Money is a means to an end, not the other way around.

Money-habitsSociety would have us believe that wealth is happiness. For so many of us, this is that we were raised to believe. Our parents told us as kids:

“You need to go to college to get a good job and make lots of money so you can have a big house, a nice car.”

Because this is what they believed success is; this is what they would have us believe is the definition of happiness. But this is deceiving.

A persons path to success/happiness must be decided from within. It is all subjective, as one persons path will be different from another persons. And it’s not until one knows their path, that they can they follow it. Will money be necessary to reach ones success/happiness? Probably. But when we think it through we may be surprised at how little we need. Also, it is important that we don’t get so caught up in money that we lose our way in the path. There will be many temptations and pressures that will try to deviate a us from our path, but we must always be focused on our goal in order to keep these temptations and pressures from getting the best of us.

So figure out what your happiness is. No one can tell you. And once you figure that out, then figure out the path to get there.

A Word About Passion.


Love-1This is so sad. This tells me that not only was this person unwilling or unable to cultivate this passion, but the fact that this is a common phrase means that this stands true for many or most people who choose boating (or whatever it is called) as a passion.

There is also the possibility that most people who choose boating as a pursuit/hobby/life (other words for passion) do so without realizing the depth of the commitment it really is. They don’t realize the amount of time, money, and sacrifice it will require to pursue.

Off the top of my head I know that boating requires docking time and costs, hauling, cleaning, inspecting, licensing. And all these things are just necessary in keeping a boat. Using the boat is a whole other set of rules, time, and costs. And like I have said before there are only 24 hours in a day. So with that being said, the real cost is making the sacrifice in your life of other activities to make room for this new one. Freeing up the time in your life is the sacrifice that no one considers. Everyone considers the costs and even the physical space needed, but no one ever considers the time. This is why I always hear excuses like “I would have loved to take the boat out more, but I just could never find the time.” That’s just straight bullshit. If you are truly passionate about it you would make the time. Too many of us opt for abandoning our passions just to satisfy our time clutter because it is what we are used to, or it is what is expected of us.

Now some passions are more demanding of our resources than others, but any passion that is worth pursuing requires a real commitment from us. Of all these resources, time seems to be the toughest to provide (as it is the most valuable). So with whatever passion we pursue, we have to ask ourselves how much time we are willing to commit to it. If it is not much, then we were not that passionate about it in the first place and it’s better we walk away now. But if we are willing to take it all the way, then dive in head first and cut out all the time clutter in our lives. No more “movie nights”, no more “poker with the boys”, no more “Dancing with the Stars” on Tuesday nights. You may even have to cut out other passions you were pursuing. Prioritize your activities and start scratching them off starting from the bottom of the list.

Your passion should take a significant amount of your time. Your passion is a part of you, it’s who you are; not merely what you do.

I am a Cyclist, not a man who rides a bike.

you are a singer, not a person who likes to sing.
an Archer, not a person who likes to fire arrows.
A Hunter, not a person who hunts.
A Chef, not a cook.
A Captain, not a person who takes his boat out every now and then.

Pursuing your passion should not feel like it’s taking you away from your life, because it is your life.

Minimalism, the beginning

Green-flagWhat is Minimalism??

Well quite simply, Minimalism is the principal by which we can create focus in our lives by discarding all the elements that do not add any value to it. Now this is a very general definition. Of course I will elaborate. Altogether there are three main steps.

It all starts with determining what we value. This could be our family, friends, career, community, our passion (whatever that may be), or anything really. One persons values are very different from the next persons, but everybody values something. It may even help to make a list of these things, just so that way we are perfectly clear about them.

Second is to look deep and hard at all the things in our lives; all the possessions we own, all the actions/activities we do, how we spend our time, and who we spend our time with. Look at all of these things and activities individually and determine if they are serving these values.

Third, for all the possessions, activities, and even people that are not adding value, discard them. Eliminate them from our lives. It’s just that simple.

Once we can do this, we open our time up to focusing on all the things we DO value. We become happier, more productive people.

 Now like I said earlier, These are just the basics. There are nuances, subtleties, and deeper explanation into concepts like value and time. In future posts I will be discussing all of these things. Additionally I will be writing about examples in my own life of how I make certain choices from a minimalist perspective. Every now and then I will also be posting what I like to call minimalist “Life Hacks” to save time, space, and/or money.