It’s a fact of modern life that our economy is dependent on either actual or potential income, work hours, and spending levels. The pandemic we are living through has certainly brought that home. Many of us have lost jobs or are now underemployed and have had to re-assess and re-prioritise our spending decisions. There’s no avoiding the fact that we are now in an economic recession and possibly heading into a modern depression era.
Obviously, a reduced number of work hours consequently lowers the amount earned. That can make things difficult for a while but on the flip side, it does give you the time to become more self-sufficient and to live more simply. The philosophy of work-to-live replaces the social ideology of live-to-work.
Simple living often means focusing on what you love and the hobbies we don’t often get to enjoy when our lives are packed with “all the important things” – busy work designed to make us feel productive but which doesn’t really directly add value to our lives.
You must have heard the phrase that it is the simple things in life that make us truly happy.
One way to simplify life is to take control and reduce dependency on money and the economy. Tom Hodgkinson, author of ‘How to be Free’, believes the key to a free and simple life is to stop consuming, start producing; stop being ‘successful’ and start living.
The dictionary describes success as “attaining wealth, prosperity and/or fame”. We tend to think of success in terms of material things – how much money someone earns, how much stuff they have, how big their house is, what sort of car they drive. Often those are the measures by which we define people or we allow those things to define us. But this only tells a very small part of the whole story of who we are.
So, what really defines you? What do you consider as your successes?
• always doing your best.
being the person who looks out for others
• having a place to call home.
• understanding the difference between need and want.
• believing you can.
• remembering to balance work with passion.
• learning that you sometimes have to say no.
• loving and being loved back.
• standing your ground when you believe in something.
• not giving up.
• understanding that you control your destiny.
For us simple living boils down to identifying the essentials and letting go of the rest, and yes it does seem impossible , until it is done!