In this, what I really mean is, the less you need, the freer you are.
Do you really need a nicer car?
Do you really need/want to go on those trips?
Do you really need that drink/coffee/weed/drug?
Do you really need a boyfriend/girlfriend?
Do you really need that new thingy/doodad?
Do you really need a nicer place?
Do you really need quiet time?
Do you really need things to be neat and organized?
Maybe you do, and maybe you don’t. I don’t have any judgment here.
But realize that with every need you have, you give up freedom, because every need costs something.
I can tell you that I really, really value and need to feel financially secure. And I am. But that need cost me so much, and continues to cost me.
This one need in particular cost me:
- 7 years in a career I hated
- Multiple out-of-state-and-country moves, and associated upheavals
- Home ownership
- Choosing not to spend money on cool experiences/things/trips/cars, and doing without
- Choosing not to give more funds to charitable causes and people that I’m truly passionate about
- A Master’s Degree
- Multiple small inconveniences on a daily/weekly basis (such as bringing a lunch rather than buying convenience food on the road)
- Friendships and Relationships with people who spend significantly more than I do
- Living in a situation with a roommate that eventually turned sour
- Living with unmatching, secondhand everything in an apartment
- An incredibly stressful lawsuit
- Forgoing medical treatment
- Not hiring experts/people even when I believe they might help me
And probably a lot more.
I also really need fantastic relationships/friendships in my life. And I have them. But each relationship I collect has an associated cost. I have to keep in touch with that person. Keep them on my radar. Remember them on a regular basis, check in, put in face time, tell them I care, have tough conversations, be there for them when they need me, scheduled or not, and as a general rule, make them a priority.
These relationships have cost me
- A ton of time I could have worked instead, and indirectly, income/personal progress
- A ton of compromises
- A ton of emotional and mental effort and sometimes stress
- Money (presents, doing activities together that I wouldn’t otherwise do like eating out)
But I would tell you every minute of every day that these two needs are worth it.
So in contrast, here are things I don’t need, and are ‘Nice to Haves” instead. I regularly do without these.
- To impress people with the stuff I own, use or wear
- To impress people with the activities I do/don’t do
- Drugs, legal or not
- More money
- A perfect health regimen
- A/C and heat
- Probably more stuff that I don’t even think about because it’s not even on my brain.
I don’t need a lot. And I’m pretty free. It’s pretty nice. I recommend it. 🙂