The Daily Stoic for September 11th, “What Would Less Look Like?”.
“Let us get used to dining out without the crowds, to being a slave to fewer slaves, to getting clothes only for their real purpose, and to living in more modest quarters.”
—SENECA, ON TRANQUILITY OF MIND, 9.3b
Today’s stoic meditation raises this question: what would live with less look like? Meaning: less money, less recognition, less access, fewer resources… But also less energy, less mobility, less freedom.
What Would Less Look Like?
The first part of today’s stoic emphasizes the financial aspects of living with less…
When I worked as a freelancer, mainly as a developer for American and European startups, I earned quite a good amount of money. Around $7500 a month (which is not bad for a remote developer).
After transitioning to entrepreneur, my resources were drastically reduced. I found myself having to live with 7x less money than before. Being a digital nomad allowed me and my partner to design a lifestyle that would allow us to live with less while traveling. It worked quite well.
Obviously, you need to do some adjustments and spend less here and there. But overall, you can gracefully adapt to the situation. And guess what? You realize that money is not everything. You realize that you can live with less and enjoy your life even more.
The second aspect has less to do with monetary or financial aspects, and more to do with emotional, or psychological ones. I’m 38. I try to go to the gym 4-5 times a week (even though after being hospitalized, I won’t be anywhere near a gym for some time). However, I realize that it’s not the same as a decade ago. I don’t have the same endurance or physical strength… and that’s ok.
I have to admit it stressed me some time ago, but I have come to realize it’s how life works. Right now, I am lucky to travel the world with my partner. I enjoy a lot of freedom. However, if someday he decided he does not want to travel anymore, I will gladly settle down and “reduce” my freedom. I’m ready for that, because in the end, what matters is being happy wherever you are.
And for that, you don’t need to travel the world, you don’t need a lot of money… And the Stoics knew it.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “What Would Less Look Like?”, talks about how our lives would be with less. This “less” is not necessarily money, but also things such as freedom or energy.