Ironically, the simplest route to the good life is through a cliche.
How silly is that? Creating the good life should be a breeze. We are intelligent. We have power. We have resources. For starters, we have money. We can buy the good life.
We all watch television. The formula is simple: work long hard hours, earn plenty of money, then buy the good life at your local big-box store. The timing can be tricky, but you can even out the cash flow with some credit.
Of course, stuff happens: lay-offs, divorces, medical bills. Our loans officer though, is always there to help us out with more credit. Thank goodness for compassion. And when our debt erodes our disposable income, well, we have consolidation loans. Life is good, right?
But in the event that doesn’t quite do it for you — if your great American dream has been repossessed — there is another route to the good life.
The best things in life are free
Yup — the best things in life are free. Ah, the simple life. Can trite be true though? One thing is certain: free, is always worth looking into.
Nothing of course is 100% free. Everything has its price. Fortunately, you can purchase a truckload of pure enjoyment with little more than your time and attention.
We know that our consumerism is not sustainable, nor are the satisfactions we gain from it. Buying the good life is like doing drugs: you need progressively bigger hits to maintain the buzz, while debt quietly deadens your spirit. Have we not had enough of that?
This might be going out on a limb, but think back to when you were a child. Take a breath, and allow some of your finer, pleasurable memories, to surface. Remember those times when you smiled from your heart, when you experienced awe, when you enjoyed simple friendship and laughed through teary eyes?
Those moments in your childhood were the good life — they were some of the best things in life — and they were free.
Those moments are still inside of you. Better yet, you get to pass moments like that on to your children if you have any. And if you don’t have children, well, you get to share them with your partner and good friends.
The best things in life list
- Walking under the magic light of sunrise or sunset. It doesn’t matter where.
- Watching your child sleep.
- Sipping coffee in the garden with someone you love.
- Tenting by a river.
- Playing music with friends.
- Learning to meditate.
- Going for a walk in the rain — on purpose.
- Building forever memories in your children by being in nature with them.
- Doing a backpacking or canoe trip.
- Enjoying a salad of fresh lettuce and tomatoes from your garden, still warm from the sun.
- Exploring Tai Chi, Chi Gung, or Yoga.
- Taking time out for yourself, by yourself, to think about life.
- Going for a run at dawn.
- Having pride in creating something of beauty and value, with your hands.
- Taking a bicycle trip.
- Simply enjoying being in your body while you work or exercise.
Well that’s just a short list of free, or almost free, ways for you to enjoy some of the best that life offers. They are a direct path to a truly good life.
When we handle money with respect we can enjoy our wealth and improve our world with it, but most wealthy people that are also truly happy, have a strong foundation in simple pleasures. And for those of us that are not wealthy, we can be every bit as happy — perhaps more — for free.
Over to you now.