Are You Successful?

Nobody can answer that question for you.  There is not, I’m my opinion, a way to define success for another person.  It’s subjective.  One person may think that it’s having a fluffy title “earning” over  $8,000 a month.  Someone else might think that it’s having a big house filled with flashy items and an expensive car.  It’s nearly always tied to wealth and/or quantity/quality of possessions.  That’s odd.  What are we talking about here?  Successful at what, our Job?  How we earn money?  How much we make?  I think that it’s really tied to your happiness.  Would it surprise me if most people who feel successful are also feeling the need to buy more things to improve their lives?  They are probably carrying an amount of debt proportionate to their income.  “The more you make, the more you spend” they say.  That is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard and it’s considered the norm.

Every time we have run into a new life event, we wondered, how are we going to be able to afford this?  On paper we make more than enough to cover the bills but it’s always close in reality.  Having a kid, buying a second house with a higher mortgage, having another kid; these things do add expense to a fixed income, which is what I believe we are all really on.  We made it work.  Made a little more money over the years finding creative ways to bring in more cash. We found creative ways to save money on the basic human needs and cut some luxuries.  The funny thing is that living a more basic life feels better.  Life did seem different back in the day where you had to call a friends house and hope that they were home since there were no cell phones.  I’m not planning on dumping my cheap phone plan but things did seem different back then.  Maybe because I was 10, but maybe not.

Looking back on that, I wish that I was saving much more back before those life events.  Those events showed me how much we were wasting all that time before them.  I wish someone told me that it would be smart to pretend you had kids in daycare and put that money aside, before you actually have kids in daycare.  Before buying a new house it would have been nice to double your current mortgage to see what it’s like to take it all on.

To me, success would be living debt free and enjoying life.  Catching your mistakes early on with knowledge sets you up for success exponentially more than floundering through life.  Building on those mistakes.  Being ready for that one next time.  Having no debt means that you only have to make enough to cover your basic human needs.  I don’t care more about the things I own than having control over my life by not having to work 40+ hours a week to live.

Does the big shot executive have the luxury of doing whatever the hell they want every day of the week?  Maybe.  If the don’t keep their debt from climbing to match their earnings.  If they don’t think owning expensive, nice things, is critical to happiness or even important in anyway.  Maybe those ones are successful.

Sharing experiences with those I choose to be around is more important to me than owning objects.  This is a lifestyle that I’ve been really interested in for only about six months now but it makes 100% sense to me.  Do you care more about your things and earning money than your life?

Living more simply doesn’t need to be, only owning 50 total possessions, or really even going without.  You just find different ways to do things.  It’s fun to get creative with it.  When you do want to, it feels great to just get rid of shit in your house that you never use.  I think clutter is stress.  It’s more to think about, and clean.

Success, to me is being able to live far enough below your means to have full control over your life, and, be able to do whatever the hell you want.


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