This week, my sister Katie had a complete physical breakdown. She could not move. She did not have the energy to get up out of bed for her 6 and 1 year old children. She slept for 50 hours straight before she could talk properly again.
This article is about how we can find ourselves running continuously on treadmills that end up ruling our lives.
Treadmills that stop us from really living the life that truly brings us joy.
Treadmills that can ultimately bring about breakdowns, severe illness and a wasted life.
It is about why having less can give you the freedom to live the life you actually love – because less is more.
More Is Less
Katie and her lovely husband Ian have been on a treadmill ever since they could remember. Highly successful career focused individuals, they have worked 16 hour days, never taken sick days and have earned themselves a huge house, flash cars and luxury holidays.
But with a phenomenal lifestyle, come expenses: – the big mortgage, high expectations, excessively hard work, pressure, stress, physical depletion and no time for themselves or what they really want/need.
Ian leaves for work at 4.30am and comes home late at night all to afford their lifestyle. My sister is effectively a 42 year old, severely sleep deprived, single parent.
It was either going to be Katie or her husband that collapsed.
But for me, this article is not just about their wake up call. It is a wake up call for all of us who feel a slave to the life that we have created.
Less Is More
For me, physical ‘things’ should not own our life, rather we should own our life.
When you look deep into your heart, what is it that truly makes you feel contentment in your life?
Is it the big house (and big mortgage), the latest fashions and flash cars?
Or is it, having harmonious relationships, a warm home filled with love, and precious time for ourselves and others that brings us true joy?
Could you be happy with less?
What would that ‘less’ create more space for in your life?
I think it is so important to step back from the whirlwind of life, and think about whether we are on a treadmill that does not serve our true joy.
When you start to really connect with what you truly value in your life, I think you will be surprised by how few of them have big financial overheads.
The Time To Act Is Now
So downsize that house, wear the same clothes for a few seasons, get a banger of a car.
Rejoice in the simplicity of it.
Step out of the world of consumerism before it consumes you.
What would your life look like if you were free to live your true joy?