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Living Simple: Five Steps Towards A Simple Life Installment Seven
There are many articles floating around the internet that will tell you how to save money on this, and save money on that, and I am all for those articles because I am all for frugal living and saving money.
This series of articles, however, is not so much about saving money as it is about improving your overall life. Consider it a written meditation for your mind, an attempt to alter your way of thinking as you go about your frenetic pace in today’s world.
Hurry….Hurry….Hurry! For those of us who are embracing a simple lifestyle, there is no hurry! I know that seems like a fabrication, but I assure you that it is, in fact, the truth. Imagine a life where things slow down considerably. Imagine a life where worry is lessened and peace of mind is increased.
If you can imagine it you can achieve it, but it takes a rewiring of your brain and its thought processes. The year is 2012, and the pace at which most people live is supersonic compared to the pace of life lived fifty years ago. Why is that? Have you ever given that some thought? Most who are reading this can either remember from personal experience the simpler times, or have talked to someone who lived during simpler times. When were those simpler times? Well, certainly during the 30’s, the 40’s, and the 50’s, life was less-hectic, but there seems to have been a gradual increase in activity and pace since then, and I suspect it is because of a number of factors.
Technology has advanced, the buying power of the dollar has decreased, people are running to and fro with seemingly no direction, and the phrase of the decade is “credit debt.” Divorce has increased, job security has decreased, pressures mount and self-confidence declines. There seems to be no time for anything of substance; we are a convenience society that lives with spiritual inconvenience.
And so some of us have said ENOUGH! Some of us have realized that we simply cannot keep up with this pace, not and live a long and happy life.
Some of us have embraced Living Simple!
How much is enough? As the holidays approach, this is a perfect time to ask this question. How much is enough? How many presents does it take to show one’s love for another? How much spending is required to display our innermost feelings?
How many possessions does one need? If we can all agree that possessions do not measure the value of life, then how many do we really need?
How many cigarettes are enough? How much booze and how many sweets?
How many chores do we really need to do, and how many errands are necessary? Compare all of that to how many minutes do we need to spend with loved ones, and then find some balance and practice moderation where it is needed.
AVOID SPENDING TRIGGERS
Spending triggers differ for each of us. For some it might be as simple as a trip to the shopping mall to just “window shop.” For others it might be certain memories from years gone by. This calls for some self-reflection, but each of us can pinpoint situations that trigger in us the desire to spend.
For this writer it is something as simple as browsing ebay. I cannot seem to drift through that site without seeing something I am quite certain I need. Foolish of course, and to combat that foolishness I don’t allow myself the luxury of “window shopping” on ebay.
If it all came down to willpower, and we were properly supplied with ample willpower, then we would all buy what we need and leave the rest, but that’s just not the way we are wired. Thus, we must learn to avoid those situations, those triggers that ignite in us a desire to purchase that which is in no way necessary.
CULTIVATE A CONTENTED LIFESTYLE
Yes, life was simpler back in the day! Was it more contented? That seems to be a question that is rather subjective. I know our family lived a simple lifestyle when I was growing up; I’m not sure, however, that I would describe my mom and dad as contented. They were always trying to work more, earn more, obtain more, as if the joy in life was found in the quest of buying itself.
On the other hand, this writer lives a contented lifestyle. I lack for nothing. I name my own working hours and I spend quality time with the love of my life. I do not constantly strive for more of anything, and by not striving for more I in fact gain more….satisfaction!
What will it take for you to be contented? Again, it calls for a subjective answer, and the answer will differ for each person to a certain degree. Perhaps we need a definition to work with; according to dictionary.com, contentment is:
“thestateofbeingcontented; satisfaction; easeofmind.”
Now that definition puts a more focused slant on things, doesn’t it? What would it take for you to have ease of mind, for without ease of mind you can never live a simple lifestyle.
More thoughts on this subject
- Live Simple: Five Steps Towards A Simple Lifestyle.....Installment One
Five steps to take to begin making your life less hectic. A simple lifestyle is a frame of mind, and it begins with little steps and then becomes a new way of living.
And more thoughts
- Living Simple: Five Steps Towards A Simple Life Installment Five
More suggestions on simplifying your life one day at a time. Live long and prosper!
No, I’m not talking about small as in height; I am referring to society’s belief that bigger is better.
All bigger really means is you have more upkeep on whatever it is you have that is large. Big home? More cleaning! Big car? More gasoline and more expensive maintenance! Big and more possessions? More clutter! Big ego! Well, more headaches for sure!
Living Simple is exactly that…living simple! There is no need for big; there really is very little justification for big. When you begin the process of thinking small you begin the process of ridding yourself of added responsibilities.
My parents never had a big anything, but that didn’t stop them from wanting bigger, and that desire directly affected their level of contentment. That, my friends, is a shame!
Something to think about
Are you feeling contentment in life?
EVALUATE YOUR LIFE
This is a biggie! I am of the belief that you reap what you sow in modern society, and I am also a strong believer in choosing to be happy.
If you do not feel respected then respect more. If you do not feel loved then love more. If you do not feel you have received your just due then give more.
If you are not happy then choose to be happy!
I know people who don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, and they are happy and contented in life. I have also known people who were wealthy and possessed all a man or woman would ever desire, and they were miserable.
Living Simple is about quality of life. If you do not like the quality of your life then change it, but remember always that happiness is an inside job! You cannot blame circumstances or other beings if you are unhappy. The bottom line is that you have chosen to be miserable and you hold the key to ending that misery.
Sit with me a moment
My ebook on Lifestyle Choices
- Lifestyle Choices: William D. Holland: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
Lifestyle Choices: William D. Holland: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
I remember as a teen during the 60’s witnessing incredible acts of horror and cruelty, hatred and vileness. I recall being shocked by it all, and wondering what happened to common decency and compassion.
I am more shocked by what I see today in the year 2012. Today I see fear; today I see indifference! Today I see an economic system on the brink of collapse and I see national leaders failing to lead. I see distrust on the most basic of levels, and I see millions of people searching for answers in all the wrong places.
I am convinced that the only solution is to simplify life and return, both individually and as a culture, to some very basic values.
What do you say? Are you ready to at least consider a simple life?
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)