Simple living is easy, well easier than today’s modern lifestyle, but getting there sometimes is not. I know from the questions I usually get on the subject most people want to live a simpler and happier lifestyle, but they are not sure where to start. I must emphasize this — anytime you make a fairly drastic change in your life there is pain in the beginning – nothing that improves your life long term comes easy, it takes work and perseverance.
I have found there are two main things that stop people dead in their tracks when pursing what I like to call “The Simple Life.” I want to share some of the basics for you to get started on your journey of happiness, and freedom.
Here is an alarming statistic: it is estimated as much of 62% of the American population has less than $1,000 in their bank account and zero saved for retirement. Oh boy are we in trouble! Just like your health, if your finances are in bad shape it is pretty much impossible to life a simple happy life. Now I’m not talking about the famous line from the movie Wall Street “greed is good.” What I’m saying is money runs the world today and has for a very long time — no fighting it, it’s a fact.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to be happy, but it is sure easier than being dirt poor and constantly losing sleep trying to figure out how you are going to pay your bills. There is that famous saying “anyone who tells you money can’t buy happiness never had any.” I don’t know anyone who yearns to be poor, but surprisingly most Americans pursue being unhappy and destitute with unbridled passion.
We have been brainwashed to be the ultimate consumer and spend, spend, spend! I know as I write this in order to feed this consumer beast people want the minimum wage to be around $15.00 an hour. Now you are talking to a guy who made $3.35 in his first job as a young bright-eyed teenager. Don’t try and make this into some political discussion about a working wage, or today’s changing job market, that it is not. The point this article is attempting to make is most Americans make plenty of money, just like our glorious fiscally broken federal government it is not a revenue problem, but a spending issue.
Let’s apply some basic math to the proposed minimum wage. For example let’s say you and your wife are brand new to the labor market and are making the proposed minimum wage of $15 an hour. If you only worked 40 hours a week, which is not the norm in today’s world, more in the 50-60 range for a lot of people (another topic for another time).
Here is the equation we will use 40 hours x 2 (for husband and wife or two people living together) x $15 (hourly wage) x 14 (days for two week pay period x 26 (work periods in a year) = $62,400 a year.
I grew up pretty poor, and this to me is a lot of money, especially when you consider this is what is proposed as a starting wage. Again this is not to disparage or argue for or against the proposed minimum wage, this is to prove a point.
Today the average person will work for 40-45 years in America. Let’s use the low end of 40 years, so that means for a couple the equation for life estimated gross earnings is $62,400 x 40 = $2,496,000!
That is right even if you split that in half for one person if you never make anything but $15 an hour you have the potential to be a millionaire in America! Let that sink in for a second, we do not have an income problem, again I repeat this we have a spending problem.
For those of you have heard my numerous interviews over the years this is not something new. I find it amazing most people are dumbfounded when I say the most important place for you to start your journey to a better life is your health. I can tell you from decades of experience in the area of health and wellness, this is the area almost everyone battles on a daily basis.
That opinion is backed up at heav.org. I say this with great emphasis — your health will affect you in everything you do in life, so that is why you must start here. How can you pursue your dreams and live simply if you are on 3-5 prescription medications (what most Americans are on today), overweight (2/3 of Americans), obese (1/3 of Americans), suffering from depression (1 out of 10 Americans and rising), and can’t live more then 10 miles from a major hospital.
The simple answer is you can’t! Here is the non-candy coated reason why almost no one starts here… because it is hard, really hard to change your health.
You have spent decades destroying your health by eating nutrition empty sugar loaded processed foods, not exercising, and you don’t want to change… well at least not your health. Almost everyone tries to shortcut changing their health for the better on the path to having more time and freedom in their life. As Americans we seem to think the easy road is the way to go. I’m here to tell you it isn’t, you need to put on your big boy pants and suck it up. I know it is hard, we have become sugar addicts, and studies have shown sugar impacts your brain chemistry similar to taking heroin or cocaine. No wonder your health is the hardest thing for you to gain control of.
Here is the upside — if there is one thing you are in total control of in your life it is your health. You are the one who makes the decision on what you are going put in your mouth, and how physically active you are going to be. Oh I know you are just too busy, you don’t eat unhealthy like everyone else and you will get to it after you have some more money and free time. I have heard all the excuses known to man, and they are just that — excuses!
Trust me on this if you want more freedom and live the life you want you need to get your health in order first.