Rethinking the Good Life

If you entertain fantasies of living in an 8,000 square feet mansion, driving a 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and welcoming famous people aboard your 35-meter catamaran superyacht, then you probably yearn for a more abundant life.  In fact, it’s somewhat irrelevant if these images you hold in your mind are more a synthesis of Madison Avenue advertising and Hollywood movies than a realistic portrayal of how most wealthy people live. Most real-life millionaires and billionaires don’t actually have time to work out in the gym, maintain perfect figures, and spend their days shopping for the perfect clothes to match every occasion, from a day on the beach to a formal evening event.

If you feel deprived of a luxurious life, it’s only because you’re thinking of luxury as something that’s well out of your reach. Here’s the thing: luxury isn’t necessarily about having a generous surplus income. You can live in luxury without spending a fortune. What you lack in cash, you can make up for with ingenuity.

Here are 3 simple ways that you can start to think of luxury in a different way, as a state of mind rather than as an extravagant display of wealth, as an acquired sense of taste rather than a bank account with numerous zeros.

1. Reduce your sense of insecurity

What are the things that make you feel insecure or vulnerable? If it’s your home, you can install to get peace of mind. If it’s your appearance, see a beauty, fitness, or wardrobe expert to find out what practical steps you can take to look your best. If it’s your level of education, then take online courses to catch up on gaps in your formal education. If it’s grief over your past, then see a cognitive behavior therapist to get a new perspective on life. The point is that there are simple remedies and practical solutions for all the things that bother you and make you feel ill-at-ease.

2. Increase the beauty of your home

There are many DIY projects that teach you how to inexpensively remodel your home. The reason why remodeling is often expensive isn’t because of the cost of materials used but because of the cost of the skilled labor. You can learn enough skills to do the work yourself, and you don’t even have to buy the equipment and tools, just rent it. If for example, you would love a luxurious bathroom, you don’t have to rely on a skilled workforce to get the job done. If people have learned to build their own homes, learning how to remodel a bathroom is definitely a learnable skill.

3. Reframe your ideas about luxury

If you’re surrounded by loving, kind family and friends, then you’re enjoying the luxury of being surrounded by wonderful people.

If you get to use a computer, then, pause to think for a moment, what a luxury this would be to some of the greatest thinkers in history who had to struggle to find a few good ideas worth sharing. They would have marveled at your ability to access a world of information at your fingertips.

If you live in a modern home or apartment, then you have more luxury available than any medieval king. Hot water is available by turning a tap, the selection of foods in your kitchen has been gathered from distant lands for your dining pleasure, and your choice of epic movies on cable TV would have stunned the audience of the Globe Theater who listened to Shakespearean actors working with simple set designs.

Appreciating your Luxuries

If, like Walter Mitty, you have a secret life, a life in which your imagination easily conjures up images of genteel people with grace-filled lives, people who have somehow become adept at infusing their homes, businesses, and lives with a sense of effortless charm, then you may be yearning for a more extraordinary life. Yet, when you look around you at all the gifts lavished upon you by the Industrial Revolution and the age of information that you are now in, you may already be living your dream life without realizing it. Moreover, this is just the beginning of what’s possible. The future is going to be even more incredible. By the year 2030, you might be booking your ticket for a reservation for a Mars flight on your computer.

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