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."
picture from Gratefulness.org