Simple Living

“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it’s conformity.”Rollo May

“Over the years I’ve come across any number of people embracing life on their own terms.  They are intent on breaking the shackles of debt, consumerism and limiting mindsets, and living free.  They are filled with ideas and courage.  This freedom, to me, is the single most valuable thing money can buy and it’s why I offer you the strategies in this book.” –The Simple Path to Wealth by J L Collins

It’s those changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes. Nothing remains quite the same. With all of our running, and all of our cunning. If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane. – Jimmy Buffett

Simple living can be a huge component of successful investing.  When you live simply it allows you to focus on fewer things, which in turn creates a more thoughtful approach to just the most important things in your life, including investing.  There are some of those concepts below:

  1. Allows you to focus on long-term opportunities and not on short-term expenditures.  Instead of planning another purchase, you can spend time planning your life, including investing.  This requires patience and thought.
  2. Allows you to live your life intentionally rather than jumping around daily putting out fires.  By eliminating unnecessary things in our lives, we create an atmosphere of calm where we can really think about what we want for ourselves and our family.  Where we can do the important things better, rather than just accepting average.
  3. Clearing your mind of societal preconceptions and comparing yourself to others.  This helps to move past the consumer mentality of continual shopping as a pastime rather than when you actually need something.  It then requires less effort to save more and gain the ultimate prize, your time to spend as you wish.
  4. By evaluating every purchase and deciding does this really add value to my life.  I would say that most do not. By spending less, it creates less stress to produce revenue.  This opens up other career opportunities that may be more fulfilling.  Don’t get me wrong, you should maximize your income to increase your options later in life, but this allows you to choose an occupation that may be more fulfilling.
  5. Eliminating the paycheck to paycheck lifestyle to where your life isn’t controlled by your employer or the latest thing.
  6. Contrary to common conventional wisdom, you may be happier saving more and spending less. According to Dan Buettner author of The Blue Zones book about the longest-lived humans on the planet. They were happier overall than the average person and on a financial note they were happier saving and providing security for them and their family than spending on material or experiential purchases.  The best things in life are free; family, friends, an occupation you enjoy, hobbies, and nature.

Don’t take my word for it, listed below is simple living wisdom throughout history.

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are.  When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” Lao Tzu 6th Century BCE

“He who is contented is rich.” Lao Tzu 6th Century BCE

“The root of suffering is attachment.” The Buddha 6th Century BCE

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucius 6th Century BCE

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” Socrates 5th Century BCE

“In order to seek one’s direction, one must simplify the mechanics of ordinary, everyday life.” Plato 5th Century BCE

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” Seneca 1st Century CE

“The essence of philosophy is that we should live so that our happiness depends as little as possible on external causes.” Epictetus 1st Century CE

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” Isaac Newton 1642-1727

“It is the heart that makes a man rich.  He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.” Henry Ward Beecher 1813-1887

“I make myself rich, by making my wants few.” Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862

“Our life is frittered away by detail…Simplify, simplify, simplify!…Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.” Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862

“Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris 1834-1896

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein 1879-1955

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” Will Rogers 1879-1935

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupe 1900-1944

“When your room is clean and uncluttered you have no choice but to examine your inner state.” Marie Kondo 1984-