There’s a part of today’s consumerist world that drives us to want more, buy more, act on our impulses, hoard, spend to solve our problems, create comfort through shopping, seek thrills through travel, do more, be more.
What would happen if we broke from our addiction to wanting and buying more?
What would life be like if we didn’t need all that?
Here’s the method in summary:
Notice your dissatisfaction.
Notice your ideals that you’re holding tightly to.
Loosen your hold on these ideals, and turn to the present moment.
Really see the present moment with curiosity, find something to appreciate.
Accept the present moment completely, with love.
From this place of peace, respond, take action. It might be toward an aspiration, or not, but it’s a response from a good place.
This method takes a lot of practice, and I’m still not very good at it. I enjoy the practice, though.
A 2014 research review found in Marketing Letters examined three studies that explored the relationship between diet and exercise for weight loss. Interestingly, the review looked at the association between people’s framing of exercise as fun and their subsequent food choices. It concluded that those who perceived exercise as a fun activity (and not just a ton of effort) were less inclined to compensate with junk food after their workouts.
In the first two studies, participants performed exercises that were either described as exercise, or as fun, and were later served food: an all-you-can-eat scenario with both desserts and “normal” foods in the first study, and M&Ms from a self-serve container in the second. The findings from both suggest that the people who felt exercise was “fun” chose less junk food during those meals. Similarly, runners that had fun during a race in the third study tended to choose the healthier option of two given snacks.
My dreams are coming back. Of course, they aren’t the same as the ones I had as a child, but that doesn’t make them any less worthy. In the next couple years, my family and I will travel to the Northeastern United States and spend months exploring the coasts of Maine, the woods of Vermont and Washington DC. Another year, we’ll spend the same amount of time in the Pacific Northwest. I dream of reading and writing. I dream of teaching my children to code.
Financial Independence has a way of taking the pressures and stresses of life away. I no longer worry about money. I no longer have nightmares about losing my job. I no longer care if the neighbors think less of me because my car was made in 2003. I’m a better person.
Best of all, I can dream once again.
Do you still remember the dreams you had as a child?
What It Takes to Earn Passive Income
Before we get into the passive income ideas I think it’s a good idea to first clear up a couple of misconceptions. Although the word “passive” makes it sound like you have to do nothing to bring in the income this just isn’t true. All passive income streams will require at least one of the following two elements:
1) An upfront monetary investment, or
2) An upfront time investment
You can’t earn residual income without being willing to provide at least one of these two. Today, I have a big list of passive income ideas you can try regardless of the category you fall in.
4. Thank Your Items for Their Service (Then Give Them Away)
Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, offers this strange but effective tactic: Say goodbye and thank you to items that you need to let go of. Sometimes sentimentality is the root of a lot of clutter, so think utility first and ditch the guilt. Thank your old coat for keeping you warm, your kids’ stuffed animals they no longer play with for bringing them joy, and your collection of duplicate computer cables for connecting your stuff once upon a time. Then you can move on. It might also help to think “this isn’t my stuff” when you’re decluttering.
On September 1, I updated my profile picture and perused Instagram briefly. Then I turned off the computer, made some coffee, and read the paper. Social media hadn’t won after all; I had.
Get moving. No you don’t have to do an hour of cardio or run 4 miles each morning (unless of course you want to!). A short, targeted workout, or even a walk with your pet, can energize you for the entire morning — and yield fitness results. Research shows that getting in just 21 minutes of activity a day (150 minutes per week) results in reduced sleepiness throughout the day. Plus, knowing you’ve done something good for your body (and maybe your dog’s too) can set a positive tone for your entire day.
So here are the rules I’m going to try to follow:
One browser tab open. I want to focus on reading one thing, responding to one email at a time, doing one task in my browser at a time. I realize that I might have to open multiple tabs to work on something, and that’s fine, but if I have tabs open that don’t have anything to do with my current task, I’ll bookmark them for later, add to Instapaper, or add the task to my to-do list.
Know what I’m focusing on. When I open a tab, I have to consciously pause and think about what I’m trying to accomplish. That might be looking up some info, or writing something, or answering an email … whatever it is, I have to try to pause and make sure I’m being conscious about it.
To do this, we must spend more time with happy go-lucky people and less time with those that drag us back towards our negative tendencies, whether that is cynicism, gossiping, or belittling others.
Spend more time with the people that make you smile. Mix it up with the kids at your next family event. Enjoy your weekend afternoons doing anything but work. Let go and laugh away your stress.
As you fill more of your time with the good in life you’ll also be tempted by less of the bad. But if an alcoholic walks into a bar, he’ll drink. If a busybody goes for coffee with the town gossip, tongues will wag unproductively.
Enough is enough. Temptations, obstacles, and bad behavior do not serve us. Eliminate them from your life.
Take the high road.