In a previous blog, I promised that I would talk about the practical side of walking away from your 9-5 job… walking away from the Rat Race… and walking away from the need more / buy more attitude. How do you leave your job with a safety net in place? I spent some time researching and wrote a long post with different tips and ideas on creating that safety net in order to leave your corporate America cubicle job, and join the living J I had tips on Emergency Funds, Government assistance programs and making sure you don’t just quit your job without having a plan.
As my dad says “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” He couldn’t be more right – having a plan of action is EXTREMELY important.
Here’s the thing:
I hated the post.
I’m not a financial advisor and the goal of my blog isn’t about maximizing your Financial Wealth. Although if there were a 6th Pillar of Health – it would definitely be Wealth :). Nope. My goal is to educate and entertain about a life of true health; how to live balanced and happy. After I wrote my fabulous Suze Ormanesque financial piece – I deleted it.
I know I have a loyal reader in Canada who was looking forward to this post – and I hope I didn’t just piss him off 🙂 🙂 hehe…
Marketing 101 – Consumerism!
Instead of focusing on the safety net including IRA Rollover plans and Money Market Emergency Funds – I’d like to talk about the underlying issue that causes the mentality of the Rat Race in the first place. This is the idea of consumerism. Consumerism is basically what drives our country’s economy… it’s the foundation of the marketing and ad agencies and it all boils down to one main goal.
“How do we get the consumer to buy more?”
And the trick to answering that question is “how do we get the consumer to think they NEED more?” This underlying goal is what millions and millions of dollars are spent on yearly… am I here to say its bad? Hell no! Up until a few years ago, I was a marketing major at my college! I love marketing and I love advertising your product. I get so enthused with the creativity and the fun behind getting people to believe and want your product as much as you do!
Minimalism 101 – Get Rid of Your Shit!
However Duby has changed her ways in recent times…. And I now look at the ideas of minimalism. Minimalism (for those of you who aren’t familiar) is actually a term to define a style of art (or design). It emphasizes extreme simplification of form, in the use of basic shapes and colors. It’s the usage of the fewest and barest essentials or elements.
Similarly, minimalism has permeated our very materialistic minded society, with the same definition.“It’s the usage of the fewest and barest essentials or elements.” Taking into account what you really need and only purchasing those items – and not based on what you WANT. There’s a big difference. Many many blogs are dedicated to minimalism and how to do it! (it’s a lot harder than it sounds!) Some people downsize from large homes to very small apartments and get rid of 90% of their possessions (trust me, I could never do that!) but I do admire and aspire to a more simplistic way of living.
George Carlin (RIP) Had it Right!
For those of you who know me – I am obsessed with purses and handbags. I have bags for each season, clutches to go with certain dresses and I LOVE shopping for them! Now, do I NEED all those handbags? Duh – no. Do I NEED a clutch to go with every different color evening dress or outfit? Duh- no. Ok, so maybe I’d like to have more than one bag – maybe one for the summer, one for the winter – but do I NEED more than that? No, I really don’t. And that’s where understanding minimalism comes in. It’s the idea of that having 30 different handbags or 30 pairs of shoes, or earrings, or computer wires will ultimately NOT make you happy. It really doesn’t. And living a minimalistic lifestyle helps you come to terms with what is REALLY important in your life. We spend countless of hours dealing with our “stuff.” (Google: “George Carlin stuff” routine. Its classic!) We spend money and time buying items we don’t really need. We have to house and take care of these things, and while we think our purchases will make us happy – it’s just cluttering our homes, our brains and our lives. There is a saying that goes something like “things that count in life cannot be counted.” (Something like that.)
In today’s society we are fed this notion that if we buy the latest gadget or the newest fashion – then we will feel complete. Many of us unfortunately use THINGS to make us feel happy and fulfilled but as we all know, the thrill that comes with new purchases is not long lasting. (For don’t you know? Next season there will be something new to buy!)
So, I talk about minimalism today because I spent my last few posts discussing the Rat Race. Leaving corporate America and its glory is a difficult decision. And many want to know HOW to do it?
How do we leave our cubicle but not go broke in the process?
So sure, I can write a very beautiful post giving the amazing tips of Tim Ferris (which I do recommend), Suze Orman and all the great money minds … but then it hit me. What I REALLY wanted to talk about is the importance of the attitude change. It’s realizing what is important. We don’t NEED as much as we think we do. What we DO need is a shift of focus: learn to appreciate the beautiful things we have in our lives that truly make us happy – the things that can never be bought…..