Somebody responded to my previous post asking me whether doing less was not automatically leading to doing more of something else? Eating less meat, means you eat more vegetables. Driving less in a car, means you bike more. Less days of education for your kids, means you get to spend more time with your kids. Even though this is of course true, I think the lessera is more than just replacing the ‘bad’ with something else: it’s also a cultural change or a change in mindset for the individual.
Changing mindset: being satisfied with less
If we would rephrase the mindset of less into doing more of something else then we are not really changing the way we live and think about the world. Then we still believe there is no limit to progress and that we can still get more. That mindset is still a material mindset. What I am in fact arguing is that we’ve reached the limits of growth and that we have to learn how to adjust to that mentally and materially. This is a cultural and mental shift for the whole of society and a shift in ourselves. Perhaps we could say that it requires us to be more aware of the world around us and how we are impacting that world with our desires for more material wealth. Even though this might start with the individual, it is a systemic change that will ripple through every layer of our society (most likely starting at the ‘top’).
I’m personally leading a life at the top of Maslov’s pyramid, but still I strive for more and better. But why? Why can’t I be satisfied with what I have right now? Isn’t enough enough? Can I learn how to be satisfied with less? I think one start of a solution for the lessera lies within that mental shift. It’s easier said than done. How are you changing your own mindset from ‘less is more’ to ‘less is enough’?