Mindset: Is More Really Means More?

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” -Steve Maraboli

Life is a series of event, shapping the way we are today. From our past experience we learn how the world respond to our actions, thoughts, and emotions. It’s recorded over and over again in our brain, every details of an event, our emotion and thought at the time. We grow up with the mindset our environment created when we were child, our childhood experience had a significant impact today, regardless of what we think about it now. When I was in elementary, I had to speak at the front of my class as an assignment and was very shy about it. But I succeed, and the next time I had to speak in front of many audience I felt more comfortable and confident. These events happened many times during my school year and I got more confidence as I practiced, you see that with favorable mindset from ourselves and supportive environment everybody can change the traits they have.

Life isn’t a static journey with linear storyline, it has many valley and peak, opportunity and weakness. Once we accept that we could change ourselves, the way we see the world and live more positively, we tend to be more relaxed and enjoying a better life. What is a better life anyway? Is it more material goods, popularity, and power? No, at least for me it looks more like a peace of mind. A peace means no worry about tomorrow and enjoying present life. No regrets about the past and not expecting the future. Realized that not expecting the future is different with preparing for the future. The former is unwanted while the latter is recommended. There’s a phrase, “living in the future” which mean we are continously expecting to achieve something in the future, when we had…., when we reach….., when we are promoted to….., and many others. As a human we rarely satisfied with what we have, we strive for more and more. I thought that once I had an Omega watch I would be happy, then I bought it and want another watch. The next year I bought that “other watch”, Jaeger Le-Coultre reverso. And now I want another Rolex….

Our wants are endless, but our needs are few. Really, what do we need other than shelter, food, security, and companion? The others are merely “wants”, it’s not bad thing to have many wants as long as we realize it is complimantary of our life. Here’s the connection for the two paragraph: When we were a child, we learned our parents work to earn more salary, buy a bigger house, buy a secondary car, travel to other country for holiday, and limitless wants which is different for each family. We learned that more is better, more money will bring more happiness and bigger house will bring more respect.

What if it is wrong? What if, instead of happiness, more goods bring us more stress? That is what I’m observing my whole teenage years, in my own home, my friends, families, and complaints from many housewife. Bigger home needs more maintanance, another car needs a space and service anually, more money needs more management (not that it is bad). What I’m trying to get across is for you and me to reflect deeper if more of something always bring more benefits to our life in the long term.

I’ve read books and practice it myself where we throw out 80% of our goods inside our closet, wardrobe, bookshelf, and feel much happier that way. Now I have become obsessed with living in simplicity, having only few goods that is essential and throw everything else. And I know I feel happier than I have ever been with all those useless crap. Would you be happier by living in simplicity? I don’t know about you, but it’s a straight YES for me. If you think you would love to live in simplicity, you could start with buying less goods, giving everything but the essential, and throw everything else away.

By the way, my sister is strictly against this mindset. Today she had 4X number of goods I have and often forgets where she stored her goods! Not everybody like the idea of simplicity, but you might want to give it a try because if you love it later, it would be worth the price!



About Kevin

Kevin is an Emerging Markets Research Analyst at a global macro investment firm based in Montreal, Canada. Originally trained to be a medical doctor, he found his passion in capital markets after being involved in managing portion of his family’s equity portfolio. Kevin holds Masters degree in both finance and management, has passed all levels of CFA exam, and is a certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and Professional Financial Modeller (PFM). He read voraciously and has a hobby of tinkering (read: programming) his systematic equity and volatility trading model for the “Quantimental” investment firm he founded. In his spare time, Kevin likes to travel the world and become a freelance photographer for Getty Images. To date, he has a portfolio of over 1200 pictures across 35 countries.
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