Quitting the Rat Race #4: Killing the cycle of consumerism & (over) work

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Image by 特有生物研究保育中心 via Flickr

I guess there is a very close inter connection between  simplicity (living simply enjoying peace rather than stuff), frugality (saving money whenever & wherever we can but still feeling rich & luxurious: yes it is possible), solitude (enjoying time alone n you no longer see the Joneses, so no danger of falling into the trap of trying to compete with them) anti consumerism (stop finding joy in stuff) minimizing our (carbon) footprints on the planet (it makes me uneasy when people come loaded with poly bags containing stuff they don’t even need) & quitting the rat race (goodbye work, hello leisure).

 When we embrace simplicity, frugality & an anti consumerist lifestyle, quitting work is a piece of cake…no more working at a job we don’t want, to buy the stuff we don’t need, to impress the people we don’t even like, & in the bargain plundering the beautiful nature which we actually love!!!

In their ground breaking book ‘ Your Money or your life: 9 steps to transforming your relationship with money‘, authors Vicki Robbins & Joe dominquez say we must not measure the cost of any stuff in terms of money we spend on it but in terms of ‘life energy‘ we have to spend to earn that money. They have redefined the concept of money itself. Money doesn’t simply mean a ‘medium of exchange’ but ‘Money is something for which you trade life energy’. 

In order to apply this principle, you first calculate your hourly wage.  You will then see exactly how much your life energy is worth, and you will be able to measure the cost of money spent in terms of valuable life energy lost, instead of just dollars/rupees/whatever.  (This would come handy in cutting down spending money on useless stuff)

Once you have finished, you can do some eye-opening conversions.  For example:

How much life energy do you spend at convenience stores/restaurants daily?  Could you spend less and still be happy if you cooked at home? & we could think in these term whenever buying stuff big/small. I mean we don’t even need to carry out exact calculations. A general grasp of this concept makes us a little more aware when we are about to spend money.

I am very happy to report that I’ve cut down my own consumption in several areas once i became aware of the concept of ‘life energy’ value of money. This was my precursor to quitting the Rat Race.

‘My dad did not change his lifestyle, he early on recognized that there is a power in keeping a low overhead, he realized that there is a line that balance between having what you want and doing what you want and the more you have what you want the less you will do what you want. So once he says, I have a pair of jeans, a pair of boots and 2 jackets, I can do anything.’
Mario Van Peebles on the accomplishments of his father Melvin Van Peebles.

For me this arrangement works out just fine ‘cos perhaps I’ve been lucky to realize that stuff  ≠ Joy. My home has very simple furniture, just the bare functional basics & I just roll my eyes when I see people’s house that ceased being homes long ago & resemble more closely to museums, they have assorted nick knacks from all over the world displayed proudly (i think comically) in HUGE shelves. So much money down, the drain, so much life energy wasted’ & so much clutter. Spend money & buy head-ache. & more life energy to be wasted on cleaning the dust accumulated on all that stuff.

Ponder Over These too:

“It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Much of our activity these days is nothing more than a cheap anaesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty life.” – Unknown

“The things you own end up owning you.” – Tyler Durden in Fight Club

‘There must be more to life than having everything!’~Maurice Sendak

“There is enough on earth for everybody’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.”~Gandhi

With money you can’t buy wisdom, you can’t buy inner peace. Wisdom and inner peace must be created by yourself.~Dalai Lama

“Man…sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” ~The Dalai Lama (when asked what surprises him the most about humanity)

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September 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Book Review, Books, Current Events, Inspiration, Meaning of Life, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Philosophy, Quitting the Rat Race, Reflections/Musings, Simplicity, Wisdom.

8 Comments

  1. johnnathanielfernando replied:

    life energy…that is a very good concept. seriously you do have a point! thank you so much for giving me something good to think about!

  2. ritusthoughtcatcher replied:

    Thanks Jonathan..yup it’s an amazing concept, it makes a paradigm shift in the way we spend, more responsible spending. It’s a win-win situation, we save our money, we save our environment & it gives more joy than mindless stupid shopping sprees!!! 🙂

  3. Quitting the Rat Race #5: Can Money/stuff Buy Happiness? Putting Things in Perspective « Ritu’s Weblog replied:

    […] Quitting the Rat Race #4: Killing the cycle of consumerism & (over) work (ritusthoughtcatcher.wordpress.com) […]

  4. Finding Happiness the Epictetus Way #7: Learning from Every Event & Person & Everything else Too!!! « Ritu’s Weblog replied:

    […] Quitting the Rat Race #4: Killing the cycle of consumerism & (over) work (ritusthoughtcatcher.wordpress.com) […]

  5. enermazing replied:

    “Spend money & buy head-ache. & more life energy to be wasted on cleaning the dust accumulated on all that stuff.”

    You make a very valid point there. We are responsible for everything we’ve got, and with every new possession we take on more responsibility. Anybody wondering where a lot of our stress comes from?? 😉

    Maria

    PS: Thank you for linking to my blog 🙂

  6. Quitting the Rat Race #7: Lessons from the Mexican Fisherman « Ritu’s Weblog replied:

    […] Quitting the Rat Race #4: Killing the cycle of consumerism & (over) work (ritusthoughtcatcher.wordpress.com) […]

  7. Quitting the Rat Race #9: Don’t be A DINK, DITK, DIOK « Ritu’s Weblog replied:

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