Whenever I talk with people about frugal living, anticonsumerism or self sufficiency, it seems that they can't quite understand how it's possible to be happy in that life. They can't understand what they should do with the money they aren't spending, or how someone could give up a high paying job to voluntarily live in on the lower end of the income spectrum.
We don't know how to be worthwhile by ourselves. Our advertisers have told us that the way to get laid is to drive a luxury car or to spritz the right cologne on our necks. Our parents told us the way to make it was to get a good education and then a high paying job. Our employers expect us to work hard so we can climb that ladder or at the very least, spend every waking moment striving for it. Where does that leave us? It leaves us thinking that we aren't complete until we buy something, earn more, or have more power. It leaves us insecure in ourselves and creates a void that we can never fill.
Is it any wonder that we work more hours even if we hate our jobs? We want to be seen as strong workers.
Is it any wonder we have to see a movie the day it comes out? We'd hate to be seen as out of the loop.
It it any wonder we wear designer clothes? We'd hate that cutie we're chatting up to think us frumpy.
It is any wonder we have to watch the latest TV drama? What else could there be to talk about?
As Tyler Durden said: "You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis"
So what are you? A loyal friend? A passionate lover? A fun parent? A caring heart?
If you make $100,000 a year, you are not worth 5 times what you were when you made $20,000.