Have few desires.”
― Lao Tzu
Live Simply in 5 Steps
1. Realize the difference between wants and needs and act accordingly. I know for myself, once I finally understood that I didn’t need everything I owned, I was able to let go of a load of stress related to always wanting more.
2. Realize the more stuff we own, the more burdened we are. In other words, clutter prevents freedom of movement and creates stagnancy in life. Nothing holds us back more from doing what we really want than old, useless garbage that festers in the corners of our house and mind. Unnecessary luggage is an anchor. Cut the ropes holding what’s anchoring you and sail to your wildest dreams. (cringe, I know)
3. Don’t become attached to physical items. Become attached to relationships and activities that create memories and cultivate happiness. Yes, those old jeans you wore in high school may remind you of your first kiss, but that memory exists with or without those jeans. Thank old, useless items for serving you and let them go.
4. Be aware of how consumption affects the lives of others and realize that supply only comes from demand. As you’ll see later in this blog, fair and ethical trade have a huge positive impact on millions of people and animals who live in modern day slavery. It is so much easier to go shopping when we can cross off any company that supports animal testing and doesn’t pay fair wages to the hard working humans working behind the scenes. Plus, fair trade products are always amazing quality because they are made with love, not with the blood, sweat, and tears of a slave. Last but not least, most second-hand stores, thrift shops, and flea markets are considered fair-trade, so shop until you drop and save loads of money. Eat your heart out, Macklemore.
5. As cliché as it sounds, we need to count our blessings! Nothing makes us realize we don’t need more like a little recollection of what we already have, especially when we compare what we own to what some much less fortunate person has.
Every day, if we consciously make the effort to realize these things, we will reap the true reward of living a simple life, genuine happiness.