Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Having less and enjoying it more

I read a wonderful commentary on CNN.com by Peter Bregman. (If I could figure out better how to post links I'd do it, LOL, but you could find it on cnn.com if you go looking)

He talked about my favorite topic, which is having less and enjoying it more. Apparently he, at one time, was very wealthy and succesful and enjoying every minute of it. Then, as it has with many people in this country, it all came crashing down. He took the opportunity to learn and grow from it, and feels he is a happier person now. My favorite quote is this:

"Having less forces choices. And consciously making those choices can bring us closer to the things we care about. Which can make a poorer life more rich than a rich one".

I agree 100%, and feel that for us, it becomes more true every day now that we've made the pledge to simplify our lives. I read alot in the paper these days about living frugally, since its such a hot topic. Unfortunately, its always presented as such a BAD thing--doing without, cutting back, depriving yourself. I rarely see it pointed out that an uncluttered life can be refreshingly peaceful and happy. It certainly isn't presented as something one would advocate doing on purpose. Which brings me to another quote that I really liked:

"Above a basic threshold, money doesn't make us happier. But we think it will, so we do all sorts of things that make us unhappy in order to get it."

Isn't that the biggest irony of all?

There is a certain degree to which we need money. For basic necessities,a few luxuires, some comfort. We need it for emergencies, to educate our children and for retirement. But what we don't need it for is lots and lots of stuff, and if it weren't for all that stuff, we'd have it more of it for those other things. So in some ways, a poor economy and forced choices could be a blessing in disguise, especially if people choose to see it that way. I for one certainly hope the economy picks up and things get better, but until then I'm hoping and praying that people will come away from this having learned some good things.


Anonymous said...

If 'stuff' really made us happy, we wouldn't have to keep buying more of it!

2simplify said...