In front of me is appetizing spread of olives, cheese and juicy tomatoes all bought from local producers at a market in Italy. The sun is shining, there’s a fantastic view of the lake and I’m just so happy.
For me, that’s luxury. Natural produce like a tomato grown in the sun without pesticides, a clean and functional holiday apartment, and deliciously tasty locally produced olive oil.
What if luxury were simplicity? Knowing how to enjoy the simple things in life? Instead of having a wardrobe full of clothes that you never wear, why not just keep the ones that make you happy? Taking the trouble to create meals with produce that makes your mouth water? Being somewhere where you find the view magical?
Luxury isn’t necessarily five-star hotels and major brands, it’s more about your own ability to enjoy the things that inspire you.
What simple thing is your personal luxury?
“A person who is not paying attention trips over it.
A violent person uses it as a projectile.
An entrepreneur builds with it.
A tired farmer rests on it.
For children, it’s a toy.
David killed Goliath with it,
And Michelangelo sculpted with it.
In all these scenarios,
The difference is not in the stone
but in the person.
There is no stone on your path that
has nothing to offer you.”
What about you? What do you do with the stones strewn across your path in life?
Anja and I both adore the same book: Magic Cleaning by Marie Kondo, a Japanese woman who specialises in tidying and creating space in tiny Japanese apartments.
One of her many tips is to take each item of clothing you own in your hands, feel it and ask yourself honestly if it makes you « happy »!
Anja and I both saw this as a far from pragmatic approach. Have you ever bought something on impulse? If so, it’s more than likely that the particular item made you feel happy as you were going through the till. And if that works for purchases, it also works for uncluttering in your life!
Anja has turned this into a philosophy for life and writes a blog about it. She strives to only keep what makes her happy in her life. She parts with the rest. « Even my ex-husband, » she says laughing.
Without being quite so drastic, what are the things that no longer make you happy and that you’re still dragging around like a millstone around your neck?
In his book “The 7 habits”, Stephen Covey suggests that we do things with a specific intention. For example, reading a book not just for the sake of reading, but with the intention of telling other people about it.
To put it another way, when I attend a seminar with the intention of sharing the content with other people later, my note taking is more detailed and level of attention greater.
You can do sport with the intention of enjoying it with a friend or the intention of losing weight. Your type of involvement in the activity would not be the same.
When you consider things that seem difficult to you today, could it be that they lack intention?
What if you raised your game to the next level by using intention?
Whenever I go through an airport, I sometimes find myself hoping I’ll bump into someone I know. I look around to see if I know anyone but always in vain.
On the contrary, whenever I’m involved in my usual occupations, completely absorbed in whatever it is, I often bump into people I know in the most unexpected places.
A girlfriend of mine told me that she has never found a partner when she was actually looking for one. But every time she gave up looking, love came knocking at her door.
The act of letting go makes us more fulfilled in the everyday tasks we do.
What do you need to do today, in all conscience, so that what you wished had happened yesterday will happen tomorrow without you even thinking about it?