We really don't need that much in life to be happy.
This may be counter to what we are sold by the advertising masses. However, the truth is there are literally millions around the world that are living pretty happy and contented lives with little in the way of physical possessions.
Many of these people may have enforced constraints. These could include a lack of well-paid employment options or families abroad they themselves work and send money to.
However, some have also identified their own version of enough and live contentedly within self-made constraints. Working just enough to cover their needs and then making time for family, friends and adventures.
Whatever the case, these people live a life filled with less stuff. It can be done.
The Problem with Chasing More
The danger in chasing more and more is that it's never enough. Just a little more money and we'll be happy we tell ourselves. A new car on loan will make us more complete we kid ourselves. Keeping up with keeping up is a path to ruin.
More stuff can mean our lives become cluttered. We lose freedom, we lose agility. We can start to feel stifled and even trapped by all this stuff.
Beyond our most basic needs of food, water, shelter, health, family and friends, how much more do we really need to be happy?
There are plenty of other things that can add value to our lives. Books, music, a creative outlet and so on. None of this needs to turn into large houses full of stuff we rarely use. None of this needs to turn into large debt that we never escape.
We can decide to pack lightly for life's journey instead.
Just enough of our most cherished possessions can outweigh an abundance of stuff we collect but never really get much value from.
Having one TV in a home can be enough, rather than one in each room.
Having a closet with 30 items in that we constantly wear and use, rather than 100s of items that take up space but rarely see the light of day.
Instead of chasing more stuff we can make space for more living. We can make space for passion projects and hobbies that are important to us. We can make room for more quality time with our loved ones. This is the sort of more we should be chasing.
We can decide to live lightly. Making the most of what we have, not focused on what we don't have. We can decide that travelling with enough is all we really need and live accordingly.
Note: This post is a reworked and refreshed extract from my book, Need Less, Live More.
Carl Phillips writes short books full of big ideas. He is also the proud owner of Frictionless Living which is focused on helping readers find and live their own version of a simpler, good life.
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