I felt this post was worthy of reposting from my old blog after hearing Rose Marcario -the CEO of Patagonia address commercialism vs consumerism at the Mindful Leadership Summit I am attending this weekend in Washington, D.C.

There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little. –Jackie French Kolle

I recently rented this documentary about 4 college students who decided to travel to an extremely economically challenged area in rural Guatemala to live on $1 a day for 56 days. Granted, it was a radical challenge to sleep on a dirt floor, figure out how to keep dry and healthy, grow their own food, and budget their money to be able to purchase additional food to subside.Living on a Dollar a Day documentary posterBut, the film encouraged me to contemplate the many things I live without on a daily basis that don’t affect my happiness in any way. Yes, I live a solo existence and I could see how a couple or a family may have a greater challenge with many of these ideas. But, there are couples and families out there living the tiny life. Ahh…. gratuitous opportunity to segue to one of my fav tiny house blogs Rowdy Kittens where Tammy and Logan live a happily married life together in 128 square feet. And this family of four Tiny House Family live in a 8′ x 21″ space.

Yet, I suppose LIFE or rather LIVING life really amounts to a few simple concepts. Wikipedia would define them as your basic needs: the absolute minimum resources necessary for long-term physical well-being, usually in terms of consumption of goods. The poverty line is then defined as the amount of income required to satisfy those needs. So let’s clarify that a bit more as:

  • some sort of enclosure with the ability to keep one safe, warm, cool, and dry
  • the ability to cook and refrigerating your food (since most of us do not grow our daily diet)
  • a place where one can bath, sleep, and just be (leisure space)

When you identify the NEEDS versus WANTS it drastically changes one’s outlook.
Sure, I have wants: a tub, a covered deck, radiant floor heating, a heated towel bar, and most importantly a yoga wall. And yes, they all exist in a glorious blue hue in my tiny house dream blueprints. Yet, back in reality land, my daily needs seem to be met nicely in my RV. I don’t have to go to a gym to shower and excrete stuff, or live on microwavable, frozen, chemical foodstuff, and I always seem to be the proper temperature – which of course is tropical because my body runs cold and I luv the heat. So, I propose a little mental challenge or perhaps for the adventurous ones out there a physical challenge. 🙂

Could you?:

Cook your dinner on ONE burner instead of 4 or 6

Could you?:

Utilize your tub/shower as a storage space when you are not showering

Could you?:

Donate all your precious & lovely books and convert them all to a digital format

Could you?:

Take a shower with only 9 gallons of hot water

Could you?:

Sleep on a non king sized bed that is literally in the ceiling above the living room
(yes, this challenge may be a bit difficult to duplicate at home – LOL)

Could you?:

Do yoga in a tiny space not much larger than your yoga mat

Could you?:

Downsize your wardrobe into three drawers and a small cupboard

Could you?:

Limit your shoe collection to under 20 pairs
(Yes, I know, this is without a doubt the most challenging item on the list LOL)

Could you?:

Live without a TV

Could you?:

Have only one table that is your kitchen table, dining table, AND desk

Could you?:

Never again visit a Costco or Sam’s club and buy in bulk

Could you?:

Live without a dish washer, surround sound, and a barcalounger

Could you?:

Stare at the same four walls and literally there are only four walls

Could you?:

Go shopping and find the perfect thing only to realize you have no room to put said thing

Could you?:

Be just as happy or maybe even MORE happy with less

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