Over the weekend, many people all around the world watched the Royal Family’s wedding. When you think of a Royal wedding, you think of a huge production full of… well all kinds of stuff: trumpets, long dresses, swords, horses, crowns and tiaras, limos… you name it.
As much as it was advertised, many would say that you had to practically be under a rock to not have watched a part of it.
If that is the case, then consider me squashed!
I really had no interest in watching it.
If you did, then we’re cool. It’s your call to do so.
But for me, I didn’t want to watch it because it interferes with my desire to keep simplicity in my life.
What do I mean by that? Well, let’s talk about it.
The Western World is Full of Offers
So what do I mean by keeping simplicity in my life? Well, it’s what it sounds like.
I like having a simple life. I’m really a simple guy. I have the things I like to do, and there’s only certain times where I feel I need to buy something.
Heck, I won’t buy anything unless it’s a replacement for something else that’s broken, torn, or somehow wrecked. I have clothes that are fairly old (some are 10 years old!), one of my cars is 20 years old, and when I do listen to music – it’s usually from the 90’s or the 00’s.
Here’s the thing, I’m happy with this stuff.
But, if I was to watch the wedding – I might have thought “Oh, damn. I really need to step up my game! I want something like that!”
Growing up, I was always comparing myself to others. It’s something we all do.
Even this morning, I saw an advertisement for a store I’ve never heard of. It was a very Ikea like place – I think it was called At Home?
Anyway, the ad that was played was like, “Keep up with the seasons by buying all new furniture!”
Keep up with the seasons? Really? Who needs to switch their chairs and sofas that many times?
No one. But society, especially here in western society, would make us think we have to keep up with the Jones’. No, scratch that. The Kardashians!
Why do people behave this way?
Because buying stuff just to buy stuff – aka retail therapy – is nothing more than addiction. Those who participate get a high when the thing is new, but in the end, they don’t want the item anymore and/or, even worse, they end up being in a worse financial situation than they started.
Getting rid of Stress with a Simplified Life
So if you find yourself with a lot of stuff in your house you wonder why you bought OR you find it hard to live under your means, perhaps it’s time to not think about buying yourself out of the problem. Instead, perhaps it might be easier to bring more simplicity into your life?
I’m not saying you have to go minimalistic. No, instead I’m suggesting to have less stress in your life. Less clutter. Having the money to buy things you really REALLY want.
Does that sound good?
Well, here’s a few things to think about:
If your house was about to get hit by a tornado or a hurricane and you had a 20 minutes to pack a handful of items, what would they be?
In that same situation, what items would you pack in a suitcase?
If you had to move into a space half the size of what you’re currently in – what would you HAVE to keep?
I’ll tell you, when Laila told me she was a minimalist, I wondered what she meant by that. What went into being a minimalist? Later I had the chance to interview a couple of digital nomads including Arne Giske and Gregory Diehl. We found out that being able to live the lifestyle they do requires a minimalistic approach.
Today, I know that the minimalist lifestyle isn’t completely for me. However, it might be for you. Here’s a couple of exercises you can try if you’re wanting to experiment with this lifestyle. If it feels liberating, then maybe it’s a sign to bring more simplicity into your life.
- For one month, limit the non-essential items you bring into the house to one thing a week. At the same time, go through your house and ask yourself what items you need and love. If you don’t need OR love something, then consider getting rid of that item – you can trash it, sure – but I’d recommend giving it to someone who appreciates it (just like the collectors do with Mike and Frank on American Pickers!) either by giving or selling it.
- Also, as I mentioned in a recent post, pay for everything with cash only. This gives you a finite about amount of funds to work with and makes it harder for you to buy on impulse. You learn to appreciate the money you have. Stretch that dollar!
Let me know how it works out for you!