Growing up in the 80’s was an experience I will never forget. The neon colors, funky hair styles, and hip-hop was hitting the mainstream. Live big or go home was everywhere. If you didn’t have name brand clothes, then you were out. Yup! I was out. We lived on a modest budget. My mother had her hands full raising three boys during those rough economic times. Everyone was cutting back. However, media kept showing how grand life was for the rich and famous. Oh how I wanted to be rich and famous. I still chuckle at such childish thoughts.
I cherish the fact I learnt the value of a penny. Seriously, I remember being eleven years old, walking parking lots looking for dropped change so I could go to the convenient store and buy some Now-or-Laters. Simple times, right? Despite hating being poor, I wouldn’t change a thing. That dirt poor kid grew up to be a successful man. But here’s the kicker; I maintain a modest appearance. If you met me out in town, you wouldn’t know I’m successful. Ever get the long nose stare from others? Honestly, it brings a smile to my face. Snoots and Preps are people too… just with Polo’s and Saab’s.
Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington wrote a song titled “Simple Man”. I have learnt a lot from this song. Before we go too far into this subject, I’d like to take a moment to say “man” is short for human; just as “Hey guys!” isn’t a salutation to only males. A simple life does not mean a poor life. No, it’s being happy with less. Yes, it’s nice to have things to show off; like that 700″ TV (do they even make that?). However, sipping wine and chatting with friends on the back porch is just as equally as nice. (nicer, in my opinion.)
To spend less than one makes each month will produce a healthy emergency fund. But we need to keep our happiness in check. Do we hoard our money or do we spend it all? This is where I began to look at entertainment as a bill. I set a certain percentage of my pay back each month and when I needed to go out, I’d look at that funding and see how much fun was allowed. Trust me, it works.
Life can be complicated. It’s up to us to un-complicate it. We should never take what we have for granted. Appreciating less will enable us to value having more. This is what makes us successful. Being able to sustain a lifestyle that nurtures our happiness. Keeping that lifestyle simple helps ensure we will maintain it.
Until the next blog, live life, be happy, and find life’s happiness.