11 August 2008

5 Ideas to Help You say "Enough"

Portrait of Socrates, Roman marble, Louvre museumImage via WikipediaThe idea that we must constantly be striving to obtain more possessions is at the core of any capitalist democracy - and, by the looks of things, at least one large 'communist' dictatorship. Its an idea that society has embraced without question, and without regard to the true cost.

These days most people in developed nations work longer than they did some 50 years ago. We have less leisure time and spend less time with our families. We are deeper in debt than ever before and less connected with our neighbourhoods. And these are just some of the social costs.

The environment is also suffering from an economic system based on constant growth. We are drowning in rubbish, destroying pristine environments, and chasing species after species down to extinction.

Isn't it time someone said "ENOUGH!"?

If you want to help us all get out of the rat race here's some ideas to help you find what is enough for you:

1. Ask the big questions
Socrates, by all accounts, used to upset his fellow citizens by asking them to analyse the obvious and think deeply about widely held assumptions. Try challenging yourself with the following questions (and any others that you come up with):
What do I need to live a comfortable life?
What is the difference between financial security & hoarding wealth?
Who would I be without my possessions?
Is my financial security attained at the expense of others?
Does having more stuff make me happier?

Feel free to share you answers with us in the comments section.

2. Try GivingMany of us a so scared about losing our 'stuff' that we protect it at all costs. But if you really want to attract more abundance into your life try giving things away. Sign up for the 29-Day Giving Challenge and give one thing away every day for 29 days. Who knows what you'll find yourself giving away.

3. Go WithoutGive the credit cards a rest and indulge in a week without buying anything but the essentials. Sometimes less really is more - or at least enough!

4. Take StockMake an inventory of everything you own. How much of it do you actually use? How much of it do you owe money on? How much of it did you not even know you had? What things are actually essential items that you use regularly? What things would make you feel worse off if you no longer had them?

5. Be Grateful
Take the time to be thankful for the things you do have - and not just your physical possessions. Remember to value the things money can't buy. Often the very act of being grateful can help you realise what is important to you.


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4 comments:

Richard Millington said...

Five great points. Especially the one about asking the big questions.

There is also the interesting question about buying something more efficient, against fixing what you have already.

kiwimeg said...

That is an interesting question! I guess it all depends on what it is, how much more efficient a new one would be, and what resources go into making the new one as opposed to fixing the old . . .

MoneyEnergy said...

I like this analysis, especially the Socratic questioning;) and giving things away. I'm actively trying to not accumulate more stuff... it seems to get harder and harder as we go along.

kiwimeg said...

Glad you liked it ;)

It is really hard to not buy 'stuff' I was doing so well recently until I got tempted at the supermarket the other day and purchased a candle thingy that I really don't need and could have quite happily lived without *sigh*