Being Less

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Nobodys home (Photo credit: Mait Jüriado)

Being Nobody Going Nowhere. That’s not depression. It’s a book on being content with not being ambitious, not setting worldly goals, and  simply recognizing the moment, Could you do that? Could you give up your goals and agenda for even one week?

People say that it’s impossible, that we must have goals and plans for the future to be happy. Why? We all seem to always be working towards something but what if you didn’t have to? What if you lived in this moment? What if you decided to be happy? What if you decided to be less?

This is meant in a good sense.  If we live now instead of constantly living for someday maybe it would be enough. I think about how I have tortured myself with my own ideals about life, how I came to believe in other people’s standards for success and happiness. What’s wrong with how things are now? Nothing really. Being satisfied with enough is a new turn for me. Becoming a minimalist started out by getting rid of material things. Now as I venture further I find it’s not just about possessions for me. It’s about being content, grateful for what I have, and appreciating this very moment instead of being anxious about how things will turn out.

I was raised with the thinking that nothing was ever good enough, ever perfect enough. We had to try harder, go farther, to accomplish something. As I enter middle age I find that having that degree or being successful in someone else’s eyes is not so important to me anymore. I have refused to buy into the thinking that in order to have self-worth I should be “busy”. Working at an honest job is satisfaction in itself. It shouldn’t have to be measured by monetary gain or status.

In this moment can I find joy with being less?

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15 thoughts on “Being Less

  1. Fantastic!! I think you may have hit on the secret to happiness. We shouldn’t be measured by our incomes or our possessions. Just a generation, maybe two, ago people didn’t talk about their incomes, it was a private thing. They didn’t compare their homes, or its furnishings, to others. If they had good food to share with family and friends everything was fine.

    • Thanks for being a loyal reader. My favorite line is “never compare the inside of you to the outside of someone else.” The dawn of computers and smartphones has everyone freaked out about isolationism. Wouldn’t it be crazy good if it inadvertently prompted people to stop comparing and competing? There was a time and it is still the case in some countries that we didn’t need money. We traded for or grew what we needed. How simple that would be. Thanks for the comment.

      • That is a wonderful thing to hope for. At the moment I still see people who are comparing their phone with those of others, look how long the lines are to purchase a new iPhone when it comes out, not all those people are in need of a new phone. I do think we are more isolated right now, but I see little pockets of groups who are doing exactly what you envision.

  2. Pingback: Friday Favorites, April 5th | Living Simply Free

  3. What a lovely treat your blog is! I think I just may be a minimalist at heart. It’s not that I wouldn’t be thrilled with icing on my cake, it’s just that I’m so pleased with my cake the way it is–plain, no frosting, no ice cream on the side. There’s just not that much I need besides a roof, food, clothing and a loving family. Oh, and my laptop (I have to write). Books, but I can get those from the library.

    Thanks so much for following my blog–happily following you back.

    • Thank you for the comment. Great analogy! I like to use a less than visionary term:”weeding out”. We like our icing too but having too much of it doesn’t make us happy, it just makes us miserable. Establishing a balance for your individual situation is key. Thanks for reading.

  4. Such a good post. I think many of us reaching middle age are having similar thoughts. We have much more than the previous generation but a lot of people are not content. Our way of life has changed over the past few years, we spend much less and enjoy simple things more, the things that make us happy. Now I am looking forward wondering how much (paid) work do I want to do, whether our home is too big now our Sons have moved out etc. I really enjoy reading how others have changed too.

    • Thanks for commenting. You are right. I think as we age we tend to see that everything is not about getting ahead or just making money to spend. We all experience challenges in our life and what makes them a blessing is that they tend to make us see what is truly important. Thanks for reading.

  5. What a refreshing take on being happy! Whilst it’s good to want to be successful, there is so much pressure to be looking for the next best thing. Having had the experience of losing it all and having to start over I can say that there is a great deal of satisfaction and contentment to be found in simplicity and living each day as it comes!

    • Thank you for the great comment. It’s true, I’m not asking people not to do anything with their lives. Wanting a better life has it’s merit but I do think that recognizing that life is good right now and being content with that is simply invaluable. Thanks for reading.

  6. I don’t own a TV, toaster oven, coffee maker, or a one of those handy dandy spaghetti strainer thing-a-ma-bobs, among other things. Not because I can’t afford them financially, but because I can’t afford them cluttering up my life. Count me in the minimalists club! Great post.

  7. Once I rode in a cab with a Jamaican driver who said he couldn’t wait to go back to Jamaica. When I asked why, he said “In Jamaica nobody works and everybody is happy; in America everybody works and no one is happy”. I think this speaks to simplicity and being content with less….

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