Wednesday, May 5, 2010

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?