One habit that many successful people share is that they are frugal. They only buy the things they really need. This is something that I’ve made a point to practice in my own life. I’m not always successful. Sometimes I buy things that I really don’t need. But with each purchase, I learn.
Today, I’d like to share a short excerpt from my book The Happiness of Simple. It covers the problem in regard to overconsumption. We’ve been programmed…
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One reason you feel as though you need more is that you’ve likely been instilled with the fear of not having enough.
This is due to advertising and the media. Even so, humans are like parrots. We repeat what we hear. You have likely heard people say things like:
- I need to stock up on food.
- I need more space.
- I need a car with more power.
- I’m afraid I’ll run out of…
- There’s never enough time for…
You’ve Been Programmed to Fear Not Enough
That has created a fear in you that you’ll run out of something.
And here’s an additional problem. The norm of what you’ve been told you need keeps increasing. For instance:
- The average new home in America has doubled in size in the past 50 years.
- Most cars and trucks have become bigger and less fuel efficient since the gas shortage of the 1970s.
- Our communication and media expenses have increased dramatically in the past 30 years.
- What used to be a large portion of food has now become a medium or small portion.
- Most Americans have several times the material belongings as they had just 50 years ago.
Still, you’re being told you need more. This creates the fear of not enough.
Jesus Spoke of the Power of Less
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Whether or not you believe in the Christian faith makes little difference. Jesus’s wisdom pinpoints the problem. We worry about stuff too much. That worry leads us to wanting more. We wouldn’t want to get caught with nothing.
After my parents divorced, my father lived a very simple life. He was poor, yet content. He stayed in small spaces. He lived in trailers, single rooms and small apartments. He owned very little. He spent his time studying mysticism and teaching his friends what he’d learned. He found happiness in that simple lifestyle. I learned by his example.
I also have lived in small spaces. I spent most of my twenties and thirties with only the bare necessities of life. It was only after I was married and had a child that I acquired more.
My daughter and I now live modestly in a 1200-square-foot home. We have little more than the basic comforts of modern life. My goal for the future is not to increase, but to decrease my belongings. I understand that having less increases my appreciation for life. Increased appreciation for life brings more happiness.
Take Action: Have you fallen for the lie that leads you to fear that you do not have enough? Has that caused you to keep accumulating more? Survey what you have. How many things go unused? How many things are not needed? Let go of some things.
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This was an excerpt from my book, The Happiness of Simple. Each short chapter covers a simple concept and offers action prompts. If you’d like to learn more about how simple habits can lead to happiness, productivity, and success, take a moment to sign up for my newsletter.