Contentment vs. Rich or Poor
On being poor, on being rich, on living rich & on being content!
You might like to read this. I have had all of this. Once upon a time there was a man named Paul who wrote just one verse in the Bible about this. Basically he said: “I’ve been poor before, I’ve been rich before and full, and I learned that no matter what state I am in… to be content.”
I grew up poor, always wanting things. When you are poor the situation can create in you, over time, a poor mentality. Nothing is ever enough. This always wanting things and always feeling poor, it creates great distress and uneasiness. You can tend to covet and lust after things, people, women, heck just about anything; homes, cars, etc.
Ever notice how many men tend to trade cars and women faster than anything else in life?
When you become rich you all of a sudden realize that none of it really matters. There can come a time like it did with me, where it was absolute overload; owning 12 homes at once can be an insane burden. You become a slave to possessions and not the master. I did allow this once in my life and I grew to hate it; more watches, rings, gold, homes, “stuff” and clothes than one could ever want or wear. More cars just sitting around, depreciating and getting old but you still got to register, insure, fix and maintain, pay taxes on etc… and so on.
So I have been at both extremes. Insanely poor and insanely rich.
Life is a learning experience. People at 20 know very little and they are so inexperienced. When they hit 30 and look back they are like wow! How little I knew and how much I have learned and grown! Then at 40 they look back and the same thing goes on. I’m over 50 and I look back at how I was at 20,30,40 and I just shake my head at my stupidity and foolishness.
Now that I am older and a crap-load wiser, I realize that it’s all a grand illusion. “A man’s life consists not in the abundance of things which he possesses” Jesus once said.
Forget about being poor or being rich… let’s just get to you! You simply are. You just exist!
Each one of us has certain likes and things that just make us feel good.
When it comes to clothes you know that you have a certain style; one you love above all others. Go to your closet. Look in. Why do you keep picking one or two outfits and leave the other 10 to 100 just sitting there? Because your favorites are the only things that matter.
So, let me say this then: scrap all the stuff that is just “ok” and focus on owning 2-10 outfits you love! I mean ones that you are absolutely in love with; color, texture, feel, fit and finish. I would rather spend a lot of money on a few good things than have 100 things. So perhaps sometime this month you go through your closets and scrap everything that does not fit you perfectly or that has a flaw and you have not worn for a year. Buy some things that you love.
Every one of us uses pens every day of our lives. You can buy 10 for $10 sometimes. It’s cheap plastic garbage. I once knew a man with 91 pens. He had them in customized drawers. He would pass one to me and say: “this one here was $6,000, and this one here was $10,000” and he owned pens from just a few hundred to many hundreds to many thousands of dollars. I thought he was a madman. Look, everyone is a fanatic about something! This man had every pen on earth and 100 bottles of ink, some of which cost $50. I thought this was extreme and over the top, but later on I did see the wisdom in owning ONE nice pen. Just one. It sure does not have to cost $500 or $1,000! But if you spent $50, $100 or maybe $200 for one pen that would be “yours” for the rest of your life… think about it. You would never have to buy all that cheap crap again. There would not be 20 plastic pens floating around your home cluttering up the place. Go “green” and stop filling up landfills with empty plastic pens. Buy one nice one, and get used to buying refills.
Same thing with everything you own. Why own 10 watches? Some cost just $100 and maybe some cost $500 and who knows… maybe you have one for $5,000 like a Rolex, but honestly why? Why not just one decent watch that you are totally in love with. Your favorite. Why not downsize?
Why do we need 2, 3 or 4 cars? What would be wrong with selling it all off…. and having one? One you love. One that fits you like a glove. One you live and die with. Ever see an old guy driving a classic car from the 60’s or 70s & then you find out he’s owned it for 40 years? Pretty sweet! Awesome love. Like a marriage.
In my basement are 100 boxes all filled with virtual garbage for all I know. Tons of stuff from the years prior to 2000. More stuff mixed with three households worth of junk. The reality is I have not done yet… what I know I must do! I must sell it all off. Every last scrap including many of the items in my home, because they just are not me, or are not quite what I want or love. It takes time to discover oneself and what you really like. But once it’s done? It’s nice. Crisp and clean and uncluttered and one style. No mix matching of things. You really love the same stuff you got for gifts for 30 years? You still need all the junk you picked up on all those vacations?
Downsizing I think is a great idea; almost minimalist. We, as Americans or British or Aussies have just too much “stuff”! I personally have made this agreement with myself that I will be getting rid of about 80% of all that I own and replacing it all with far, far less… but the less will be very special, very specific and super high quality; things that fit me perfectly.
I will be quite content to sell off 3-5 things and just buy one. One that is, to me, the perfect one.
Now…there are a lot of things in this world and a lot of it is very low quality and designed for poor folks… designed for the “masses”, the consumers and designed to be just tossed away. I would suggest that you do not buy things like this ever. The cost is just too great. You will be forever buying it again and again as we live in a disposable world. Its designed by TPTB (the powers that be) and all the advertisers and marketing experts; all the social engineers. They want you forever consuming and buying and scrapping it a few years later. Oh, and they love the sales tax it generates too! Think about it.
When it comes to socks, underwear, clothing, jewelry or even the cologne you wear I would suggest that you do not have an attitude of being poor, but of being content. Less can be more! Many people buy a coat or jacket every few years for their entire lifetime; spending thousands over all the years. I have one coat, black leather down to my knees. Someone had to kill 2 cows for it I bet. It cost $400 26 years ago! It has lasted all this time and looks perfect. I will keep till I die. See? It actually saved me money.
QUALITY…….. COSTS……… LESS!
Buying cheap garbage will keep you poor. Make you feel it too.
Consider furniture. You go to Wal-Mart and buy some furniture for $50 or $100 that looks good… but what is it? It’s particle board! …with laminate on it! Cheap as crap and will fall apart in a year or two, and you have to buy again. Why do this all your life? Antiques or mid-century real wood furniture can last a lifetime. Would you not rather have that perfect piece and buy it once and be done with it?
Lastly I would say be content. You are who you are. You know yourself very well if you are honest about it. Learn to just be content.
The ultra-rich can be absolutely sick over their riches. It’s a horrible burden to have too many millions. Always worrying about it, how to protect it, how to grow it. You can become a slave to material things or money and have no time wealth and by that I mean the time to enjoy life and just be happy.
Focus on being content, happy and at peace. In the end nothing else is going to matter. I swear it. You will not care one bit when you’re 70 or 80, not one tiny bit, about material possessions, houses, lands, race horses, sports cars or “stuff”.