How happy are you – really?
Our culture has been whispering to our ears since we could listen: more is better. Be more, do more, have more. It’s not a want, it’s a need!
When we look at it as that, we all know it’s wrong, right? You don’t need more. You (alone) are enough. Having more stuff, more busyness, more power and prestige do not actually increase your worth as a human being.
Now, if we wish to turn away from that “more is better” way of thinking, we need to be intentional about what we replace it with. Once you’ve tried, it actually feels good to reject the cultural imperative to accumulate. It feels good to refute the status quo. It feels like the opposite of mindless consumption.
Coming from a place where abundance is scarce and wealth, prestige and power are considered fruits of hard labor, I have been taught (since early age) about the value of simple living, all the while secretly brewing inside my heart the urge to gain more “stuff” in life because of that lack. Yet, through the years of gradually getting hold of the “things” I’ve been dreaming of since childhood, my eyes also begin to behold the unquenchable thirst for more. I realized that I can’t be satisfied by what I have already gained; instead, as I gain one thing, I crave for another two or more, and the process goes on and on and on.
Now, this truth likewise holds true to many. Despite cultural, social and financial backgrounds – we all have that unquenchable thirst for more.
I do understand that a simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. For me, it means eliminating all but the essential, eschewing chaos for peace, and spending your time doing what’s important to you.
It means getting rid of many of the things you do so you can spend time with people you love and do the things you love. It means getting rid of the clutter so you are left with only that which gives more value to your worth.
However, getting to simplicity isn’t always a simple process. It’s a journey, not a destination, and it can often be a journey of two steps forward, and one backward, of perseverance and grit, and of firm resolve for humble contentment.
Designing a simple life doesn’t just mean throwing out all the things. It’s not about a life of more nor it’s about a life of less – it’s about the life that’s right for you.
You don’t have to get rid of things just for the sake of getting rid of them. You remove what you don’t need (in your home, in your thoughts, in your schedule) to make room for the life you want to live.
Designing a simple life means having fewer distractions in your life, so you can focus on what matters. It’s about saying no to everything that gets in the way, but saying yes to what’s right for you.
It means having more of some things: more time, more energy, more space, more flex in your budget, more peace of mind. It means having less of others: less distractions, less frustration, less clutter, less drain on your resources.
Yes. We have so many real “stuff” in life. Sometimes, after everything’s been said and done, all that we truly need in life is a mind open to new perspective, a heart that is brave enough to challenge the status quo and pair of eyes that can see beyond the things branded “valuable” by the world’s standards.
Yes, you can be happy and content if you strive to heed the life that’s right for you. Not by anybody else’s standards but by your own self.
P.S.: This article was written by Andrei – the founder of Thought Avenue: Speak your mind – a blogger-contributor for realsimpleway.com. If you want to read more thought-provoking motivational articles please click here.
Photo credits: Google photos