Published on April 23, 2015 9:58 am, by Peter Lord
I’m a single man living in one of the greatest cities in the world. I have a thousand and one different choices I can make every day. Every variety under sun. What’s for dinner, exercise options, sport to play or watch and yes even men to meet.
I should be the happiest man in the world? Right? But strangely often I’m not. It turns out I don’t like too many choices. I love scarcity.
When I have too many choices I often pick none. I will freak out and take nothing. A great example is I’ve been looking for a new book to read. I love reading but for whatever reason, I stopped.
This year I decided to watch less TV and get back into the habit of reading. So after speaking with my Mum, friends, and work colleagues I went to a few local books stores, searching for the next great novel I would I immerse myself in.
I had thousands of books to choose from but struggled to find anything – I even asked the sales assistance (a big challenge for me). I ended up buying two books which I started but simply didn’t like. So I gave up. One month later I’m in the Philippines for a holiday and looking for something to read on the beach. I was in my hotel and I had only two books I choose from. The Client by John Grisham or Paulo Coelho’s Eleven Minutes. I loved The Alchemist, so I went with Eleven Minutes. It was an amazing book and the perfect read for my holiday.
It was then I learned to embrace my love of scarcity.
Everyone in the Philippines smiles, everyone. Even though, most people have nothing. Yet in Sydney, I find few people smiling even though we have “everything”.
It turns out I love scarcity. I love the simple things and I love my routines. And I’ll happily leave too much choice to others.
Take my weekends. While others are happy shopping and dining out, I prefer my early training session (with the best PT in the world), catching the bus to Coogee for a swim at Wyllie’s, Netflix and cooking and an early Yoga class.
Simple, easy and not too many choices.
I know I need to be social so I’ll invite friends over for dinner. This makes me happy, makes me smile and laugh. I find living with less (and spending less) is actually better for my mind, body and spirit.
Not that long ago I didn’t like Sydney. I wasn’t happy. But, I felt I should have been happy. My business was going well, I was making money again and fitter than I had been in years. But I wasn’t smiling, I didn’t understand why, I even called my Mum. I couldn’t work it out.
It turns out I had too many choices. I don’t want that. I don’t flourish in that environment. I just want the simple things and I want to smile more.
Since I’ve come back from the Philippines I’ve embraced my love of scarcity and a simplistic life.
I love my simple routines and I’ve fallen in love with my city again.
Maybe the Philippinos have it right. Who says you need things to make you happy? Particularly when we have each other.
Peter is the Founder of MoneyBrilliant, stupidly optimistic and believes he can help change the world by empowering everyone through better money management.