The “Hunt and Gather” instinct is alive and raging in most cultures around the world. In the developed nations this manifests itself in the pursuit of cold, hard cash. Unfortunately, as I’m known to say frequently, this is an instinct out of control, and no longer useful to the well being of the human animal. According to Eric Holt-Giménez, Ph.D.,food system researcher and agroecologist “The world already produces more than 1 ½ times enough food to feed everyone on the planet.”
My philosophy for living is based on certain premises, two of which are that the goal of living is to be happy, and that to be happy there are limited material needs required. Once you have food, and security, more money isn’t essential. A little more may come in handy, but it has rapidly decreasing marginal utility, which to me means that the more you get, the less of it you need.
Society is so immersed in the culture of capitalism, that it’s hard to see that we can slow down our pursuit of personal resources. Your average economist is so inculcated in the capitalist way of thinking, that removing economic growth from the equation is unthinkable. While I certainly believe growth is fundamental to human happiness, resource wise we’re… well… investing to much of our time and energy resources to it.
If this makes sense to you, and you would like to reshape your mindset to one where making money to fill your basic needs is good, but endless pursuit as your prime directive is not, then here are some steps you can take:
- Educate yourself – I believe that in the majority of cases where people make poor decisions, it’s simply a matter of lack of knowledge. Given the right information, people make better choices.
- Don’t look for instant gratification – In general “instant” anything is a bad sign.
- Explore minimalist, simple living, and other related websites – This comes back to “Educate Yourself”. You don’t need to buy into every minimalist or simple living claim you read or hear, but explore the “why” of it in general until you come to understand the message. I’ve provided a couple of links below.
- Read a few good books – Again, “Educate Yourself.”
- Try it – Once you begin to understand the viewpoint, and if you still agree with it, try implementing a bit of this philosophy for living into your life.
- Ask yourself if you think that the way humans are currently managing the planet is working – There are a growing number of us that are questioning the direction we are headed as a species. If you share this concern, then maybe it’s time to do something about it personally.
- Identify your values – Explore the concept of “values.” It’s all about what is important to you personally. Ask yourself if money is making you happy. If you are not happy, it is sometimes because the way you live your life is not in alignment with your true values.
- Ask yourself this question – If your boss said he was pleased with your work and offered you a pay raise equal to one days wages per week, or alternatively, you could have an extra day off to spend with friends and family, which would you choose? Why?
Here are some other great articles you may want to read:
Minimalism, Simple Living and related Websites