living. It has nothing to do with minimalism. It has nothing to do with being a goat herder in some remote country, shut off from modern society, and it has nothing to do selling off everything you own and taking a vow of poverty.
It does, however, have everything to do with returning to a simpler lifestyle. It has everything to do with understanding that there is more to life than work, eat, and sleep. It has everything to do with getting off the Merry-Go-Round of life and taking time to breathe.
Let me know if this sounds familiar. You get up in the morning, eat breakfast on the go, drive to work, work eight to ten hours, drive home, eat a quick dinner, clean the house, run errands, say howdy to the family as you pass each other, and slip between the covers exhausted, only to start over again the next morning.
Let me know if this sounds familiar. You sit down to pay the bills at the end of the month. You do a little robbing of Peter to pay Paul, and breathe a sigh of relief when it looks like you’ll be able to afford the new tires that your car needs.
Let me know if this sounds familiar. It seems like you can’t relax on any given night without a couple shots of booze or a couple glasses of wine, because the kids need braces, your boss is a jerk, the chimney needs cleaning, and those dreams you had in your youth are one day further removed from reality.
Well? Does any of that ring a bell?
When was the last time you and your spouse had the spare time to play like love-struck teenagers? When was the last time you went for a walk in the woods and smelled and touched nature? When was the last time you had a Saturday off to do nothing?
If any of this has your own personal bell ringing, then it might be time to consider Living Simple.
But are you willing?
Something to think about
- Living Simple: Do You Follow Your Passion?
Do you have a passion? Do you have something that makes your heart flutter and puts you into overdrive? If not, don't you think it's about time that you do?
What is important in your life?
- Living Simple: This Is What Life Is All About
The author talks about savoring the special moments in our life. Don't waste a minute of this precious gift that we have been given.
Nice Idea but It’s Not Possible
This writer is living proof that Living Simple can be done….and enjoyed. I have told you all before that two years ago I quit my teaching job and decided to chuck the 8-5 workday; I chose to work for myself as a full-time writer. I gave up a guaranteed income; I gave up medical and dental; and I gave up a whole lot of headaches.
What did I receive? Peace of mind!
However, I have had people tell me that there is no way they could do it. There is no way they could find another way to make a living, and certainly no way to pay the bills unless they continue at their current job. I have had people say that it is a nice dream but unrealistic, and I have had people say that in today’s economic situation there is no way to break the cycle.
A recent survey stated that a majority of Baby Boomers believe they will be working past the age of 72 because they can’t afford to live on Social Security, and they have no backup plan.
Here is what I see happening with many people in today’s modern society. They work and they work; they accumulate and they accumulate; and then they work and they work to maintain all that they have accumulated.
Here is an old adage that I just love, and I think it applies to this way of thinking: if you keep on doing what you are doing you will keep on getting what you are getting! Get it?
There is something fundamentally wrong with the way society thinks. We gather possessions like they are the keys to happiness, and then we shape our lives around those possessions. Happiness is an inside job, and if someone believes that happiness is dependent upon a 4,000 square foot house, then they were dropped on their head one too many times as a child.
If someone believes that happiness is dependent upon a luxury automobile, or a yearly trip to Mazatlan, or gathering stock options based on a sixty-hour work week, then they truly need to find the exit door from the Twilight Zone.
It is all nonsense, and it is so far removed from reality as to be frightening.
Is Living Simple possible for everyone?
I believe it is!
Real Life Examples
You already know about my journey. I was sixty-two when I said goodbye to the rat race and became a writer full-time. I gave up everything, stepped out on the high wire without a safety net, and said goodbye to a life that wasn’t working.
Since that time, I have two writer friends who have done the same thing. They gave it all up to pursue their dream of writing. Again, no safety net! Bev, the love of my life, gave up her full-time job a year ago; she now works part-time and is much happier. Again, no safety net!
On the other hand, I do not have the space to mention all the people I know who are working their butts off just to make ends meet, and failing more often than not.
Love this video
So It All Comes down to This
Are you happy with your lifestyle? If you are then I salute you and I say have a wonderful life. However, if you are not happy, then I need to ask you if you are willing to change it all?
I am convinced that the economy will not improve. Unless you are in the upper 20% of society making $250,000 per year, life will continue to be a struggle. Do you seriously still hold out hope that our politicians will care about the lower 80%? Do you seriously believe that major corporations will suddenly see the light and start paying a livable wage to their employees, and stop shipping jobs overseas?
The only possible solution is to change your lifestyle. Cease this ridiculous concept that possessions are important, and start grasping the concept that the quality of life is important.
This takes a huge commitment, and it is so much against the norm as to seem like treason. The more you get rid of, the less you have to work to pay for it all. See how simple that is? If you cut up your credit cards and never buy another thing on credit, you will not spend as much money on interest rates, correct? If you do not spend as much, you do not have to work as much, correct? If you get rid of that house with its $2000 mortgage, and rent a home for half that cost, you won’t have to work as much, correct? If you don’t buy a new automobile for $38,000 and make payments on it, you won’t have to work as much, correct?
Get ready for the howling! I can hear it already! I can’t possibly sell my home; I love my home and I can’t imagine living anywhere else! I need this SUV; it provides safety for my family! I need the biggest cable package, and I have to have a green lawn and four televisions and…and….and!
It is consumer insanity in an economy that can no longer support that way of thinking.
Sit with me
Please Stop and Think
It all comes down to this very simple question: what is the most important thing in your life? If you have a family I would hope that was your answer. So if your family is the most important thing in your life, then what is the most important thing for you to do? Hopefully your answer is to spend time with your family and love them.
If those were your answers, then please tell me how possessions affect any of that? If it is possible to be happy making less than $20,000 per year and drive a used car, and it is because I am ecstatic, then why is anything more than that necessary?
Am I being too simplistic? I know many of you think I am, but the fact is that I have just cut through the b.s. and gotten down to basics.
What about those who would say there is nothing wrong with working hard and adding possessions, and I say to you no, there is nothing wrong with it, as long as that pursuit does not interfere with those things that are truly important. Too many kids are growing up in latch key homes; too many kids are growing up with only one parent. Too many people are buried in credit card debt, and too many people are miserable and don’t know how to change.
Change is not difficult; change is a constant in life. However, finding the courage to willingly change and go against the societal grain is quite difficult. It begins with a simple question: are you happy?
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)