The bare necessities of life will come to you
Your lifestyle today is built on what you have decided is essential, if you shift what you believe are the bare necessities, you can put this technique into practice effectively and see a marked improvement in your lifestyle.
To illustrate this I am going to use two household appliances; a dishwasher and air conditioning. Since the late 80′s most new kitchens in the United States, the UK and most wealthy western countries would not have been installed without a dishwasher. A dishwasher now is considered almost essential, I have not walked into a single home in the U.S. or UK that does not have a dishwasher in the last 10 years. I know there are some people that don’t have a dishwasher but for most it is an essential kitchen appliance.
I travel a lot and do business in various countries, I have recently spent a lot of time in central and eastern Europe. Here I walk into many homes with no dishwasher and many other household items that you would see anywhere else, it is memorable to me because they are items that elsewhere people think are completely essential.
Many people will say that it is because in these places they can’t afford such luxuries but that is not really true and here is the point: Firstly I know many people in these places who can afford these things but choose to spend their money on something else. I also know many people in the UK and U.S. who you could argue also can’t really afford a new dishwasher when the old one breaks but they will borrow the money or do whatever it takes to get it, because to them it is ESSENTIAL. Even though humans have lived millions of years without dishwashers, to many they are essential and they couldn’t possibly live without one.
This brings me onto my second household appliance example, air conditioning. To many living nearer the equator where it is quite hot nearly all the year round, air conditioning is essential, especially if it’s humid too and even more essential in the hottest months if you need to get any kind of work done during daylight hours. To the point people will beg or borrow or repair when they have to, just to keep their air con running, it is ESSENTIAL
However there are many locations where it might be very hot in the summer e.g. regularly above 35C or 95F but for the rest of the year it is much cooler or even freezing in the winter. In these places air conditioning is really useful for 2 months of the year but is still considered very much a luxury with maybe less than 10% of people having any type of air con in their home.
Back in the Caribbean and Florida there are people who couldn’t live without it and even say they couldn’t survive without it. Even when the temperature might be below 35C (95F) for weeks at a time, the air con will still be on and even though people lived in these places (and some still do) for thousands of years, happily without air con.
So what is the point I am trying to make? The point is that it is only in our mind that we decide if something is essential or not and we will do whatever it takes to get it, keep it and maintain it. Now what if I apply the “essential” principle to an iPhone and a high-end laptop? How about if I push it further and say that foreign vacations and a BMW are essential, I’ll do whatever it takes to get those? I couldn’t possibly continue living without my annual skiing trip and Ferrari too, right?
This might sound extreme and unrealistic but think about how your lifestyle looks like and what you deem to be essential to the millions of people in the world that live on a dollar a day or less. The biggest difference between yourself and them is that you have a million opportunities to improve your situation and they don’t. The other difference is those people would grab every opportunity they could and you don’t.
Whatever it is you decide is essential for your life you will do whatever it takes to get it and keep it in your life. If you decide that is skiing trips, less work and a Ferrari, if you truly decide in your mind they are essential then eventually you will get those things.
Don’t get me wrong I am not saying Ferrari’s, dishwashers and skiing trips are essential and we should do whatever it takes to get them. Anyone that knows me will know that I am not materialistic at all and if you give me the option of a nice house full of the latest stuff but it comes tied to a regular 9 to 5 job on the treadmill, I would rather live in a tent.
The reason I would choose the tent is because I could take that tent and pitch it on the beach and live every second of my life the way I want to because I retain control. To me, that freedom is ESSENTIAL. I will do whatever it takes to maintain my ability to get out of bed when I want and control every day so that I am getting the most from my life.
Instead of being handcuffed to the constraints of that house and job like the maximum amount of money I can make in a month, I am free to make the decisions and take the actions that will bring me everything I want.
When I need to make some money to get something I want, I do. When I want to go to the airport and take a trip to Switzerland to see my friends, I do. When I decide I want a new, expensive car or a custom bike or a new phone or whatever it is I want, I figure out what I need to do to get it and I do.
Now come on and shout it back at me, I’ve heard it all before so it won’t offend me: “YOU’RE LUCKY, IT’S EASY FOR YOU, BLAH, BLAH!” Now let me remind you I was a homeless teen, for 2 years I went from living in my car to sofa surfing, to the street and in and out of a homeless teen hostel (twice). I know what it’s like to start from nothing (and I mean nothing) and make great things happen just from my own decisions about what was going to be essential in my life. I am not special, if I can do it, so can anyone.
This leads me perfectly on to the last part to this theory. What you really need to understand it is YOU that controls these things. You decide what you basic marker is in life, what the bare minimum or bare necessities that must be achieved and it is you that goes and makes it happen (or not). Yes, the household appliances or your general progress might break down occasionally making it difficult but it is you that controls how they are put right. You are in control!
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