We are taught to always want more. The forever upward graph that we use to illustrate our economy’s growth is engraved in our hearts and enshrined in our lives. It has entered the discourse of every day life. We compliment each other on our new clothes, bigger house, fancier car, more exotic holiday. We take care to look our best and work hard. And yet. What is really going on behind this facade of progress? Are you truly happy?
During our travels, without steady income and living in a tent or as a guest in other people’s homes, we had to learn the difference between what we NEEDED and what we WANTED. And what we discovered was, that not only did we need far less than we previously believed to be happy, we were also happier BECAUSE we wanted less.
Now that we are back, we are trying to embrace our humble new life. Is it easy? No. We are constantly battling our inner voice, which urges us to compare ourselves to our peers and leaves us feeling scared and dissatisfied. Old habits seduce us to quiet our uneasiness with mindless activities like watching Netflix or by constantly being busy. Change is hard.
But… we’ve seen a glimpse of how life COULD be. A peaceful life. A meaningful life. A happier life. So we remind ourselves of what it felt like on the road, in our humble tent. And we use this feeling to navigate expectations of how much we should earn, the type of careers we should have and avoid places that are designed to stimulate our (unnessary) desires (down town shops, supermarkets). We also cultivate practices that grow our minds, connect us to loved ones and contribute to the world. All these gains are invisible, but serve to anchor us in a different reality.
Because in life, less is truly more.