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3. Habit Three

Recognize that consuming and ownership does not bring happiness. In our culture today, we are told the opposite message through TV commercials, celebrities, family and even reinforced by the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality in our own neighborhoods.

Step back and look at what possessions really are. Generally, they are items that make life easier, but do not provide happiness. Even sentimental items don’t bring true happiness, they may bring back memories, and the memories may make you happy, but that isn’t the item itself. Realizing this and making it a habit to intentionally purchase items as a means to making life easier will help reduce the feeling to own the newest gadget or keep up with your friend’s new toys.

4. Habit Four

Value making the world a better place for the present and the future. This shift in thinking helps us create habits that not only benefit us now, but will also benefit others when we are gone. Reaching out to others is one of the hallmark habits it seems of those who espouse simple living ideals, and naturally that extends to wanting the world to be a better place because you were in it.

For myself, that means reusing items and buying recycled clothing, paper and any other items I can find that won’t cost the planet new resources or us.   It also means that I say ‘hi’ more often to strangers and reach out of my comfort zone to help and connect with others.

5. Habit Five

Recognize the limitations of continually chasing after more money. After basic needs are met, money does little to contribute to happiness. We are taught to think that if we just had more money, we could travel more often, be more philanthropic and provide more experiences for our children. We could buy a nicer home; have a nicer car or any amount of nicer ‘stuff’.

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