My mom’s favourite story of my childhood goes something like this; “When you were five, you came back from trick or treating on Halloween five minutes after you left with the babysitter. You put four candies out on the table and when I asked why you were back so soon, you simply said, “One candy for you, one candy for Opa, one candy for dad, and one candy for me” When I asked you why you didn’t go out and fill your bag, you looked at me said “But mommy, how much more than enough do you need?”
It got me thinking about a new blog, so here it is, El Blogo Numero Dos.
Ever find yourself looking around and asking yourself how you managed to accumulate so much useless crap? Do you find yourself throwing something away with little thought of repairing it? “Might as well just buy a new one, rather than try to fix this one”
You’re not alone. We have become a society of consumers ever-bent on acquiring more useless trinkets with a best-before date of less than a year. New phones every year, new clothes every month, restaurants, bars and movies every week, and less and less money and freedom at the end of every year.
So here is my question? When is enough enough? How much crap do we really need, how big of house must we have, and ultimately, how much money do you think you really require to be happy?
It’s a simple question that very few people ever ask themselves. They are sometimes the same people that are very wealthy and work longer and harder than ever before. Some are divorced, some more than once, some are estranged from their children, but almost all of them feel trapped. Others just simply plod along with little regard to where they are going or what they want.
If you stop and really think about it, you might be surprised at how little you need to be truly happy. Come on, we’ve all thought about it, cutting all your bonds, sailing away, or trekking the Himalaya’s, busting loose of the societal demands rammed down our throat every single day! It’s in there, in all of us. A sense of knowing that this just isn’t the path we are supposed to be on. That instead of ever-striving for bigger, better, faster, perhaps we need to slow down and take a look at applying a little more quality along the way. More balance, more time for your family, your health, your mind. Maybe even time to fix a thing or two, rather then just buying a new one. Simpler aspirations then ones dictated by main-stream media and a never-ending barrage of expectations being thrust down our throats. Maybe a small house in the country with a garden, some animals, good hunting and fishing! A campfire, a walk, a board game, fishing with your kids, painting a picture.
Speaking of painting, if you could paint a perfect life, just what would it be? Once you ask the question and apply some basic math, you may realize that it won’t cost you as much as you thought and that you might even be able to set a realistic goal that starts walking you in the right direction.
I often speak to people that live in a big city who comment on our lifestyle as though it were something so distant to them, they might as well fly to the moon. When I ask them what their home is worth and find out that they are sitting on more than enough wealth to do something similar, they always shrug and laugh it off. A simpler life, lesser income, a smaller town, different thinking. This would give them the freedom in many cases to live their dreams, travel, and complete the picture they so desperately wish they could paint.
But people are funny creatures, we hold onto our ideas with such ferocity, that the slightest suggestion of change or non-conformity sends most falling in to the “The Valley of Fear and Excuses”. “But what about my friends…the people I work with…the kids…my parents”, and the list goes on and on.
I say just do it. Make a change. Be different, love, laugh, live.
Adriana and I have always lived outside the box, making drastic changes, adapting, dreaming, creating and always moving toward the picture we painted of our life. Were we scared when we sold everything we owned, bought a sailboat, and sailed away? Damn straight we were. Did it work out? Better then we could have ever imagined. We came back with a sense of value and faith in ourselves that nobody can ever take from us. We can live on nothing, preserve, hunt, fish, forage, and fix. And we can survive without money. But the strength we gained provided us the courage to move ahead, step-aside, to live and think differently, to imagine and dream, and to create the life we now have. Without the first step, the rest would have never come.
We get asked all the time why we don’t expand our business as we are almost fully booked. Or why we sold our other business. “Just think how much more you could make!” As it is, we work for six months, and then live at our home in Baja Mexico for six months. We make just enough money.
More money won’t make our life better, it would just take our time away. Time is priceless, and all the money in the world can’t buy it back once it is gone.
So I ask you again, how much is enough?