Life has its basic needs. Anything other than it is excess. All of us have our own definition of excess. Most of us are conditioned by society to own bigger and better things called stuff in order to portray ourselves to society that we are successful. What is the definition of success? The answer is it depends on whom we ask the question to. For a poor man, feeding himself and his family and providing a shelter from the elements is success to him. For a middle class man it may be to send his kids to school, get himself a new house and a car. For a rich man, success is having more money than he can tame.
Which one would you prefer:
1/ You have lot of properties and businesses but NO family
2/ You have lots of family but NO Money
3/ You have lots of family and are self sufficient
Most would pick number 1/. I personally would pick 3/ because it has sort of an equal balance of both. Life is too short. Before we know it, it will be time to go. So we need to make the best use of it, living each and every moment. Make sure to fill it with pleasant memories, for that will be the only one left during the last moments of our lives. Family and friends will disappear one by one. Memories may help us to cling on to dear life by providing us with a purpose to live. This may be our last hope. Money is not everything, but it is something. But a Life without family may have no meaning at all. So live Life with a purpose. We shouldn’t be living Life for the sake of living it.We need to Live it, experience it and fulfill it with everything that we have got – OUR BEST.
Another scenario that plays out in life is as follows:
1/ When we are young, we are healthy, we have lots of time but no money.
2/ In midlife, we have some money, moderately healthy and comparatively less time.
3/ In old age, we have plenty of time, plenty of money but no health.
So in life we cannot have it all, it’s just the right balance that will do the trick for a long and fulfilled life.
Let’s talk about the basics so we will digress the need for excesses. Once food, clothing and shelter are covered, the rest is either wasteful or not needed. There is a vast difference between needs and wants. Needs are: The air we breath, food we eat, the clothing we wear and a house to shelter us from the elements etc. Wants are: a Car, necklace, vacation, designer dress etc. So why do we spend huge chunks of money on Wants? Because we want ourselves to be accepted by society, family and friends. We live in a materialistic World, so we come in with a materialistic mentality. So we see value in materials and not in another Human beings character. We cannot see Health, but surely we can display our brand new car. So the value for Health takes the back seat until it’s too late. We spend more on our material possessions than our OWN Health. When was the last time you had seen your Physician or your Dentist for your preventative maintenance visit? 85 % of the population do not even care about going in for their Bi annual Physical or Dental Checkup.
People spend time and money buffing up their cars for it to be looking new, but when it comes to their Health, it’s in disarray. This is where we have gotten our priorities in life mixed up. In our society today, we have started loving products and using people. There comes exploitation. Products are manufactured for a fraction of it’s sale cost overseas and then imported back in to reap the profits multi-fold. Meanwhile that worker who toiled day and night is living below the poverty level. Is it fair? Is Life fair for that person? All of us demand cheap prices for everything. The retailer is not going to absorb the loss. The end consumer, which is us want the lowest prices possible, we do not want to pay much anyway and guess who loses in the end? That laborer who had worked for us in bringing that product to market. He ultimately becomes the loser.
We get up in the morning, leave our homes, work all day, come back home, sleep and continue this same routine throughout our lives chasing money. We are in fact trading our life with money. It is in fact a trade being made. We can always make money, but we cannot get back our Life. Most of us do not even think about it that way. Because we are taught not to question anything and accept the rat race as the normal part of Life, just like scores of people had passed through the same path before us.
Let me ask you a question? How much money do we want in Life? Most of us do not have a definitive answer. We do not even have a straight answer. Then why do we work without a goal in mind? The answer is because everyone goes to work to earn a paycheck and then that pays their bills. Is this Life? That’s all there is to life? I don’t think so. This rat race was created to run the economic machine smoothly. Once we are in, its very difficult to get off it. It is a system. Systems are designed to be fool proof. So in short we are all working for the sake of working and paying our bills.That’s very sad indeed. So we are willing to trade our Life for money. Life is to be lived while being alive. If in life all we do is work and have worked the entire stretch, we have NOT Lived Life at all. In the end a life not Lived well will be a totally wasted life, devoid of the very essence of Life itself.
Now we have reached a stage in our lives where material things or stuff do not impress us any more. This stage is called self sufficiency. During this stage, we tend to downsize, shed our material stuffs, move closer to family and friends and prepare to live Life with the basic needs fulfilled. This gives us even more room to move inside our own homes which had been previously filled with all material possessions. These materials may have a possessing effect on us. This is when we start hoarding. Too much of anything is poison. This includes, food, clothing, money, etc etc.
We all should be self sufficient in our lives and live life to the fullest in our terms. But in reality the society have been dictated the terms of running it. We have been conditioned to work from 9 am to 5 pm 5 days a week, usually a 40 Hour work week. Then we are conditioned to have a 2 day weekend. Once in a while we are allowed to have a 3 day “LONG weekend”. Is this the norm? Who is making up this calendar? Who is dictating our lives? Is it your life or somebody else’s? Then why is someone else controlling you? What’s going on here?
All Life’s excesses cannot be considered successes. Superficially it looks so. A well dressed man with a brand new luxury car in front of a mansion may be so broke that all those showcase belongs to the bank, but a shabby looking man dressed in mediocre clothes driving an ordinary care living in a small house may be a multi millionaire in the works. Never judge a book by its cover. Looks are indeed deceptive.
Materialism or material excess has taken over Man’s emotions and taken him into the greed territory. Once there, wanting more and more is the silent word of choice. Once we are trapped into materialism, we are willing to forego everything in life in order to accomplish our deep seated desires and fantasies. Family may even have to take a back seat. But if we follow the path to self sufficiency, we will be self content with what we have. This also does not lead us to a path to self destruction but to a path to simplicity, happiness and inner bliss.
What do you crave for? Materialism or Simplicity? Excesses or self sufficiency?
- In Life, does not matter how much money we have, we can only eat so much food at one time. Once the tank is full, we cannot over fill it. The other option is take out.
- How big of a mansion do we need and with how many bedrooms? We can only sleep on one bed at a time.
- Once we close our eyes, it does not matter how many rooms are there in your mansion. Just one room would suffice. The rest of the rooms becomes irrelevant by default.
- How much space do you need to sleep? Usually 6X4 would be sufficient for me. During sleep our body becomes essentially a dead body minus the vital signs that keep us alive during that state.
- How is it that our body goes to sleep by turning off most of its systems to charge and at the same time it awakens us automatically when it’s fully charged: Like the on-off switch. That’s fascinating. It’s completely involuntary.
Simplicity is the key to life. In the good old times people were much more happier than people of today. They had nothing material wise back then but they were surrounded by family and friends. Fast forward to today just decades later, we have surrounded ourselves with material excesses and we see that most of the population is not happy at all. In short they have not reached the level of self sufficiency yet. Once they reach that level, it may pull them back to simplicity and self content.
Time to shed off excesses and time to embrace self sufficiency, for it may bring us, happiness, fulfillment, and joy in order to lead a long and simple life.