The category this blog post is under focuses on adopting a savings lifestyle. You have to understand that your lifestyle is a reflection of your mindset. If you want to live the right lifestyle which leads to the results that you are looking for, then you have to adopt the proper mindset.
Different lifestyles have different mindsets behind them. Our inner world is reflected in our outer world. If you see a person who is consistently happy and joyful, that is because that person is happy and joyful inside. That is how things work in real life. So if you want to adopt a healthy savings-oriented lifestyle, you need to adopt the proper mind frame.
One key aspect of this is to define yourself beyond material terms. We get into all sorts of trouble if we define ourselves purely in material terms. The most common way people do this is to assume that what they own defines them.
For example, if you own a Honda, you look at yourself in a certain way. You look at your place in the world in a certain way. You occupy a certain level in the world because of the Honda you own. Now if you own a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, you probably define yourself higher up on the ladder. And you look at yourself in completely different terms. What’s wrong with this picture? The problem is, it is not the things outside that define us. It is the things inside that define us.
Seriously, how you feel, how you conceptualize yourself, and how you position yourself in the world affects what you do. What you do affects the results you get. So, if you look at the world in the proper terms, then you are able to achieve the kind of results that you want. This does not necessarily mean that you should shoot at to get a Mercedes or BMW.
It can mean that you might be into art, you might be into travelling, you might be into meditation, or you might be into charity. You see where this is headed? Real richness, a real feeling of satisfaction and contentment comes from within. This is why it is really important to separate ourselves from material results.
You have to define yourself behind material terms because the material is really a subset of the internal. The material items in your life are products of the immaterial items. Think about it. Your Mercedes does not define you although your Mercedes is a product of your ambition, your ability to set goals, and most importantly to achieve them.
See how this works? Your Mercedes is really just an outward manifestation. It is like a grade of your ability to take the test of life. Your Mercedes is much more of like an outward sign of the things that you really have inside.
You have to understand this because if you look at your life in terms of the things outside, then you are really losing all perspective. You will have your priorities wrong. Keep the following key questions in mind because they really go into the heart of the matter. They really push you forward in redefining yourself outside of material terms. They form the basis of living frugally.
Who Defines You?
This might seem like a very basic question, but you would be surprised as to how many people overlook this question. They think that they are completely in control of their lives. They think that they are in control of their definitions. In reality, we are more gullible than we think. We are more prone to influence than we think.
For example, there is no rule saying that you should wear your baseball cap a certain way like twisted to the side or turned to the back. But people wear it that way. Why? They got influenced by somebody else. By being aware of who defines you and who influences you, you can then start making progress regarding taking control over your own personal definitions.
Just because everybody is doing something does not mean it is right. A foolish or wrong opinion is still a foolish and wrong opinion, even if fifty million people say it is right. A key step towards defining yourself beyond material terms involves retaking control over your internal definition mechanisms. Ask yourself that question. Who defines you? The right answer is you. Keep working at it until you get to the right answer.
Can You Really Gain Security From Material Things?
As mentioned earlier, the material aspects of your life are actually the products of your internal or immaterial processes. Your mental processes produce the material items in your life. Not the other way around. It was you who decided to buy something. It was you who decided to work towards a goal that ended up with you having enough money to buy stuff.
You see how this works? It all begins with you. The problem is when we get so wrapped up in our possessions that we put our security in the possessions when the security actually begins and ends with us. It is we who decide our priority. It is we who decide how much effort to focus on certain things. When we do this, when we push ourselves, we make things happen.
We lose control over our lives when we give the material things in our lives more power than they really have. If you really think about it, the material things in your life do not really have any power. So why define yourself in terms of your possessions? Your possessions would not exist if it were not for you. Do you see what is wrong with this picture?
The Right Mind Frame for Living Frugally Does Not Need a Price Tag
Leave it to modern American marketing to basically say “Well, if you want the right mind frame, you need to have the right lifestyle.” Of course the right lifestyle has a certain price tag. This is such a pervasive and popular lie that people buy into it again and again.
All you need to do is read a magazine and look at a Calvin Klein ad and you would see that it is not really selling clothes. It is not really selling perfume or cologne. It is selling a lifestyle. Do not fall for this lie. The right mind frame does not need a price tag. The right lifestyle comes from the right mind frame. And you cannot buy the right lifestyle.
If anything else, you buy into somebody else’s illusion. Make no mistake about it. The right mindset produces material gain. It’s okay to have possessions. It’s okay to have stuff. But never for one second fall for the delusion that materials produce the right mindset. You are always in control.
Your possession, how much stuff you have, how much enjoyment you get from your stuff and your lifestyle are all decided on by you. These are choices. These are learned behavior. If you are unhappy, the solution is not to buy more stuff. The solution might be to unlearn the stuff that is making you unhappy and learn the mindset that can make you feel more fulfilled and content.