Ever hear that over used adage “less is more”?
Have you ever really given it much consideration beyond it being just another catchy “happy-go-lucky” saying?
Most people don’t give it much thought, but there is deep wisdom there.
Beyond just deep wisdom, there are some very BIG reasons why you don’t want to be a part of that dreaded classification of “most people”.
In a modern fast paced society that pushes us to have “more – more – more” and work “faster – harder – longer”, it is no wonder that our waistlines, to-do lists, and headaches are also growing at a modern industrial rate.
If you are reading this, it means you have access to Internet and a computer. You are in the lucky 33% of the world’s population that has Internet access (There are roughly 2.3 billion people online out of 7 billion people in the world). What may be more shocking is that you are also luckier than 30% of Americans.
With another holiday season having come and gone, it is time to take a look at the aftermath. More flat screen HD television sets, more video games, more STUFF.
Now I’m not here to preach, but imagine if you used the 80/20 principle to balance out your life. If you are at all familiar with the 80/20 principle you will realize that it is statistically likely that 80% of the enjoyment you get out of your possessions comes from roughly 20% of your overall possessions. That means that roughly 80% of your stuff is just that – STUFF.
How could having fewer possessions give you more?
- Fewer possessions can give you more space in your home
- Reducing possessions can give you some spare change (or a good feeling if you donate)
- Reducing possessions can give you a greater sense of appreciation for how lucky you are and what you’ve been lucky enough to afford.
What can you do about it?
- Scale down the wardrobe: Do you really wear everything you own? If there are things you know you haven’t worn in the last 4 months, you can probably throw it out. If you are in doubt, turn all your clothes hangers around. When you wear something and put it back on the hanger, turn the hanger the other direction so that you know you wore it. If you start noticing hangers that aren’t turned back, that’s a good sign you no longer need that item of clothing.
- Reduce CD’s, books, and movies: This is self-explanatory. We have computers, iPods, and Kindles. You don’t have to get rid of everything, but there are certainly things you no longer need. There are many music stores, pawn shops, and used book stores that give you credit or cash for used items of this sort. There is always the option of donating them to a thrift store or a charity fundraiser.
- Above and Beyond: Above were only a couple of common examples. There are most likely many other things you can get rid of that don’t fall into those categories. Try to think of 5 totally categories you can reduce from and reduce at least 5 things from each category. This shouldn’t be asking too much!
- Do it often: Ideally, this is a process that should be repeated. Just like brushing your teeth, you can’t expect to do it once and forget about it right? A good rule of thumb is to do the above exercise roughly 4 times per year. The solstices are a handy way to remember – they are usually written on the calendar for you ahead of time!
With this in mind, now is the time to take action. Experiencing a weight being lifted is a far different feeling than just reading about it. With a little tough love on yourself, you’ll be feeling less burdened by the weight of consumerism in no time.