"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's wanting what you've got...

I read this article on MSN the other day. It spotlighted three people that have made the choice to live on less than $18,000 per year. I was fascinated that not only did they make it work for themselves but they actually enjoyed it. The one thing in common they all had is they are living their lives on their terms, doing what they want, following their bliss, and letting go of so much in modern society that traps us and stresses us out.

I wrote the other day about my huge money saving shopping trip to CVS . I mentioned in that post that I was not always good with money. I used to spend recklessly...money that I didn't have. It wasn't until I met my husband, who is very good with money, did I start to change my ways. And it was just in the last few years that I really began to see that life is not about having more and more stuff, it is about being happy with what you've got. I think the three people in this article learned that, too.

I think my favorite part of the article is on page 3 where the author wrote this:

A lot depends on your attitude. I emerged from these interviews with a big smile on my face. These three people were so delighted with their lives -- and excited about the future -- that it was positively contagious. I don't think I'll ever live on as little as they do, but knowing how happily they do so makes the prospect of living on a shoestring a lot less scary.

Such a simple concept but so profound. Our attitude towards life and all it throws at us makes all the difference in our happiness, or lack thereof. And, like the author, I, too, know I will probably never live on so little. But I know that, if it were ever to happen, my attitude will strongly determine how I handle it.

I forwarded the article to my Mom and we discussed it a bit.  I just wanted to share a bit of what I said:

...most people won't live on such a small amount of money but many many many people think they need more than they actually do. It is about trying to live a simpler more authentic life and not always having to have the latest and greatest and not having to keep up with everyone else. I think when people cut away a lot of the excess of modern society they would see that they are living waaaaay above their means and don't need as much as they think they do.

It took me a long time to learn that. I am so happy I did.

And then the other day one of my high school friends posted this on his Facebook status:

What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things instead of using people and loving things.

I can't help but think what a more peaceful world this could be if more people could live by these words...

What are some ways you are trying to live a simpler, more authentic life?


New England Girl said...

This post is one of the many reasons why I adore you, dear friend!
I am always fascinated by people who live within their means and want for nothing, nor feel as if they are lacking. It's a wonderful thing to see and a truly enlightening lesson. I can be frivolous and frugal... finding the balance is key. Fun at times, while keeping priorities and responsibilities in check!
I also love the quote your friend posted on facebook. I've seen it many times and it always brings a smile to my face. How wonderful life really would be if we were all to live like that.

blueviolet said...

I so agree with you. When I stopped living on credit, initially it was super hard, but then it became natural and peaceful and I LOVE living within my means! I just don't need lots of stuff.

Kathleen said...

That's something we can all learn from. I stopped my membership in "book clubs", and now use my library for my reading needs. Didn't hurt a bit

Hugs, Kathleen

Terri said...

Before I can bring something new into the house, I make myself throw out two things. It really makes me think about whether 1. I really need it and 2. I have something to get rid of or not!

Mimi Lenox said...

Great post! Living simpler is a goal of mine as well. I love the bright positive vibe on this blog. You are a true blue blogging marvel. Love it!

carma said...

Sometimes it takes people a lifetime to realize what you mentioned here...My husband and I live below our means and always will. People would be surprised what they can live without. For us it is sometimes a game to see just how little we can spend on things. Of course we are not immune to the occasional splurge :D

Cheryl said...

WOW. That FB status is really powerful. We are getting ready for a big move and will more than likely have two house payments for a while, so we are trying to cut back. It's amazing how accustomed I've become to clicking on an iTunes album or Amazon link without thinking twice about it. I signed up a few weeks ago for Mint.com, and boy, was that an eye-opening experience! I'm a firm believer in playing with the money that you work so hard for, but we're trying not to play so much or so hard these days. :)