Friday, September 19, 2008

Living Simply Saturday: Contentment

I've been pondering today, just what is the difference between living simply and living frugally?

Certainly, there is a difference - one can live simply but not frugally, and one can live frugally but not simply (we do). Simplicity seems to imply an absence of clutter - either materially or time-wise. Those who live the simple life have a simple schedule and fewer possessions. Those who live frugally, rather, just spend little money. Simple living is a particular quality of life. One that I aspire to. Frugal living is really just a quantity issue -- how much money is being spent.

That all to say, that in both a frugal life and a simple life, contentment is key. I wrote last week about controlling wants (by reducing exposure to media). If my wants are in control, I recognize that I already have what I want, and don't have to run out to buy more stuff (which is important for both the frugal and the simple life). I also recognize that I'm happy with life the way it is, and don't need to run around doing more stuff (again allowing a simpler, and probably more frugal life).

And, the key to contentment is gratefulness. Instead of focusing on what I don't have, I can focus on what I do have, and how rich my life already is. I could write on gratefulness and its importance for hours, but I'll keep this post simple and close with a quote from a local multi-millionaire. He's known for saying:

"What's my secret to success? Just three words: Count your blessings."

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  1. Thanks for participating in Living Simple Saturdays! I totally agree with simply definitely includes more of the freedom in time and energy rather than just referenced around possessions. I have found that if I just limit my outings to the mall or any other place where I might be tempted to buy things, it is so much easier to be content. Just don't go where you know you will struggle! Thanks for joining us in the journey!

  2. So funny you wrote this...I had been working on a post with the same thoughts but I couldn't get it to flow. You did a great job! I loved it!