Posted by Tim Stobbs on October 18, 2007
I’m now putting together my Christmas wish list after my wife reminded me again and I’m noticing something interesting this year. I’m having a hard time coming up with a list!
It feels a bit strange, but I think I’ve hit a place where I have enough of most things that I really don’t want much. I’m living now without many ‘wants’ at all. So how did I get here? I’m not exactly sure, but the following helped:
- Stop watching TV. I occasionally watch the news and currently one mini-series during a week. So my total expousre to ads is about 2 hours a week. It’s hard to want something when you don’t even know it exists.
- Use the library more. I now get most my DVD rentals from library or borrow from friends (I still buy the occasional DVD I know I’ll watch over and over again). I also borrow most of my books from the library or buy specific titles online. The result is I don’t spend much time in stores that sell DVD’s or books anymore. So I find it hard to want those items when I don’t browse in places that sell DVD’s or books.
- Stop looking at fliers unless you shop there at least once a month. I don’t even look at electronic fliers right now. Why? I don’t have plans to buy anything specific, so why expose myself to ads I don’t need to. I also skip ads of stores I never shop at. The result is 70% of the fliers that hit my door go right into the recycle bin without me even looking at them.
- Use a list. When we go shopping I almost always have a list of what we need and by sticking to the list I skip browsing at the other 80% of the store that I don’t need to look at. This seriously cuts back on impluse buys.
- Keep yourself busy. This is most likely the most important tip I can give. If your always busying with projects and tasks that you find rewarding and uplifting you rarely get around to having a thought about wanting something. Between playing with the kid, reading books (to myself and him), cooking, doing minor home improvement projects (such as refinishing two floor lamps) and writing this blog I don’t have a lot of spare time. Yet I don’t mind in the slightest. I find all those tasks enjoyable and rewarding so I spend most of my time being content with my life. So I don’t feel the need to buy something to ‘reward’ myself when I finish a difficult task, since I can just enjoy the satisfaction of just doing a good job.
So if you are interested in living without wants keep your life simple buy using a few of the above ideas. If you have more tips that have worked for you please share by leaving a comment.