While it may be new to many modern humans, the “less is more” philosophy of living is ancient and has been in continual practice since time immemorial.
Whether you call it ‘voluntary simplicity or ‘simple living’, it is a lifestyle choice that trades the endless accumulation of things for the happiness and contentment that can be found through personal development, fulfillment and just being.
I have always tried to keep my possessions limited to what I need to get by. Camping and wilderness backpacking taught me to get by on little. I love the challenge of living well with less.
The older I get the righter my choice turns out to be. I will be 55 on my birthday this year, and I have fewer possessions now than at any time since moving out on my own after high school. I have no regrets about not being 'more successful', and feel unprecedented levels of happiness and satisfaction.
But this way of life is not only about possessions. There is no standard list of things you need to live simply. But it is pretty easy to establish a list of things you don’t need. It would include a lot of what is offered in any consumer obsessed society.
Simple living is mostly about finding meaning in life far beyond the stuff we own. It is about finding depth and meaning in every moment.
For me, simple living is freedom, wanting less, and honouring my priorities in peaceful, less complex surroundings. I can conceive of nothing that can veer me from my commitment to this path.