Thursday, May 27, 2010

Declutter my life - part 2c

Bye bye, coffee table

In the previous post, I talked about luck and taking action. Harsh decisions can help you, when you are in doubt. I apply these techniques myself, so I'm not just talking about something I bearly know anything about. I know what I'm talking about and I only give information that's been useful to me too.

That's why I took my decluttering and simplifying another small step forward, by deciding to get red of that coffee table I was talking about. Another item I'm no longer bound to. And it feels great. And what a space saver this is.

Why do I get rid of it?

It's a good coffee table, good quality and it's in perfect condition. But I still live with my parents, so I'm only keeping it for when I move out. This could take a couple more years (especially when you look at the prices of houses). A couple of years is a long time. A lot of things can happen during that time. New coffee tables can emerge at any time, other ideas or replacements can cross my mind, aliens can take over our planet... or the world can go up in smoke. Anything is possible. Anything can happen. So why hold on to this coffee table? I'll find another one if I ever need it.
Case closed.

I'm now another step closer to being able to live out of my car.

How taking action can make you successful

Don't think, act

Did you ever feel like doing something, but you weren't sure about it. And because of those doubts, did you ever waited to long, thought about doing something for too long, so in the end nothing happened? I bet you did.

Some examples have been given on this blog before. When you try to declutter your place, it's somethimes hard to find a reason to get rid of something. And then you think about it for too long and several months later, the specific item is still there, taking up space, not being used at all...

But after those months, you can try again and get rid of it anyway. There are, however, situations where such a lack of determination or decisive power can result in failure that can never be retried. Some events in life only give you 1 chance. Just think about talking to a girl meet once, that you like. If you don't talk to her on the moment you see her, you may never see her again. Thus, you loose the chance of talking to her... perhaps forever.

Harsh decisions

To be successful in life (or love, for that matter), you need to take action. If you don't do it, it doesn't get done. That's how simple it is. And when in doubt, you need to take harsh decisions. That's how you can overcome your doubts. You shut down your brain for a couple of seconds, you stop thinking so hard. In fact, you stop thinking about what you're thinking. You simplify your decisions and become logical.
You ask yourself some questions: What do you want to do? What does this require?
And then you act accordingly, completely on autopilot.

Lucky

When you want something done, or you want to achieve something, nothing ever happens by itself. You'll see no progress if you don't take the appropriate actions. And because of that, people are prone to blame other peoples success on luck. They succeed (quicker), where you don't. Why blame it on the fact that they took the appropriate action, when it's easier to blame it on luck? I have done that too. But then I learnt something important...

Luck does not belong to 1 person. It is everywhere, flying around us. It's there for the taking. All you have to do, is set up receptors or traps, so some of that luck will fall into your hands.

Allow me to clarify this with some examples...

Lucky - example 1

If some strange person throws money at you, but you don't pick it up... what happens? People around you will jump at the money and pick it up for themselves. Are those people lucky to get that money? No more than you. The luck part was, that they where at the place, where someone threw money. You where there too, so they are no luckier than you.

Is this luck? Yes. How can you get this luck by taking action? Go outside. This increases your chances to meeting someone who'll just give you money. That strange person is there, independent of whether you are there or not. By going outside, you increased your chances of experiencing that event of him throwing money at you. You put yourself open to receive that luck. Why do they get it? They took even more action, by grabbing the money. Action will get you results. The more action you take, the better the results.

Lucky - example 2

I'll give a better example, more in line with the previous posts.
If you want to be successful in decluttering your place, you need to get rid of stuff. Not thinking about getting rid of stuff, but actually doing it. If you come across an item of which you are not sure to get rid of, you might put it in an 'undecided' box. So what happens? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The item will remain their until you take action.

If you do take action and decide to get rid of it, you gain space and become emotionally free of that item. But you also put yourself open to lucky events:
  • you might get a lot of money for it, if you sell it
  • you might be able to trade it for something you really needed
  • by getting rid of it, you might find an item that you lost, long ago, that was laying under it or behind it
  • ...
Anything is possible, taking action activates a chain of events. Some of those events might be related to the luck that's flying around us.

Lucky - example 3

If you want to have a girlfriend, you need to talk to girls. You can't wait for some girl to miraculously appear in front of you, we don't live in a fantasy world. There are 6 billion+ people in the world. Half of them are female, so that makes 1 billion women that might like you (raw estimate of girls you can date, both legally and morally). But guess what? Almost none of them will come to you and tell you they like you, even if that's the case. To be able to find out if a girl is right for you, you need to take the appropriate action. You need to go to them and talk.

People who do that, can find out that either a girl is right for them or not. If they are, they might end up together. For those who don't take action, it looks like people with girlfriends where lucky to get the girl. No. They took action.

For someone who's really shy, this too can be a harsh decision. To stop thinking too much and actually talk to girls, it requires you to change your mentality and do something you don't do everyday (if you're really shy). But you accept and open up to girls, which improves your chances of finding the love of your life. Love is not luck, but if you want it, you can handle it the same way.


It starts with a plan

To become successful, you need a plan. Following this plan, will get you where you want to be. It's not luck that happens to come your way, it's taking action. Here's what you can do, to let luck come your way:

  1. Find out what you want
  2. Find out when you want it
  3. Think about way to get what you want, write it all down
  4. Break it down in little steps, going from small subgoal to the ultimate goal
  5. Put it in a graph or on a piece of paper, to track your progress
  6. Take action, according to your plan
  7. Change the plan afterwards, when you feel it is absolutely necessary in order to be able to achieve your goals
  8. Stick with it and let your progress motivate you

Conclusion

Luck is all around us. Changing our life, by taking appropriate actions, will make some of that luck come to us. This will make us successful in whatever it is we want to do.
Love works the same way, if you don't open up, nothing can come your way.
To be successful, you need to set up a plan and stick with it to the end and
let your short-term goal progress motivate you to reach your long-term goal(s).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Declutter my life - part 2b

I got rid of the CD closet. I gave it to my parents. It's in the living room downstairs now. The funny thing is, that the wood of the closet seems to be the same as the wood of the speakers that are attached to the TV closet that's already there. So it fits nicely. And storing DVD's and my brothers games in there, in stead of in the TV closet, makes the TV closet look less messy.
And now my room has a little bit more space... it's a win win situation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Declutter my life - part 2

Expanding the territory

As soon as I started seeing the benefits that simpifying and decluttering brought, I found more places where I could apply the same techniques. I decluttered my mailbox, I reorganized all the files on my computer, etc. The results still amaze me. I can navigate my computer faster, it's easier to find files I need, my mails are easier to maintain...

It's challenging to find new ways to simplify. There's always some aspect of your life you can simplify, even if you haven't thought of it yet. And by doing so, your productivity level will increase and your emotional state will evolve in a positive way.

Living out of a car

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm a fan of the ERE principle. On that blog, Jacob has written an article about living out of a suitcase. I liked that article, it inspired me. He lists the most important items someone needs and I think he made a good list, a complete one. I would throw in a compass and a pocket knife, but other than that, it's a perfect list.

It is, however, a perfect list for those that move around a lot and that can only transport the absolute minimum required. I don't think it's suitable to live like that forever. It might be possible, but I need a couple of things more. That's why I have expanded on the idea and I'm now trying to get rid of as much clutter as possible, so I can live out of a car. And my car is a Daewoo Kalos, so it's a small car. I think this is perfectly possible and it's seems like a good goal to reach for.

Furniture

Furniture is big. It's the biggest problem in moving. I don't have a lot of furniture, but some items are very big. There's my bed, my big computer table and a low table. What you can do, when moving, is getting rid of the furniture and buying new ones when you get to your new place. I'd like to avoid that as much as possible though. So for the furniture, I have to find solutions.

Japanese style bed

I gain a lot of inspiration from the (older) Japanese homes. The Japanese have always lived in pretty simple homes, partly because most of the houses in Japan are small. If you look at the bedrooms, we can find a solution for 1 piece of furniture: the bed.

My current bed has a wooden frame. I don't need it. I can use a Japanese futon instead. It's basically a combination of sheets that you put on a collection of tatami mats. Those tatami mats can be stacked in the car and the futon itself will not occupy too much space, because it's just some sheets you can fold up.

There's more inspiration to be retrieved from Japanese homes. Most of their rooms don't have much in them. And yet, they have beautiful houses in my humble opinion.

I currently still live at home, in a small room upstairs. This has made me aware of the benefits of not having much clutter. If I can get op the biggest pieces of furniture, I know I can make this challenge. That would make it a lot easier to fit it all in a small car.

Small table

I have a coffee table. My parents wanted to get rid of it, so I kept it. A free coffe table, good quality. If you have to buy that, it will cost a lot of money. I was thinking about using it to eat on in my kitchen, when I move out. This is still under severe questioning though, because it doesn't fit in my car. I made it fit in my small room, withouth much trouble, but the room is still bigger than the car. A solution will hopefully follow in a later post...

Tiny table

I also have a tiny square table. This table was about to get thrown out too, but I took it. It's a very small table, 0.50 square meters or something like that. It has a square shape, so it fits practically everywhere. This fits in my car perfectly. It's a bit small to eat on though, but it's totally managable. And you can can put something under it too. to save even more space. This table is one thing I will keep.

CD closet

I have a big standing closeth for storing cd's, but I've been using it to store other things. It has a glass door, so you can see what's in it. The advantage of a glass door is this: you see what's where, without opening the closet. This makes storing and retrieving items from the closeth, a quick and easy action. The disadvantage is, that you need to organize everything perfectly, otherwise it will look messy, even when you close the door.
I never glued it together, so if you pick it up, the bottom will fall off. But this also means that I can take it apart again, so it becomes easy to move around. That makes it worth holding on to, if I have interesting items to store in it. But then again, I'm trying to get rid of most items and I emptied it last week... so at the moment, I'm gonna keep it, but I might change my mind about it later.

The wooden box

I also have a big wooden box. I use it to store all my paperwork, degrees, martial arts information and plain paper I can use to write on. This is important, you need a place to store your paperwork. You could use a suitcase for it, or something else more portable. But I like to be able to take out my classifiers in an easy way, so everything stays organized. I don't want it to take too much time to put new papers in the classifiers. It's important to keep your papers in the correct place, well organized. It makes filling in your taxes easier.

I use a 2 year classifier system: 1 classifier contains 2 years worth of paperwork. When the biggest year on the classifier is more than 5 years ago, I can throw the content of that classifier away. It's a good system, though 5 years may be too much, if I want to be able to store it in my car.

If the wooden box can fit in my car, it's a keeper. It can be used as a container for items, but you can also sit on it. My dad made it, so it's quality material. He's good at making things. I'm gonna keep this, until I find out that it doesn't fit in my car.

Conclusion

So far, I have a wooden box with paperwork, a Japanese style futon with a couple of tatami mats and a tiny square table. This is what I can keep, so my items contain just the stuff that can fit in my car. There's still more though, so I'll make another post to come up with a solution for that.
This quest is not over yet... I still have a long way to go. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Declutter my life - part 1

Decluttering

In the previous posts, I talked about how to declutter your life, material bonds with items, etc. I'm now going to tell you what I have done myself, to declutter my life.

The reason

Why did I suddenly feel the need to declutter my room? Well, over the course of many years, I gathered a lot of toys and gadgets that I wasn't using anyway. But I had a big room, and a small attic I could use to put most of that stuff. This was in our old house, however and we had to move because of renovations being done to the houses in my street. This meant that we had to move to a newer house.

That was good news, because our other house was getting old. But it also meant that I had to move to a room that was half the size of the room I had. Without getting rid of at least half of the items I had, it was impossible.

The first purging

It was a dreadful task. Just by gathering up everything I could review, I got discouraged by the sheer amount of toys I still had from when I was little. And the gadgets I never used or the junk no one ever uses... it was a discouraging sight to look at that big pile in the center of the room.

But it serves no purpose to just sit there, being discouraged. Nothing gets done by thinking alone. Action is the key to getting things done. So I just started getting rid of things I knew I never needed.

This made me invent the first method I explained, two posts ago. It was a rough version of it, but worked nonetheless. By getting rid of all the obvious things, I already got rid of 50% of what I had. Well, it wasn't gone yet. It was placed in a 'GET RID OF' pile.

After the first purging

When everything was reviewed, I still had too much items. But I first concentrated on getting rid of the 'GET RID OF' pile. That's a whole subject on it's own. There are many things you can try, to get rid of it: sell it, give it away to people you know, donate it to an orphanage, etc.

Selling it, is not an easy task. We put some items on the internet, but only certain items can be sold like that. There's also an indoor junkyard sale in our town, every wednesday and friday. It costs a bit money to stall your items there and unfortunately, you can't sell anything unless you ask for very little money. And the place is infested with foreigners, mostly Marrocans and Polish people.

So my solution is more mentally rewarding and satisfying: give it away. I've given toys and color pencils to a kindergarten teacher my mother knows. They have to buy that stuff if they don't have it. So I made her very happy, because she can definently use it. If someone is happy with something I don't use anyway, than the item in question is better of where it can make someone happy.

The second and third purging

I could not stop there, because I still had too much stuff lying around. A lot of items I had, where junk no one uses. That's easy to get rid of: you just throw it in the garbage. And I can guarantee you, I filled the garbage can many times. But slowly, I could see progress. I was gaining more space and loosing more junk. I was like a liberation.

I could feel my materially bonded mentality change to a more independent mindset. I loved the simplicity I gained and the freedom it gave me. Freedom in terms of space, but also emotional freedom. For every item you get rid of, you no longer have to think about what you should do with it. You no longer have to worry about possibly breaking it if you step on it or use it. You no longer have to worry about cleaning it. It can no longer make your room look messy. Getting rid of things became a real eye-opener. It showed me the benefits of living a simple life.

Conclusion

I purged my unused items 3 times already and it has changed my mental view on materialism.

Giving unused items to people who can use them, is a mentally rewarding way to get rid of things. Donating it, is an option I haven't tried yet.

But I still have too much items. The purging is not done yet. This just shows that the decluttering methods can be reused over and over, to make your clutter smaller and smaller.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Declutter your life - part 2

No worries

Let's continue where we left off.
An important tip: Don't think about 'getting rid of clutter' as 'getting rid of items'. Instead, think of it as 'getting rid of worries'.

I might need to explain this better... The best thing I can do, is give you an example. Suppose you have a low closet, with nothing on top of it. You think it looks a bit empty, so you decide to buy something to put on the closet.
Suppose you buy an expensive crystal sculpture to put there. Now you have a beautiful sculpture, that looks very nice under the light. But you didn't gain 'just' a sculpture. Now you also have the worries that go with it: being affraid to accidently break it, wondering whether it was ok to buy something so expensive, etc. An emotional bond emerges between you and the sculpture. One that brings worries, that weren't there before.

You have such an emotional bond with all the items in your room/house. That's right, all of them! So the more items you get rid of, the more bonds you break. And the more bonds you break, the less worries remain.

The monk and the man

An extreme example, that might clarify this more is, the following: suppose there is a monk who has nothing but a small walking stick. Next to the monk, stands a man that has a frigde, a car, a big TV, etc. If they both get robbed and most of their possessions get stolen, who suffers most?

The monk will loose his walking stick, which is not much in terms of goods, but it's 100% of his possessions. If the man's fridge, car and TV get stolen, he'll loose 3 times as much items, items that are worth much more (in terms of money), but that may only account to 30% of his posessions. After all, he still has his house and his furniture (it's just an example).

So how I explained it, means that both of them could be the worst off after the robbery. It all depends on how you look at it. But the monk will probably be able to replace all his posessions very easily (he just needs to find a new walking stick), whereas the man needs to work hard and long to be able to replace his stolen possessions.

And if the monk has no emotional attachment to his walking stick (it's just a walking stick), he'll suffer no meaningful loss whatsoever. The man needs his car and his fridge. And he likes to watch his big TV. So emotionally, the man is way worse of, after the robbery.

Conclusion

Decluttering your room and/or house, actually means decluttering your life. We all have emotional attachments to our items. By getting rid of them, you don't just create more space, but you also break the material bonds you have and you get rid of worries that accompany those bonds. It's a win win situation.
So good luck decluttering your life. The more items you throw away, the better you'll feel...

Extra

One more tip: you can expand these ideas and declutter everything that needs decluttering. If your room is a mess, you can use these techniques, but your mailbox can be a mess too, your foto collection, your address book, your agenda, ... it can all be decluttered in practically the same way.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Declutter your life - part 1

Getting rid of clutter

If you're getting rid of clutter, you enter an emotional state. It's difficult to get rid of most things, because you become emotionally attached to it over the period you possess it. This results in going over all items, throwing some of it away and eventually being left with almost the same amount of items you had, before the decluttering.

It's not easy to get rid of the clutter, but there are several tricks to get through it easier. I'll try to explain some of those tricks here.

Assumptions

I'm gonna downscale this article into decluttering a room. If you're trying to declutter your entire house, I suggest you try to do it 1 room at a time. Otherwise, you'll be discouraged easily by the amount of items to sift through.
After all, why do it the hard way, when we can take it step by step? Every problem can be solved more easily, when you devide it into small parts. Solve each part seperately and the problem will be gone faster than you think it can.

Preparation

Empty everything, empty the drawers, the closets, the boxes... Put everything in the middle of the room. One big pile of stuff. This is the stuff we'll be sifting through. If you never decluttered your room before, chances are high that more than 50% of this stuff needs to go away. That may seem a lot to you now, but if you want space or if you want to live a simple lifestyle, it's a necessity.
For easy reference, I'll call the big pile of stuff, the 'STUFF pile'.

Method 1: The think fast approach

I developed my own system, which I like to call "the think fast approach". The concept is very simple. You look at each item individually and you give it a quick review. The item will stay or go away immediately. No questions asked.

I'll explain it in some basic steps.
Step 1:
Take out everything from the big pile, of which you know immediately (withouth thinking!), that you have to keep it. Put this in a 'TO KEEP' pile.
Step 2:
Take out everything from the big pile, of which you know immediately (withouth thinking!), that you don't want to keep it. Put this in a 'GET RID OF' pile.
Step 3:
Use the 30 second interval: Review each item from the 'STUFF' pile and try to think of why you would want to keep it or whether you still need it. You can only think for 30 seconds. If those 30 seconds are over, PUT IT IN THE 'GET RID OF' PILE!
If it was important, you would've found a reason by now. You still don't now, so it's not an important item.
Review all your items this way.
Step 4:
Look at the 'TO KEEP' pile and see how big it is. In 99% of the cases, it's still way to big. Yes, yours could be smaller too. You need to realize that you still keep too much items.
Step 5:
Our 'STUFF' pile, became a smaller 'TO KEEP' pile. But since it's still to big, we review the 'TO KEEP' pile.
Thus, our 'TO KEEP' pile is now our 'STUFF' pile and we no longer have a 'TO KEEP' pile.
Step 6:
Use the 10 second interval: Review each item from the 'STUFF' pile and try to think of why you would want to keep it or whether you still need it. You can only think for 10 seconds. If those 10 seconds are over, PUT IT IN THE 'GET RID OF' PILE!
By giving yourself less time to think, you'll be able to filter out more items.
Review all items in the 'STUFF' pile this way.
Step 7:
Look at the result. A smaller 'TO KEEP' pile. You need to ask yourself the question: 'Is this pile still to big?'. In most cases, it still is. If it is: STOP. Stop decluttering any longer. Leave everything in it's respective piles and go do something else. Take your mind of decluttering. Even if it's for a couple of days or perhaps even a week.
Step 8:
Repeat steps 5 to 7, until you are satisfied.

Method 2: Yes, no and maybe.

This is a different method, that might work better for people who just can't seem to manage being harsh in their decisions to get rid of things. You basically give yourself more time to think about it.
Here are the steps to take:

Step 1:
Take out everything from the big pile, of which you know immediately (withouth thinking!), that you have to keep it. Put this in a 'TO KEEP' pile.
Step 2:
Take out everything from the big pile, of which you know immediately (withouth thinking!), that you don't want to keep it. Put this in a 'GET RID OF' pile.
Step 3:
You can now review each item from the 'STUFF' pile and put it in one of the following 3 piles: the 'GET RID OF' pile, the 'TO KEEP' pile or the 'UNDECIDED' pile. Basically, you end up with 3 piles: a yes/keep pile, a no/get rid of pile and a maybe/I don't know yet pile.
Go over all items, until you reviewed them all.
Step 4:
Look at the 'UNDECIDED' pile and see how big it is. This will now be your 'STUFF' pile and you have to review everything in it, again.
Step 5:
Repiet steps 3 to 5, until your 'UNDECIDED' pile is completely gone.
Take as much time as you need to review everything.

Notes

Some notes and tips...

  • If you can't seem to decide whether to get rid of some items in the 'UNDECIDED' pile (see Method 2) or not, leave it in that pile for a couple of days, perhaps even a week.
  • If you use method 1, it might be possible that you get rid of something that you could've used at a later date. Thinking fast, means you are more prone to making mistakes. Don't feel bad about it. There was once a time where you didn't have that specific item and life was great. If it's gone now, it's gone. If you need it and it's gone, try using your imagination to come up with another solution.

In the next post, I have something more to say about the emotional bonds that come with items.

Extreme Early Retirement

Extreme Early Retirement

I talked about Early Retirement, in one of my previous posts and about the reasons why I want it. But there is a more extreme approach out there, called Early Retirement Extreme. It's basically retiring before you're 40 years old. This is a whole different approach. You can not use the power of compound interest, because that requires time. And add that time to your age and you will be above 40 years. But it's possible to retire this early.

Source of inspiration

I'm a fan of the early retirement extreme blog. A lot of inspiration I need, comes from that website. But I must say that there are other people, who follow the same thought pattern, who do things differently. They are just as good of a source of inspiration...

Extreme early retirement... is it something I can achieve? Retiring before 25 is not possible, because I'm already past that age, but could I retire in my 30's. This is a question I asked myself, and I'll give you the answer. It's in my blog... with every post I make, I'm slowly, but certainly answering that question. I'm not there yet, but it has inspired me to try it.

If you see something you like, but you don't know if it will work for you, try it. Don't keep dreaming about it. I live a simple life now. It could even be simpler, but I'm working towards it. I had clutter, removed some of it, but I'm still getting rid of things. I save money, but I try to save even more, when I can, wherever I can. Unless the money is used on something that improves me, only if it's not too expensive.

Every year, I look at my financial status and I can see some improvement. I let this drive me. It becomes a hobby... no, a passion to try to improve my situation. I will get to that point. And even if I can't retire before 40, I'll make it in my forties for sure, due to the power of compound interest. No effort you make, in trying to retire extremely early, is wasted. It's all beneficial and it's all worth it.

What to do

Some people think it's crazy to retire that early. They simply wouldn't know what to do. I think it all comes down to your imagination and your interests. If you don't have anything that you're interested in, that can fill your days at retirement, then by all means, continue working. Perhaps you even like working. But for me, there's too much to do in this lifetime, to not be able to do it because of work. I want to do most of it in this lifetime and I'll try anything to be able to do it.

Would you honestly, want to work for the rest of your life at your current job? If so, why?

Living a simple life

Keep it simple

In my still short career as a software developer and my life experiences, I figured out that mankind makes everything too difficult. I did the same thing, when writing software. I learnt that I make work easier for myself, when I keep it simple. But that got me thinking... wouldn't life be a lot easier too, if I kept everything simple?

Dedication and simplicity

Living a simple life, can take on extreme forms. One of them, can be seen throughout history, if you look at monks. They have almost nothing and dedicate their lifes to their religion. Simplicity does not have to go that far though, but a dedication to something can help you achieve true simplicity.

What dedications are there, other than religion? Well, it could be anything, from a hobby to a certain goal you which to achieve. Anything that relates to and results in, you living a simpler life.

Examples

1. The goal to get out of debt
By trying to cut back on luxury and enjoying the simple things in life, it will become much easier to save money and pay of your debt.

2. Early retirement
To retire early, you'll need to save money. The more frugal you live, the faster you can save, thus the faster you can retire.

3. Small housing
Many people have small houses. If they don't live a simple life, without much clutter, they will have trouble living well. The same goes for small appartments in big cities. They'll have too much stuff, which makes a small appartment seem messy, even when you organize everything.
On the other end, you also have people who choose to live in small houses. Why? Because either they want to save money on the purchase of a house or they just don't like to maintain a big house. Less clutter = less to clean.

4. Martial arts
You could dedicate your life to martial arts. The martial arts monks do it in China... if you train all the time, there is no need for a tv etc.

I bet there's more you can think of...

Why living simple?

The less stuff you have, the more space you get in return. More space, can make a small house seem big. But it does more than that. The less you have, the less you have to worry about. If you have a brand new tv and it stops working, you're annoyed and angry it doesn't work. If you try to fix it and you see smoke comming out of it, you'll be afraid... afraid you're not gonna get your money back. All these emotions would not exist, if you didn't have that tv.

Another example of why living simple, is a good idea, is appreciation. If you eat out a lot in fancy restaurants, you won't like regular food anymore. Because the food in the restaurant tastes better. And this is something that happens a lot in our society. People complain about little things. People complain about food. If they didn't have food for a week and you would give them the same meal they complained about, it would probably taste delicious. So living a simple life, also makes you appriciate the regular things in life.

Money does not make you happy

It doesn't... we all know that, although it's darn convenient to have it. But most people who do have it, spend it on items and luxury. Keep in mind that a tv or a mobile phone is also considered luxury. I wonder what they actually want? Money? Or items? Because if they had a lot of money, they would probably buy more items or a bigger house. Those things cost money, causing your money to dissappear again.

I have a dream

I started dreaming about freedom, once I learnt about early retirement. With this goal in mind, the goal of freedom, I try to live a simple life. It has helped me gain a good perspective on my life and it has already brought me closer to my goal. Freedom is my dedication, freedom to do what I want. Freedom to do useful stuff (to me), that no company will pay you for if you did it during work hours.
What's your dedication? What drives you to live a simple life?