I’ve been writing about simplicity and minimalism for seven weeks now and I haven’t yet covered physical simplicity. Of course during this series I am going to address the need to purge your stuff. Decluttering your physical space is important. To be ready for this step, and to feel no loss at all though, you need to understand the concept of ‘Enough’.
It’s not a concept that you hear about much in the media, and our parents were never really taught it (they were the first generation to experience excess), so they have been unable to pass the wisdom on.
We are living in an age where we are socially conditioned to believe more is better. Consumerism is king. And what you own defines your level of success in life.
It’s a lie.
Furthermore, it’s a lie that keeps us from the life we dream of, and the happiness we so strongly desire.
More is not better. If it were you’d be really really happy right now.
Consumerism is not king. Consumerism keeps us all working long hours and is wrecking the planet we currently call home. To get a picture of some of the pointlessness of our consumerism, read this – Gift of Death
You are not defined by your stuff. As humans we still feel the need to arrange ourselves into some kind of hierarchy. The pecking order is no longer established by fights or who is the biggest and strongest, or who has the biggest harem of wives, but by who owns the most stuff.
Just consider the utter stupidity of that for a moment. We decide who is the better person, by how much stuff he owns. No matter whether we actually need the stuff or not, or actually even want it. It’s what it represents that matters. Our egos crave that other people accept and admire us.
However, there is no winner in the ‘who has most stuff’ game. There will always be someone who has more than you. Ergo, based on our current way of organising ourselves, there will always be someone better than you – unless you reject that game and play a different one with your own rules.
Your happiness is not defined by your stuff. It comes from a place within, and no amount of trips to Harvey Nichols or brown boxes from Amazon is going to change that. A feeling of happiness can be created at any time you like. Contentment can be found in having enough stuff, and using the rest of your life energy (that thing we trade for stuff) to achieve our other ambitions.
If you have been living your life in the pursuit of stuff and want to explore another way, you might like these articles;
This graph by www.getrichslowly.org is the simplest way to understand where enough is.
In my experience, you don’t know you’ve reached enough until you have surpassed it slightly. That’s where we have been personally the last couple of years and are now pulling it back.
Enough is when you have everything you need, a few of the things you desire, but no excess. No wastage.
Through my year of simplicity and minimalism I will bring our lives back into line so we can reside in that space of enough. In doing so, I expect we will, at times, have more income than we actually need (I never thought I’d ever hear myself say that). The additional money will provide us with freedom. We can use it to free up more time, or we can use it to spend purposefully.
Have you reached, or surpassed ‘enough’?