What does it mean to live a ‘better’ life, or to ‘improve’ your life?
A lot of people seem to want to live in these fancy new apartments with all these ‘amenities’ … but for what? Towards what ends and aims?
I think most people want to live in these places to be ‘happier’. To have more convenience as a road to more happiness. To have more beautiful aesthetics to uplift their mood and to uplift their happiness.
But the question:
Does it really?
Or better yet … asking ourselves:
What REALLY uplifts our happiness, mood and joy? And is our desideratum (the thing to be truly desired) to be to maximize our joy and happiness?
In simpler words:
Is the imperative to maximize our joy and happiness in life? Or is happiness and joy the red herring (distraction) in life?
1. On the future of living
One of my primary and personal interests in life has revolved around ‘lifestyle’ … or mode of living. Trying to discover for myself:
How can I best design my life and life style to maximize my joy, happiness and creative productivity?
Also my personal interest and curiosity in DIFFERENT MODES or styles of living. This personal curiosity and passion of mine has led me to traveling the world, living nomadically (digital nomad), to become ‘location independent’, then also to live in different places intermittently (intermittent living — like living in one place semi-nomadically for 6 months or a year, then going “onto the next one”).
Some quick thoughts:
First of all, my first intervention and belief:
It is SUPERIOR to rent a place than to own a place.
Why? If you own a home, you gotta maintain it. And most shit always breaks. Having to also deal with contractors is also always a nightmare.
Also — I’m starting to think and wonder:
Is the whole American dream of home-ownership just a big scam?
Or a scheme conducted by the banks, real estate development companies, textbook companies and schools in order to get Americans to buy into the idea:
I must take out a massive loan from the bank ($1 million dollars), and I will live in this one place for the rest of my life (30 years, 40 years, 50 years) to pay off this mortgage.
It then seems we become a slave to the mortgage.
2. Living in a minimalist luxury apartment
I’m starting to also realize this bias we got in the American language (from British middle-class notions) that luxury is bad, avarice is bad, greed is bad, etc. But truth be told .. it seems modern luxury means clean, hygienic, bright, well-designed, and purposeful. I’m actually starting to wonder and think … I want to add a good name again to luxury– not to just see luxury as squalor, moral depravity, and degeneracy.
Take for example here in Providence Rhode Island (my new favorite city in America). Living in a tiny studio apartment (my heuristic is this … it is an ideal size if you can plug your vacuum cleaner in the middle of the apartment and then be able to clean every corner without having to re-plug it back in) has been great! I love it! Living in a tiny luxury apartment has sooooo many benefits. For example:
- Apartment gym: This makes life very convenient. I work out more often and get more ‘gains’. Also going to the apartment gym is like my new zen zone dojo. It is often empty which means I can just go there, workout, and think. I never bring my phone with me. I never listen to music while working out which means I can truly focus and think. I sometimes vlog or make videos in there too… which is so fun because it then is a portable studio!
- I don’t gotta worry about maintaining stuff: Zero qualms about pouring oil down the sink. No worries about having to keep all the furniture (which is pre-included) nice. No worries about maintaining anything. This allows for a more carefree and superior lifestyle.
- Living in an apartment building is like living in a big (vertical) spaceship. I was really into watching space movies for a while, like Passengers and thinking …“What would it be like to live on a spaceship?” And I think living in one of these new modern luxury apartment complexes or even a cruise ship is a glimpse. And truth be told I don’t think there is one ultimate ‘best’ lifestyle, but it does seem .. to live in these new experimental modes of living is just really fun and interesting!
- The social aspect: I actually really love talking to the cleaning staff, building maintenance staff, or even new friends I have made in the apartment building. Truth be told if you live in one of these complexes YOU must first make the herculean effort of conversing with these strangers. But the payoff is great! Honestly to live in a huge mansion by yourself and be all empty and alone by yourself seems to be the worst hell. Thus the notion of having a huge mansion seems like a hell to me. My heuristic: If I cannot vacuum the whole place by myself without stress or frustration, it is too big.
3. How COVID-19 has changed our relationship with our homes
The American dream:
I will work sooo hard and save up sooo much money and finally buy the home of my dreams.
But then COVID 19 happened and now we are all perpetually stuck indoors in our homes. And do we love it? No. I think we hate it. Then makes me wonder:
Is then the goal of life really to save up a shitload of money in order to buy a home… but we hate being at home all the time … so what is the point?