July 8, 2016

Lower, Lower, Lower

Here is how to get by in our crowded, chaotic world - lower your expectations. It has been shown to be the key to happiness.

Next step? Lower your expectations some more. OK. Now - lower, lower, lower.

Case in point. I am running out of dish rags, so I went to my stash of old rags in the rag bag. These are all bits and pieces I decided long ago were no longer suitable for service as originally intended.

As I looked through the bag I found a few old dish rags. Today, when I am in need of a few, they looked perfectly fine. They didn't even have holes in them! I guess I have lowered my expectations since they made their way to the rag bag, because they look just fine now.

I took the old dish rags out and have started using them at my kitchen sink, amazed that even after years and years of living simply I am still finding ways to simplify even more. And I am buying even less. No amount of shopping could be as satisfying as that.

I have, and continue, to lower my expectations. But only materially.

While my life is materially sparse, it has plenty of opportunity to be mentally, socially, and spiritually rich. And that is what really counts. We should expect more from life than perpetually spending money buying stuff and always expecting more.

Lower your expectations. Be happy.


  1. Anonymous7/09/2016

    It's interesting to think back to the early humans and how connected to everything they must have been. All things had a spirit and the entire universe was alive. Then slave societies were created and we lost our way. It is likely to be our destiny to leave that early state, but our destiny is to be cultivators, to harness that early flow of the universe and a human culture through simple living, meditation and plant based permaculture reaching harmony with nature.
    The clever trick by our current society is to not let people feel that original state and then promote self medication and control through consumption, debt, drugs and the list goes on and on. People often feel they can buy experiences, but the feeling is artificial and leads to buyers regret, then more consumption. The grass is always greener on the other side. Peace.

  2. I like that description of your life, "materially sparse." My life becomes more sparse as time goes on.

    I come from a family that is exceptionally resourceful. Thankfully, we all seem to be carrying on the trait. I've become even more resourceful now that I have less stuff materially. There is a special feeling when you need something and find something to use instead of going to the trouble to go to the store and buy it. It's like a little burst of joy, a confidence of knowing I just solved that little problem and it was easy! I can hear your satisfaction of discovering some nice dish towels in your rag bag. Of course lower expectations has everything to do with being satisfied.

  3. Anonymous7/13/2016

    I love this post. The simple beauty of making do is inspirational. You saved time, money, resources the planet cannot afford to give up and experienced that undeniable joy that comes from being free by not consuming and staying true to your minimalist self. Deva


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