Let me start by telling you a story about wanting less.
Have you ever had to fix a broken faucet?
We recently bought a house that had a leak in the guest bathroom. I shut off the water to the house for a few minutes and took apart the bathtub faucet. An internal part was broken which I learned from watching a few YouTube vidoes. I didn’t have the part that I needed so I took a trip down to the local Lowe’s.
I left the water to the house off because the tub was taken apart. Kenzie was worried about not having running water to make dinner while I was gone and I told her I would only be a few minutes. By the time the water was turned back on it had been almost two hours. Just in those two hours, we went to the kitchen sink at least 8 times to turn the water on, and nothing came out.
Going to the sick to turn the water on is so common that we don’t even have to think about it. At dinner, we talked about how much we take for granted the fact that we have running water at all times. After dinner, I told my Kenzie I’d be back in an hour to fetch a pail of water (joke).
Could our ancestors have ever imagined all of the luxuries of life that we get to enjoy?
We have it so good
An air conditioner cools our house, a microwave heats up our food, a fridge keeps our food fresh, and we have the ability to connect to anyone in the world in a matter of seconds. We can even hop on a plane and in a few hours land anywhere in the world. Not even the greatest kings and pharaohs could’ve done that no matter how much wealth they had.
Perhaps I’m weird for always thinking about this but the bottom line is we have it sooo good.
Why are so many people unhappy?
Even with all of these things that we take for granted, why do people feel like they will never have enough?
We’re in the most abundant country in the world. Literally anything you want can be delivered to your door in two days. We live a place that provides everything you could need.
So why are so many people unhappy? Why are so many people broke and in debt?
Too many people are focused on acquiring more. More money, more status, more stuff. It leads to discontentment. It’s called the “Comparison Trap.“
In the words of C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”
When we fall victim to the ‘comparison trap,’ it’s just another way to find fault with ourselves and engage in self-sabotage. If you’re constantly comparing yourself, it’s almost impossible to achieve full happiness.
It’s so counterproductive when we use arbitrary standards to compare ourselves to others, ultimately affecting our self-confidence and self-worth. Who has the bigger house. Who has the best lawn … the best car … the more prestigious job? The circle of comparison widens in a never-ending battle of who has made it?
Intrinsic worth and net worth can and perhaps should be mutually exclusive. The basis of self-regard and confidence should not be dependent on a faulty foundation (e.g., the size of a house).
Owning less is good, wanting less is better
Is it possible to be financially free by wanting less?
Simply saying, “I don’t want anything else,” won’t make you financially free. It doesn’t happen like that. But what if you could change your desire over the next year or few years to be content with where you are and who you are?
What if you could get to the point where you actually had everything you need?
One of the great challenges in life is learning to be ok with what you have, even though it’s human nature to always want more.
Have you heard the common phrase, “I’ll be happy when…”? I’ll be happy when I get that car … I’ll be happy when I finish school … I’ll be happy when I buy a house … I’ll be happy when the kids are out of the house… etc. By falling prey to ‘someday syndrome,’ you also set yourself up for discontentment.
How to start on the financial freedom path by wanting less
Not only do you have what it takes to start filling fulfilled but you have what it takes to be financially free through wanting less.
I want just enough money and stuff to be financially free, and I don’t need hundreds of millions of dollars to feel free.
How much do you need to feel good with your life the way it is today?
At Simplifinances, my mission is to help you become financially free not just by making more money and increasing your wants, but by living simply and wanting less.
I want you to enjoy the journey, not succumb to someday syndrome. You have what it takes to be financially independent.
It first starts with your mind set. You may never feel satisfied if you’re always pursuing more.
How can you free yourself from unhappiness and debt and start living the financially free life that you desire?
It’s easy to get caught in the fast lane and forget to stop and show your appreciation for what you do have. A life well lived is one of gratitude and thankfulness.
Gratitude will help you feel financially free even if your financial situation is not what others would classify as financially free.
This is foundational in building the life you want. More won’t make you happy.
I put together a free PDF that you can download to help you start feeling grateful for all that you have.
Build this foundation, and you will have more opportunities come into your life but this time you will be more selective.
You have what it takes to be financially free by wanting less.
Self-awareness was first theorized in 1972 by Duval and Wicklund in their book, “A Theory of Objective Self-Awareness.” This book argues that if we focus our attention inwardly on ourselves, we tend to compare our behavior in the current moment to our general standards and values. This triggers a state of impartial self-awareness.
Self-awareness is a vital first step in taking control of your life, creating what you want, and mastering your future. Where you choose to focus your energy, emotions, personality, and reactions determines where you will end up in life.
I’m not promising you will have all the riches and wealth you will ever need. I’m not saying you won’t ever have problems in your life if you’re just grateful and self-aware. But what I am saying is you have what it takes to feel free. You will not be happy if you always want more. Stop comparing yourself to others.
I look at financial freedom slightly different. It doesn’t have to be a jet and expensive hotels every other weekend. It starts with your thoughts of wanting less and being happy with what you have.