I read in this blog about the idea of living in the land of the enough and not in the land of the plenty. The author Courtney Carver of Be More with Less talks about a paradigm shift from living in the land of the plenty to the land of the enough.
In the land of the plenty, we are conditioned to ask for more. Bigger servings. Buy One Take Two. Upsize. Endless opportunities to get rich quick. I am thankful that I have experienced what it is like to be hungry, so that I know why waste is both a sin and a crime. I have lived in the land of the plenty where cash was easy and debt was high. I am moving to a land of the enough. Where contentment is found in what we already have. Where no one goes to grocery until all food in the refrigerator is consumed.
The author provided some ways to live in the land of the enough. I will try these out, or perfect them. These are direct quotes and are written in the context of a Western culture, but the ideas are universal.
- Save Your Money – There is no need for credit cards or therapeutic shopping in the land of enough. There are also no overdraft fees or ATM charges. Just put your cards away for 10 days. Then, keep a list of purchases you would have made if you were using your credit card, or if you were shopping for sport, and take note of the money that you didn’t spend.
- Take Your Time – In the land of enough, you have time to breathe. Stop trying to squeeze so much in. If you are always running late, falling behind, or trying to catch up, try slowing down. Cancel a few unnecessary appointments and don’t schedule any new ones if you can help it. Then, make a little time everyday for solitude.
- Disconnect – Set a specific time to disconnect each day. In the land of enough, there is less need to be plugged in. If you can, commit to not using a computer after dinner or before lunch time. Be mindful of how much time you spend online and are virtually available. Protect your time and your mind.
- Eat Real Food. Only eat food that you prepare. Summertime is the perfect time to eat fresh food – fruits and veggies are often fresh, local, and less expensive than buying them in winter. Do not eat anything from a box, restaurant or drive-thru. While you may choose to eat less by eliminating processed foods, you may find that you naturally eat just enough.
- Make Space – Clear out some space in your house. You don’t need to take on big purging projects during this time to make space. Simplify one room (or even just the corner of one room) and keep it as clean and clutter free as possible. Even if the rest of your house is cluttered, this area can be a great reminder of how you might feel living with less.
- Entertain Yourself – Unplug your TV and plan to enjoy your friends, family, the great outdoors, or a book you have been meaning to read. Do not spend time and money on expensive shows, travel or recreational activities. While the land of plenty calls you to spend more money for entertainment, you already have enough right where you are.
- Say Thank You – As you go through these steps, you will find enough time and space to be grateful. Through prayer, thank you cards, or a kind gesture, share your gratitude every day.
There is no risk involved by visiting the land of enough. Bring your family with you and talk about what you like and don’t like about the changes you’ve made. Based on these discussions, you can decide what changes become a permanent part of your life. If you don’t enjoy living without TV, plug it back in. If saving money makes you miserable, go on a tear at the mall after your experiment.
At the very least, you will have taken some time to determine what is important to you and your family. At the very most, you will be happier and learn that enough, really is enough.