With most of us about to spend a lot of money for the holiday season, this is the perfect time to give some deep thought to the ways we spend money, and to think about our financial priorities. How do our feelings of scarcity or abundance have an impact on our spending habits and even our overall attitude toward life?
Here are three simple questions that can change the way we think about spending money even during the holiday season. They are a great first step toward liberating ourselves from spending habits that damage our lives and do not serve our spirits, our selves, others, or the planet.
Every time you buy something, ask yourself these three simple questions:
1. Am I or is the recipient likely to receive fulfillment, satisfaction, and value in proportion to life energy spent?
2. Is this expenditure of life energy in alignment with my values and life purpose? (Think, for instance, of the hours of life-energy you traded to make the money to buy this thing.)
3. How might this expenditure change if I didn’t have to work for a living? (Many of us find ourselves buying things to make our work-lives more tolerable, like that cup of Starbucks for the morning commute, or in order to maintain a certain level of appearance, like buying chic clothing for the office.)
Thinking about these questions and your answers to them can help to clarify your earning, spending, values, purpose, sense of fulfillment and integrity; to help you discover what is “enough” for you and render yourself immune to advertising. Eventually you will be able to create a map of your interactions with the planet and use solid information, intuition, and ethics to guide your lifestyle.
Adapted from Radical Simplicity, by Jim Merkel (New Society, 2003). Copyright (c) 2003 by Jim Merkel. Reprinted by permission of New Society.
Adapted from Radical Simplicity, by Jim Merkel (New Society, 2003).