What if I told you that a journey toward a simple life is the best way to walk into a truly abundant life?
That smacks against what most people think of when they hear the phrase, “abundant life.” Doesn’t abundance imply wealth, having the biggest house you want, having all the things you want?
On the other hand, a simple life must resemble what Thoreau wrote about it in his classic book, Walden: living in a small shack with barely any furniture, and subsisting mostly on food you grow yourself – namely, corn, beans, and squash.
Abundance isn’t about material wealth
Living an abundant life may include an excessive amount of money, which provides the ability to purchase a lot of things. However, on the financial side of things, you don’t need millions in order to live an abundant life. You simply need enough to pay all the bills, plus extra for fun and for investing. This brings you closer to the simple life.
Besides, owning material goods just for the sake of owning them actually impedes your ability to live a life of abundance.
It drags you down emotionally.
In other words, at some point ownership reduces, rather than facilitates or increases, happiness. In their classic book on personal finance, Your Money Or Your Life, Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez refer to this as “The Fulfillment Curve.” Once a person has everything they need, and a few luxury items – things they really want but could live without – anything else they buy after this point makes a person feel less fulfilled in the material realm, rather than more.
The more things you own, the more stress you have
The more things you own, the more space you need for storing them. So you need a bigger dwelling, which leads to more work and expenses down the road. And the simple life begins to elude you.
The things themselves require maintenance – regular dusting, if nothing else – and there is always the fear that your more expensive things might be stolen.
More things leads to more work and more worry, which leads to less happiness and freedom.
When you don’t feel free psychologically and emotionally, your life is not abundant.
Thus, the simple life is a more abundant one.
But this principle extends well beyond the arena of material wealth.
Eating simply leads to a healthier life. And the healthier you are, the more simple life becomes because you are sick less often. Therefore, you don’t have to spend time and money on making yourself well nearly as often. This will make your life more abundant.
Simplify your relationships by cutting toxic people out of your life and pursuing close relationships only with those to whom you truly feel connected. Nurture these relationships. The more you do, the more abundant your life will feel.
A simple life consists of systems and good habits that help your everyday life run like a well-oiled machine. It consists of activities that are important to you and don’t cause you undue amounts of stress. It has plenty of leisure time because you’re not volunteering out of guilt, dealing with negative people, or having to put in a lot of time and energy cleaning and maintaining an excessive amount of things.
Having more leisure time more often than not leads to the feeling of greater abundance.
The most important connection between the abundant life and a simple life
A truly simple life is one of purpose and calling. When you have a strong sense of what you are called to do, you automatically cut out the fluff. You easily say “no” to opportunities that don’t fit into your calling, serving as distractions and time-wasters instead. You can organize your life more easily, because you are more focused.
And when you are working on walking out your calling, you can’t help but feel fulfilled. You will recognize that you are, indeed, living an abundant life.
All because you endeavored to live a simple life.
Simplicity + abundance = an extraordinary life of joy and freedom.
Need or want some guidance on living a more simple life? Click here to check out my reader-acclaimed book, Crazy Simple: 307 Ways To Save Money, Your Health, And The Planet.