Several weeks ago my husband Thom began reading a blog post offered to him from LinkedIn. It started out with a catchy title but quickly slipped into a bad rerun of something from the Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous. You may remember that TV show from the 1990s when everyone was hell-bent on buying big expensive everythings no matter what the cost. Even worse than the implication that you should own extravagant and expensive cars, the author suggests that you lease rather than buy. After all, when leasing you can start driving a more expensive car than you can actually afford. Perhaps even worse, in true 1990s speak he then started selling us all on attending his seminar and paying the large entrance fee where he would share his “wealth secrets” with all of us.
Okay I get it. If you’ve read our story here on this blog and my books you’ll see that we too first started out believing that these sorts of offers might actually make us rich as well. And while I actually believe myself to have finally arrived at great wealth in my life, that isn’t because I have scads of money in the bank, drive a Rolls Royce or live in an expensive high-rise apartment. The reason I consider myself so very rich now is that I now know on a deep level that less is actually more.
What do I mean by that? Again, the author of the LinkedIn article offers help on this as well. He says, “Now let me get back to my ridiculous Wraith (Rolls Royce)—and why I never wash it. You see, I don’t have time to wash my car, just like I don’t have time to cook, garden, or mow my lawn. I pay others to do my chores so I can focus on bringing revenue to my companies.” And while I don’t know for sure but I’m guessing that the author also doesn’t have time to have a deep conversation with a loved one, tie the shoes on his child’s feet, meditate, watch the clouds as they roll across the sky, or even to get a good night’s sleep. In my opinion, the price of all that more, more, more is far less than the riches in my life. Less is more.
But let’s face it, even when you know in your heart what brings true happiness, it can be easy to get sucked back into the cravings of more. Watching TV advertisements, comparing ourselves to those that have more, dreaming about what you don’t have instead of being grateful for what you do have, often nags at us until we give into them. If we don’t avoid advertisements, hang out with people who share our values and focus on the good in our lives, we can head down that slippery slope of thinking we need more.
Fortunately, one of the best ways to remember and stay true to the growing awareness that less is more, is to read quotes and ideas from people you admire and trust. That’s why I came up with the following list of my favorite 25 quotes that I can read repeatedly to help me remember the truth that I have come to know.
25 Of My Favorite “Less Is More” Quotes
- “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Lao Tzu
- “It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.” ~Henry Ward Beecher
- “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” ~Will Rogers
- “The point is that minimalism is a tool to help you achieve freedom. Freedom from fear, freedom from worry, freedom from overwhelm, freedom from guilt, freedom from depression, freedom from enslavement. Freedom. Real freedom.” ~Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
- “The best things in life aren’t things.” ~Art Buchwald
- “The cost of a thing is the amount of life which is required to be exchanged for it.” ~Henry David Thoreau
- “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ~Socrates
- “Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can – No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.” ~ John Lennon
- “The more things we accumulate, the more cluttered our lives become, and the more stressed we feel as we are compelled to think about them. Life is about people not about things.” ~ Natalie Vellacott
- “Not what we have, but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance.” ~Epicurus
- “Living simply is not about living in poverty or self-inflicted deprivation. It’s about living an examined life where one has determined what is truly important and enough … and then just let go of all the rest.” ~ Duane Elgin
- “Having more and more won’t solve the problem, and happiness does not lie in possessions, or even relationships. The answer lies within ourselves. If we can’t find peace and happiness there, it’s not going to come from the outside.” ~Tenzin Palmo
- “Collect moments not things.” ~Paulo Coelho
- “You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied,’ you make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.” ~Charles Spurgeon
- “A simple life is a life of both less and more. It’s a life of less distraction, less consumption, and less of the inessential, to make room for more mindfulness, more intention, and more of what matters.” ~Melissa Camara Wilkins
- “Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self.” ~ Eleanor Brownn
- “Minimalism is not that you should own nothing. But that nothing should own you.” ~Joshua Becker
- “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose. And if you no longer need them, then that is neither wasteful or shameful. Can you truthfully say that you treasure something buried so deeply in a cupboard or a drawer that you have forgotten its existence?” ~Marie Kondo
- “Busy does not equal important. Measured doesn’t mean it mattered.” ~Seth Godin
- “To attain knowledge add things every day. To attain wisdom subtract things every day.” ~Lao Tzu
- “For the longest time I thought I needed to be more organized; now I know I just needed less stuff.” ~Alysa Bajenaru
- “If you are not content today, there is nothing you can buy this weekend to change that.” ~Joshua Becker
- “Debt is the worst poverty. Debt keeps us up at night and causes us to fear the future. Debt enslaves us to a life of routine and conformity. It is nearly impossible to feel at peace, happy or content with the weight of debt on our shoulders.” ~Kathy Gottberg
- “Abundance is about being rich, with or without money.” ~Suze Orman
- “Stuff is not passive. Stuff wants your time, attention, allegiance. But you know it as well as I do, life is more important than the things we accumulate.” ~Dave Bruno
If you are anything like me just reading these reminds me of what is most important in my life. Never forget that once our basic needs in life are met, it is SMART to return again and again to the awareness that real wealth and riches exist with a happy, healthy and peaceful heart rather than anything advertisers would like you to believe. Not only is that SMART, it is also wise.
Okay, now it’s your turn. What one quote reminds you best of all that “less is more” when you find yourself tempted to try to buy happiness? Please mention it in the comments below and if you have some better than these, please share them.