“I make myself rich by making my wants few.” By H.D. Thoreau

For me this can be summed up as a reminder of the great benefits of gratitude and appreciation. Always wanting more is a real drag! It distracts from what I have now. The stuff I have now was once stuff I really wanted, and I should be able to remember why I wanted it in the first place. If I don’t, let that be a reminded to be more discerning about what I choose to get. Going forward, we can ask ourselves a few simple questions: Do I really want that and why? Over the past few years, i’ve been practicing this and it’s stopped me from buying loads of stuff that I probably might not have ever gotten around to use. 

When I was much younger, I spent most of my money on books and magazines. Well, there’s only 24 yours in the day, so I couldn’t read them all. After carting about thirty office boxes from apartment to apartment twice, I realized that was ridiculous and gave almost all of them to charity; choosing to keep only those I felt I’d read. I’ve downsized that remaining pile many times over the years, to the point where I now give away most of the books I read. I did the same thing with LPs, cassettes, CDs, DVDs, and other things, that I’ve since been getting rid of gleefully. I even have an old comic book collection that is taking space and I can’t wait to get rid of. All sentimental items from the past, that now hold no feelings. Only my memories of them do. 

Because, sometimes we toss things we later regret tossing, I’ve taken to recycling items I no longer will use in the original form, considering how and when I might use them again, and if I can easily borrow or rent from somewhere else. I don’t live alone, so a minimal, or at least very well storage home is not yet possible. However, it is getting there. 

I’ve tried to do this with stuff in my mind as well. Choosing to not dwell on stuff from the past. Just breaking the thoughts when they pop up and refocusing on the right now. This focus on my present is a much happier state of mind. Also, I’ve been practicing the art of not comparing myself to others. This is a big work in progress, and it feels awesome. I genuinely feel richer when I think about all I have.

What makes you feel rich?

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