If you want to lead a truly fulfilling life, then you may need to start by rethinking what constitutes success. Traditionally in our culture, success has always meant driving a brand new or a late-model luxury car, carrying around numerous credit cards, wearing designer or branded clothing and jewelries, and living in a big fancy house.
There is no question that we have all envied people who had those things, thinking their lives must somehow be better than ours. Well think again. Many of the people hauling around those outward trappings of the good life are actually in debt up to their ears and are simply renting a lifestyle they cannot afford. Stories abound everywhere about the highly paid executives who seem to have all of the above until they lose their jobs or some calamity happens in their lives. They not only lose these material badges of prosperity, but they often lose their identities as well. When you spend the majority of your life working in order to furnish your outward appearance, then you are likely spending very few hours thinking about the deeper meaning of your life – and who you really are. Is success really working around the clock just to keep up this image?
So there must always be a balance between money and living a simple life. There is nothing about simple living that says you must go off and live in a shack and wear clothes that make you look as if you walked out of a movie. Many modern conveniences are wonderful – that’s without question. It is nice to live in comfort and have a reasonably neat, up-to-date appearance. On and on, etcetera. But also without question, it is not wonderful to go overboard and spend most of your time scrambling to look good to the outside world, while inside you are lying awake at night worrying about how you are going to keep it all together.
Financial success is not being rich. It is being smart with your money and knowing when you have enough.