Eliminate as many needs as you can

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
  • Sleep
  • 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. 🙂

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