The simplest lifestyle is the best lifestyle:
In the spirit of my homie Biggie Smalls:
Perhaps in life, it is preferable to have less money?
The upside of fewer choices
The problem with having more money is that you gain more options. And for most of us, having more choices and options unnecessarily complicates our lives, and actually increases stress in our life.
For example, no matter how rich you are, you woo always “bargain shop”. In fact, typically the richest people are the most value-oriented people.
Anyways, when I was poor growing up, in some ways, life was more simple, less stressful, and actually better! For example when I was a kid (3rd grade), and my mom ran away from my dad with me and my sister to the east coast, we arrived in College Point in New York, and we had nothing. But it was one of the happiest moments of my life; supreme simplicity. We didn’t have a TV or video games, so everyday I went to the library to borrow books to read. I played with the neighborhood kids outside. Life was good! Life was still tough, but life was simpler.
Now at 30 years old, life is more complicated. Now that I have “dispensable income”, I have more options in my life. Technically, I can “afford” to buy almost anything I want (besides a Lambo), but at this point, the question is:
Is this a prudent use of my money?
Do I have enough cash to purchase this? (When I was poor).
Further speaking, when you got money, you must manage, invest, and track your money, which is additional complication and stress. And to be honest, no matter how much money you have locked up in the safe, you will never feel “secure”.
You will never feel like you have “enough” money.
So is the solution to just be “grateful for what you have”? Not necessarily.
I think perhaps the solution is this:
Keep accumulating commas and zeros in your bank account, keep earning money, but learn to become more frugal and value oriented.
Only poor people always have the newest iPhone
Let me give you an example: generally anyone who gets suckered to always want the newest iPhone think:
I will prove that I am “successful” by showing others that I have the newest iPhone.
But in truth, if you were really wealthy, you wouldn’t really care what others thought of you. In fact, the richest people often drive the most boring cars, because they got nothing to prove!
Even as a college student I quickly learned:
Anyone who drives a BMW 3-Series is poor.
All the waiters in Koreatown drove the newest (lowest end) Bimmers. Why? They wanted to flaunt the brand (BMW), yet couldn’t afford the higher models. Furthermore, most of them were leasing their cars, and lifestyle.
Anyways I’m getting off topic.
The general point is this,
Living more simply, frugally, and value oriented is superior.
Even with cameras, I am not really interested in having the “best” camera in terms of technical settings or price. I’m more interested in the simplest camera or tool for the job, which is currently the $500 RICOH GR II or the Fuji XF10.
And honestly at this point, my creative constraint is to NOT buy any cameras that costs me more than $500. In fact, I don’t really want to buy any more new cameras. More cameras, more problems.
Fewer choices, more freedom
I think the irony in life is having fewer options is often better; we innovate with the tools and resources we already have. And if we want to buy tools and equipment, we generally look for the simplest and most cost effective option.
The simplest lifestyle is the best lifestyle
So in life, some principles:
- If you feel lukewarm about a camera, tool, car, or any material thing — don’t buy it.
- More money often leads to more headaches, complications, and stress.
- No matter how much money you have in the bank, you will always feel insecure or like it “isn’t enough”.
- Be very skeptical of people who try to flaunt their “wealth”. Most likely they’re poor, in massive debt, or leasing their lifestyle. Remember the richest people often look the most plain.
- Just think: right now, you might already be rich enough. Or even more: you actually might be too rich right now.
Think simple! ERIC
Unleash your creative potential:
- April 10-11th, 2021: BOSTON / Discover Your Unique Voice in Photography Workshop [Register Intent Here]
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- May 22-22nd, 2021: NEW YORK CITY / STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS by ERIC KIM [Register Intent Here]
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