Make yourself rich - the easy way

In the last couple of months I emerged myself more and more into new thinking patterns. Whether it was starting to be more mindful, eating a certain way, spending less or most importantly being satisfied with your current state of possession. And I don’t solely mean material possessions. It could be a new activity, a job uncertainty or whatever search for something unfulfilled which comes to your mind.

Being satisfied and thankful with what you already have is something we as humans are not very good at.

And why should we? We never really learned to. There was always another kid in school playing with the newer toy, having the latest computer game or going on the better vacation. So why should we be satisfied with what we already have, when there is so much more we could attain?

Here’s why:

The richest person is not the one who has the most, but who needs the least. — Hiromi Matsubara

Or to say it in Thoreau’s words:

Make yourself rich by making your wants few. — Henry David Thoreau

I am not stating that this is the mindset I have already fully accomplished, But I am learning everyday to get there.

Here’s a little example:

Imagine Person A: having a very well paid job, working 70+ hours a week, having 2 sports cars, one vacation home and a couple of other real estate properties to throw in the mix.

Besides his already ultra stressful job and limited time, he burdens himself with taking care of his house, his second house, his cars, his jet skis, his properties and when there’s a little time window left somewhere in between, he realizes, that he has 2 kids and a wife to kiss goodnight.

He does not sleep well most of the times. His 4 mortgages and monthly costs are too high to relax for a second. Having a bad month at work means getting stressed out about the tiniest things. The many things he acquired with his hard earned money make him poor. Poor in friendships. Poor in time. Poor in mental freedom. Poor in the possibility to think about new challenges in life. Poor in {fill in the gap} … I think you get the picture.

Imagine Person B: She is living in a small but charming rental apartment in a place of town she feels most comfortable with. If her interests change she might move to somewhere else. She rides a bike to work, where she spends a part of her day doing something she loves around people she values and she can have meaningful conversations with, during their lunch breaks. She’s not earning millions, but more than enough to feed herself, pay for her flat and save a little on the side for vacations and the future.

Besides work she has time to pursue her interests, spend time with her girlfriend, meet friends or just relax at home with an interesting read. If she has a slow month at work, she will not be bothered much, because her savings and spending habits keep her in check even when times get tough on the job front.

She loves to travel and to see new places. That’s where a majority of her savings go, but she is fulfilled with exploring new places and meeting new people, because she knows there’s nothing like traveling to extend the limits of one’s mind.

She knows how to live within her means and although she might be thinking about that Camper van she always wanted to buy to travel across the continent, she does not want her dream to be owned by the bank. So she waits until she has enough savings to pay her vehicle up front with a little extra on the side for repairs and whatever may come her way.

She chooses to work a certain amount of hours a day to give her the freedom to read, spend time with people she cares about, to exercise or do whatever she feels like to be a complete balanced person.

She is happy. She does not worry. She does not want, want, want all the time.

She is to be admired. At least to my understanding.

Don’t we all want to attain a level of comfort in our lives where we are not steered by our wants, but content with our already haves?

At least I do.

I know this internal satisfaction is not easily to be obtained overnight.

In our society, living next door to the Joneses, getting older and thinking about what we need to own to feel mature. It is a constant battle with our perception of what we might think life is about. Seeing our parents having lived this way or witnessing everybody else around us moving from being a free spirited twenty-something into a well matured adult with responsibilities and car payments and loans and stressful jobs which bring no satisfaction whatsoever. But who cares as long as they pay for the new bimmer in the driveway, which we can never use to go on vacation with, ’cause who has time for that?

I think by now you know that I am exaggerating here, but let’s be honest to ourselves. Is there one day passing by, where we are not thinking about something we want. Whether it is something trivial, like the sushi roll at that new Japanese place for lunch, a new pair of jeans, or something else.

We are permanent slaves to our desires.

Wouldn’t it be something desirable to reach a state of complete contentment?

Here is where feeling rich with what you already have comes in. Opening your closet and being thankful to those hundreds of items being stacked upon each other, smiling about a sunny day, drooling over a home cooked meal or just enjoying the company of a person very special to you, might give you complete satisfaction without always wanting to have more.

— — -

I hope you enjoyed this little article and I hope you may find some food for thought in there. If you would like to read up on more articles like that, let me know in the comments. Thank you.

In case you want to explore these mentioned topics further, I recommend books or blogs about stoic philosophy, minimalism or frugal living.

I wish you a great day and would love to hear your feedback.