You should ask yourself this on a daily basis — “How much do I really need?”
I’ll give you a hint: you don’t need much. You don’t need a fancy car, you don’t need that kick-ass apartment, you don’t need that new smartphone. You don’t need much, my friend.
Here’s what I think you need to live a fantastic life: good food, good shelter (while you don’t need an awesome place, at least get something that feels like home), fantastic relationships with people you love, work that fulfills you, and a good set of habits (like the habit of being a good, kind person).
That’s it. You don’t really need anything else.
You Already Have All You Need
One way to measure your value as a person is this exercise: imagine what you’d do (or have) if, one day, someone came and stole every single one of your possessions, so you’re left with nothing. No job, no apartment, no money, no computer, no nothing. Just you, and the clothes on your back.
What would you have left?
That mysterious uber-thief may have been able to steal all of your possessions, but your two most important assets remained untouched:
Your relationships and you.
Your relationships are vitally important. As much as I like to preach that we shouldn’t really care what other people think of you, your relationships in life are incredibly valuable — in fact, I think they’re the most valuable things you have (besides yourself). If you lost everything, you’d still have your friends to fall back on if you needed a place to stay, or if you needed some help financially. You’d still have valuable contacts in your network to get you a job again. And, most importantly, you’d have a ton of people (hopefully!) willing to give you the support and love you need.
The thing that we overlook is that, even when the times aren’t rough, our friends and family are still there to give the love and support that we need to carry on with our lives. Yes – I said we need love and support, because I don’t think that we can function properly all alone, us human beings being social creatures and all.
Even when you have all the possessions in the world, though, your most valuable possession is you. You are the best thing you’ve got, even if you manage to score the world’s biggest luxury yacht or private jet or whatever insanely expensive item you can think of. You’re still more valuable than all of them, because you’re human. Because you have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, because you alone determine what habits you have, because you alone have the ability to make yourself into the hero of your own life.
We’re in the hero-making business here at PluginID. And, even after you lose everything, you still have all you need, because you have the skills and experiences that make you you. You can then leverage those unique skills and experiences to make something of yourself. You can build yourself back up, because you have the ability to do it — we all do. It sounds cliché, but the thing is, it’s true. When faced with incredible loss, we can bounce back extremely well, provided we actually use what we have at our disposal: our skills and our relationships.
Act As If You Had Nothing
If you had nothing, you’d be working a lot harder to maintain, use, and enjoy your relationships (when’s the last time you had a conversation that lasted more than an hour? Be honest!), and you’d be relentlessly using your own human capital (skills, knowledge, etc.) to lock down a job in your area of expertise.
Why aren’t you doing that now? Why aren’t you acting like the only things that you have in your life are your skills (your job, currently) and your relationships? They’re all you really need to live a good life — all the other things, like food and shelter and habits, are just there so you can enjoy those things while being self-sufficient.
Scale your life down. Ask what you really need in your life.
Invest in what you really need to keep your life feeling whole. Ditch the rest, because they’re really not all that important.