Less Is More

Less Is More

Yesterday, my mother in law walked into my house and said, “Your house looks bigger.”

And, although I hadn’t noticed it before that, she was right. It DID look bigger. Why was that?

Well, I had purged tons of items out of our house. I mean, HUGE piles of unused things left our house this summer. And what was left behind was all this open, airy space. You see, I no longer feel the need to fill every wall with a piece of furniture and something hanging on the wall.

Instead, I let my house breath. In return, that allows me to breath.

Yesterday. I also read an article on Becoming Minimalist titled Reconsidering the Merits of Slow Acquisition which I loved, so when my mother in law made that observation I was downright proud. I had pared down our possessions to only those we needed and/or loved. (The hubby helped too.) Joshua Becker, who runs Becoming Minimalist, is a wealth of inspiration, by the way. Check him out here.

So I had this epiphany:

Everyone (ok, maybe just some people) want a larger house.

What if……..people just had less stuff?

Then our houses would feel and look larger and we wouldn’t be striving to spend more money on larger and more expensive real estate. I know this idea will be very strange to some people, but others will think it is charming.

I strive to be a minimalist, There are different levels of minimalism, and I would say I am about medium at this point. This level makes me happy right now.

And I will never live in a tiny house. Why?

You can live a more minimalist (simple, uncluttered) lifestyle without living in a tiny house. While I see the merits of a tiny house for some people, that just doesn’t work for some of us. Instead, a average size house can become an oasis of peace and tranquility when you remove all the unnecessary distractions.

At least, it is working great so far for us.

If you have any thoughts on this I would love to hear them below.

Further reading:

Don’t Let Your Job Hold You Back From Being Happy

don't let your job hold you back from being happy

This morning I was listening to Collective Soul (love them!). The song was Better Now and I was totally blasting it while driving down the road.

That song is one of my favorites because it’s all about reinventing yourself and being better and happier for it. My favorite line is “The world’s done shaking me down” because that’s the way we often feel, – like the world is shaking us down.

And while we can limit some of the stressful things that happen in our lives with good decisions, some things simply cannot be avoided such as deaths of loved ones. But our focus needs to be on limiting the stressful things we can control.

One thing we can control is our job or career. If you are in a job or career that you hate, that doesn’t enhance your life, then why not think about doing something else?  I mean, think about it. We often spend more time at our jobs than at home, so changing your job to something you love could really affect your whole life.

With all the millions of jobs that are out there in the world, there must be SOMETHING that would make you happier, right? Don’t let your job hold you back from being happy.

I can already hear some of the excuses that most people will make:

  • I am not trained for anything else
  • I don’t have time to go back to school
  • I’m too tired to go back to school or start a business

But here’s the question: How badly do you want to change your life?

There are lots of blogs and articles out there about people who decide to leave their overly stressful, rat race jobs, but it’s sometimes it’s difficult to believe that could be us. You know, that only happens to “other” people.

We often think we are not:

  • smart enough
  • motivated enough
  • ambitious enough
  • deserving enough
  • or just plain good enough

Do you fall into that category? I know I have in the past.

But the good news is that today is a new day and you can start changing your life this very minute (see yesterday’s post Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For).

There are some very creative ways you can work yourself into a new career. For example, one of my best friends decided to become a pharmacy tech and found a pharmacy that would train her on the job and pay her while they did it. (You know it’s usually the other way around. But it was like she was going to college but getting paid to do it)

Also, if you check with your local community college, they often have their finger on the pulse of the local job market. I know that where I live there are many programs at our local community college that only 1 or 2 years to complete, but the pay coming out of school is more than most 4 year degrees.

You could also start investing in real estate and collect monthly rent. (Yes, I know it takes time to build up enough real estate to quit your job, but everyone who has made a killing in real estate had to start somewhere.) This is called passive income because it makes money whether you are working or not. And you would also have something to sell down the road to get large lumps of money if needed. Just a thought.

If all else fails, start a blog and find ways to monetize it. Some people are able to replace their normal income doing this if they work hard at it.

So, you see, there are options out there. Sometimes you just have to look for them.

Be creative and see what you can come up with and don’t let your job hold you back from being happy.

Take control of your life. Don’t let it control you. No more excuses.

Suggestions? I would love to hear them!

Further reading:

Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For

 Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For

Life is passing us all by – second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour. (You get the idea.) But that is not necessarily a bad thing. I realize most people think getting older is the worst thing that can happen to you (that is, short of being six feet under) but I like to look at it a different way.

Each passing day gives us a chance to not only have wonderful experiences, but also plant seeds for a happy life in the future. Therefore, you should do something today that your future self will thank you for. For example, going to college is the ultimate way to do this. You study hard now in order to have the career you want very soon.  Another example would be staying faithful to your partner. This helps ensure you have the mate you want for a lifetime.

We are planting seeds everyday, whether we realize it or not, so it’s best to be mindful of this on a daily basis.

Here are a few things to think about when spreading those seed around:

Plant the Right Kind of Seeds

You can unintentionally plant bad seeds in your life without realizing it. Don’t say or do things you will regret later. Instead, make sure everything seed you plant will wield a happy result down the line.

This applies to simple things like helping someone in need and also big things like setting up automatic deposits into a retirement account. But let’s look at the obvious ones.

Some good seeds to plant:

  1. Retirement investments and savings
  2. Going to college or changing careers
  3. Spending time with friends and finding ways to make new ones
  4. Putting time and effort into relationship with partner
  5. Spending quality time with children/grandchildren
  6. Exercising (helps you mentally and physically)
  7. Making time for yourself
  8. Finding ways to make money that are not stressful

These are some of the biggies in life that will really pay off in the future. I especially like “finding ways to make money that are not stressful”. As an American I too have been a victim of the overstressed lifestyle that permeates our very existence. After all, money IS NOT everything!

Plant at Least One Seed Each Day

You might think it sounds like a lot of work to do this each day, but it really isn’t.  You have to remember that some seeds are smaller than others. If you take the time to sit quietly with a good cup of coffee and read a book, then you have made an investment in yourself that promotes your happiness both now and down the road.

Reading a book to your child makes for a warm, fuzzy experience for you and your child. It is an investment in both of you personally and also in your relationship as parent and child.

Just Be Positive

I realize this is easier said than done, but it becomes a habit just like anything else. If you work at it, then it will eventually become habit. If you are positive, then you will automatically plant many wonderful seeds for your future without even thinking about it!

Further reading: