Frager Factor

Friday, March 08, 2019

Gems: The Opulence of Having Less

This post first appeared in my VIP newsletter- April 2014.

"Critical point of realization being 'running fast and working hard, 
while still staying in the same place'!"

Good Morning Folks, 

Today's essay from Marc Winn reminds me of the story of the Mexican Fisherman (with and without IPO). Ever read that? Does this refresh your memory..

"Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos." 

==> The Opulence of Having Less by Marc Winn

Many people work long, hard hours to make more money - at the expense of spending time with family, getting a good night's sleep, or being healthy and relaxed. But there comes a time when striving, earning or acquiring money becomes counterproductive - and when having more money doesn't make us any happier!

Evidence suggests that the more money a person makes, the more their expectations and desires rise - and because they always want 'more', the happiness they crave is always out of reach. In the late 1990s, psychologist Michael Eysenck used the phrase 'hedonic treadmill' to compare the pursuit of happiness with running fast and working hard, while still staying in the same place. There is no increase in long-term happiness.

Since money doesn't buy happiness, why not free ourselves by making the most of what we have, and being happy now?

Know your 'minimum wealth' point and your happiness set-point: work out the minimum sum you need to earn and the minimum possessions you need to have, to be happy.

Time is money, and money can buy you time. Invest in either one, and you'll get more of the other. This way, you can create a more enjoyable and meaningful life. Decide how you will invest money to free up your time. Pay people to do things for you (especially dull or time-consuming things), then invest that now-'spare' time on the things you really want to do.

The trick is to invest in services that give you more time, and to own fewer assets that consume your time. The bigger your house and the more cars you have, the greater the likelihood that they prevent you from achieving your goals. They tie you down, and their acquisition, ownership and maintenance takes away time and money!

Look at the 'opportunity costs' of ownership. These are the sacrifices you make - the 'cost' of choosing one thing over another. Opportunity costs are not just financial, but include lost time, pleasure or other benefits. For example, the opportunity costs of owning a luxury car are: having the cash instead, and the benefits from spending that money on other things (a holiday or a day off each week to spend with your family). 

Then count the time and resources it takes to maintain your car - the garage and cleaning costs. It all becomes a burden, rather than a delight. There are better ways to live, and enjoy the good things in life - including luxuries.

There's no need to own things. You can rent or borrow almost anything these days. So, think about renting rather than buying. There is a short lifespan to enjoying new things, like the latest gadgets - the novelty soon wears off, and we become acclimatised and 'dull' to the appeal. So why not enjoy the benefits in the short term, without the long-term cost and upkeep? Keep changing the item or the experience, and keep the thrill and excitement fresh.

Get more happiness for your money by practising 'under-indulgence'. Savouring one, single chocolate can be more enjoyable than wolfing down a whole boxful. By denying yourself excess, you can better appreciate the finer things in life. Live in a small house, and rent a huge, luxury pad occasionally. Drive a simple car, and hire a top-of-the-range sports car sometimes, to really relish the experience. The cost is far, far less, yet the enjoyment is much greater. We can take such possessions for granted. Freeing up our cash instead of tying it to expensive assets means we can indulge in a wider range of luxuries and experiences!

If you want to spend money on yourself, you may find greater happiness in switching from buying material objects (TVs or cars) to buying experiences (trips and special events). Psychologists have proved that creating, and enjoying, memorable experiences is more satisfying than owning material possessions. Don't ignore your bucket list or delay taking action!

In fact, for increased happiness, you are better off buying for other people. People who spend money on others rather than themselves are happier, rewarded by sharing, and enriched with feelings of goodwill.

In fact, giving someone your time or experience can be more powerful, and your happiness greater. Experiencing some quality time and giving your undivided attention to someone can mean far more to them than a beautifully-wrapped gift. (Although birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas may be the exception to that rule!)

Now, spending quality time on what you enjoy - that's a luxury that has real value. Let's make it an essential! And if you haven't read the Mexican Fisherman story, now would be a good time to do so.

There is never a guarantee of tomorrow, so show the love now.

About The Author: Owen Frager is an Internet marketing expert ready to help take your company to the next level.

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