Be content with less stuff

Resist materialism and consumerism

enough2Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. If you have them you have to take care of them. There is great freedom in simplicity of living. It is those who have enough but not too much who are the happiest.

We are constantly accosted by materialism, commercialism, and consumerism. Unless resisted, these powerful and not-so-subtle ideologies can lead to an insatiable desire for more stuff.

Madison Avenue has colluded with manufacturers and distributors to establish an elaborate network of products, suppliers, and salespersons to feed our addiction. The advertising industry is determined to blur the lines between perception and reality and between what we need and what they want us to want.

Few people have ever considered the alternative – that it’s possible, and even advantageous, to own a fixed number of items. At some point in our lives, we must resist the urge to accumulate more stuff and become content with what we have.

A firm answer to just one question will help establish a balanced perspective on material possessions, and it will help bring clarity, control, and peace to our lives.

When is enough, enough?

Everyone needs an answer to that question. Everyone needs to complete this statement and hold firm to the commitment: “I have ____ possessions, and that’s enough.”

Years ago, after careful and deliberate thought, I decided: “I have 100 possessions, and that’s enough.”

The impact of this decision has been significant and liberating.

  • I have developed an immunity to the marketing and advertising that permeates our culture.
  • I’m better off financially.
  • I have more time to spend on important matters.
  • I worry less.
  • Best of all, I enjoy the wonderful, formerly elusive feeling of contentment.

If you decide to walk down this path, start by focusing only on your possessions – don’t worry about how much stuff other people have. And, only count your personal possessions; don’t include household items such as furniture and appliances.

Hopefully, once this philosophy of restraint affects one aspect of your life (personal), it will spread to other areas.

Click here for more information about this topic and to see my list of 100 items.

Summary

What? – Most people have too much stuff, and it adversely affects their lives.
So what? – We can easily control how much stuff we possess.
Now what? – Think carefully about this topic and then complete (or ignore) this statement: “I have _____ possessions, and that’s enough.”

Leaders – Consider how materialism and consumerism may be adversely affecting your organization. Is there an inordinate emphasis on physical objects?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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3 thoughts on “Be content with less stuff

  1. Wow, Don. Only 100 possessions? Do you have them listed? I wonder how you “keep up” with your list. I’m also curious how you receive gifts. Thanks, as always, for goading my mind.

    • Wayne, I actually get by with 80 items. (They are listed on the ‘click here for more information” page. My family knows that my favorite gift is a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble 🙂 Thanks for commenting. Don