Thursday, October 9, 2014

Things become luxuries when you don't take them for granted

Following SGYI posts (which I thought was very well written) recently on  "Practising Frugality to Achieve Happiness in a High Cost of Living Environment", I thought this post was going to be somewhat related.
You see, many of us are fortunate enough to be in the shoes we are in right now. The problem with us is because we up the level of comfort we live in, we tend to take many things for granted, and when we start doing that, we begin to lose an appreciation of how our society have evolved over the past couple of years.
Take traveling for instance. I think it is fair to say that most of us can well afford to travel to anywhere in the world we want to go. The tickets and accommodation are expensive depending on where you go but they are generally affordable once you start working. And because of this, many people started to view traveling for granted. They start to see travels like walking but fails to appreciate the true form of purpose when you travel to another country. Simlarly, we often see Iphones like a normal telephone but fails to appreciate the efforts and technology that is put into it.
If only we could pause a brief moment and reflect what we really have in possession in our life, then we would slowly but surely realize that we actually have “everything” – Well, maybe almost everything that life can offer you, literally.
Here is a quote I really liked a lot:
“Gratitute unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Many people think that living a simple life or having enough is often the answer to everything. But the view is often missing the other part of the equation – i.e working hard and having the right attitude to life. One can simply be very contented with life that he doesn’t have the right attitude to live life to the fullest, so there’s an under capacity and that’s not what we are really after. What we want is to give our best, live with the right attitude and be contented in life – a perfect combination to a meaningful life.

I have encountered young readers who thinks that it is ok not to put in their full effort in studies and work (and life) as he has been accustomed to living a very contented life for the past 21 years. It’s good that he thinks the contented life part this way but I think he could give a shot at how potentially he could transform and improve his life much better.
For me and personally my own view, I think it is fine to be ambitious in life, to want some form of luxuries (cars, condominium, travels, etc) at some point in our life, as long as one works hard for the money to earn them and appreciate (this is key here) the things that he or she already have. And this is precisely the most common problem and natural occurrence that happens to everyone at some point in our lives. We somehow become complacent and revert back to our default mode of taking things for granted. This is the REAL PROBLEMS that we are referring to and want to avoid.

When we don't take things for granted, suddenly anything and everything in life becomes luxuries to you.


  1. Hi B,

    Gratitude always makes frugality that much easier.

    And one can practice negative visualisation (learned from Stoicism) to feel gratitude more often?

    "You might be yearning for the new iPhone 6 plus but if suddenly all the IOS in the world crashes, you will start cherishing the iPhone 5 that you had. "

    1. Ahh negative visualisation. Nice concept there.

      Yearning back for what you once liked the most, replacing them and coming back to them when things go against you.

  2. I like the part about fulfilling your potential to the fullest while being contented. It's seems oxymoron to be ambitious yet contented, but it's how we navigate these two extremes that will shape us to be who we are.

    1. Hi LP

      Its the perfect combination isnt it, having an ambitious target plan whilebeing calming and contented at heart. This is almost impossible to happen to most people in real life sadly.

  3. When traveling, try walking into their heartlands too and we will see and feel the differences.

    1. Ahh being part of their norm society? Eat what they eat speak how they speak and live how they live. At some dangerous places better to avoid some unknown heartland places sometimes.

  4. Hi B,

    Great sequel indeed. I'm glad you also subscribe to the gratitude part of life. In the past, i always thought that if a person is contented, he cannot become ambitious. I realised i was wrong. In fact, the more contented a person is, the more he'll do things to benefit society which in turns becomes an ambitious plan. Life is definitely not all about money but about caring for one another and making the world a better place. Ironically, money always comes when we contribute and create products for the good of society.

    1. Hi SGYI


      There's always a debate between whether money or heart is at the basic core principle. Both are important on their own but cant do much on each own. Well we can say almost that one is evil and another is angel.but combined them together we can make them an angelic stature.