"Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife" (Balu the Bear, Jungle Book)
Take a look around in your room, in your closet - how much of your possessions do you really use weekly or daily? And more interesting for how long did they make you "forget about your worries and strife"?
We accumulate more clothes, more gadgets, and more furniture, thinking that these things will make us happier or more fulfilled... but honestly, retail therapy does not last very long. The question you should ask yourself is:
"What am I compensating for?"
Usually, we are using the "quick fix" of shopping because it gives us instant gratification, a happy moment, a relief, or it is basically filling a gap, an emptiness. Yet, it is literally not sustainable.
"What do you really need?"
Is it relaxation, exercise, joy, attention, love, purpose, etc. the list goes on. Take a moment and check in with yourself. What do you really need? It might things money can't buy. Or only as a vehicle.
Since I discovered the concept of minimalism, I first decluttered my closet, later my apartment and then even my entire life. And it turned out:
"Less clutter, less stress"
"Less decisions to make, more time"
"Less consume, more financial freedom"
"Less unintentional spending, more appreciation of what I have."
I started to spent my money and time much more intentionally with strong priorities on food, education, wellbeing/health, and travel. Basically the bare necessities that are meaningful and fulfilling to me.
When you focus on the bare necessities, you are more mindful of what you are consuming and why. Plus it makes you more creative on using things for multiple purposes, which means your environmental impact reduces, too. Maybe you even discover or develop new skills, talents or hobbies.
Living with only the bare necessities doesn't mean that you have to give up everything you love or need. It simply means that you can be more intentional about what and how you consume and prioritize what's truly important.
So next time you gonna buy something, take a moment and ask yourself:
"Do I really need it?
Am I compensating for something?
Will it still make me happy in one week or one month?"
Or just listen to the song and follow Balu's advice. And he is one happy bear, isn't he?
"Oh man, that's really livin' So just try and relax, yeah, cool it Fall apart in my backyard 'Cause let me tell you something little britches If you act like that bee acts, uh uh You're working too hard
And don't spend your time lookin' around For something you want that can't be found When you find out you can live without it And go along not thinkin' about it I'll tell you something true The bare necessities of life will come to you"
("The bare necessities", Terry Gilkyson, Wonderland Music Co. Inc)