There are two ways to become rich in our world:
1. Acquire great wealth
2. Acquire few needs

Initially, my response would be to acquire great wealth. Because who doesn't want more and better items? But then the question pops up, "How do you know when you have acquired it all? When is it finished?" And in trying to come up with an answer to that question, you might say that you will know when you find it or, when you feel complete.

Ultimately, the first choice for becoming rich in our world will be a life-long endeavor and I know that I would like to retire from that type of pursuit. But, I want to be complete now.

That then leaves the other choice, to acquire few needs. It is in those limitations that freedom is found. To live life fully now, I believe we must start to live more, but with less.

It is within each of our spirits to want more for ourselves and to take a peek into the next tomorrow. But some how, we have lost track of that goal and settled with technology and material things to bring us that completeness. Instead, technology and material things tie us down, they don't liberate our spirit and complete us. They just leave us empty and wanting more. Like a taste of caffeine we sigh in relief at the wonderful way it perks us up. But then the feeling goes away and we need more, and more, and more to get the same effect as our bodies build up a tolerance to it.

If we limit ourselves now to those things that are most important and purge the extra, we release the chain of slavery to them, whether in time or money.

Living with limitations, few needs, is a risky idea. There is always the thought that creeps in when something new comes to the horizon, "Will this make me a better person? Will this make me more successful? Will this make me happy?" It is like walking down a very steep and narrow road with footing that isn't so certain. And taking that narrow and steep road is very scary; it is like going the wrong way against rush hour traffic. No matter the analogy, to navigate well, we need help.

flickr/cc - swanksalot
The writer of Ecclesiates wrote:
"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion...Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm...And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him."

We have sought the comfort of acquiring great wealth as our companion and no one now feels obligated to catch us if we fall. We given up our tight communities for a lonely "do-it-yourself" freedom.

How do we transition from acquiring great wealth to acquiring few needs?
Beyond the connections made through work, school, and religious groups. There is still technology, the spirit of community does rise from digital ashes. People gather in forums to inspire one another and ask for assistance.

And when that is not enough, meetings are arranged for those who are traveling down that steep and narrow road to be a guide, a comfort, and help in overpowering the idea that only great wealth leads to a rich life.

If you don't have work, school or other outside groups that have people of similar goals, there are online forums to participate in and ways to meet-up in person.

+ Simple Living Forum: Learning to do more with less.
+ Dollar Stretcher Community
+ Frugal Living Forums

+ Do something, learn something, share something, change something
+ A community dedicated to providing a casual social environment


  1. Dawn @ Me And Craig // Wednesday, October 20, 2010 11:35:00 AM  

    I just love reading your blog... Your words validate the thoughts I am feeling about money and life. My problem has been that even though I am a person with simple and few needs - my husband has been on the "acquire great wealth" path. It certainly has made the last 30 years of our married life interesting. Anyway... thanks for writing such a wonderful post!

  2. Chris Gagner @ // Wednesday, October 20, 2010 1:53:00 PM  

    Nice scripture from Ecclesiastes. I had never looked at that verse in that way before. It's a very deep verse.

  3. Anonymous // Thursday, October 21, 2010 4:31:00 AM  

    This is something I hope to always remember. To be rich I have the choice of either acquiring a lot of money which is an endeavor that may consume my life, or choose to live with fewer wants. It almost seems like a no brainer. A friend has arrived in town for golf. In less than 24 hours, he will have spent almost $400. I'm incredulous to what I'm seeing.

  4. April // Saturday, October 23, 2010 10:10:00 AM  

    Excellent post. Very thoughtful and good for you for recognizing that the "fewer needs" path is not just a walk in the park!

  5. Jan // Sunday, October 24, 2010 4:02:00 PM  

    I'm not sure your two options will ever get you to the same place. Limiting our needs ... especially for "keep up with the Jones" type of consumer goods is an admirable goal and will help you limit your expenses. But it can never make you rich. That will require earning more income or purchasing assets that produce income.

    For me, the bottom line is living within your means - whatever those means may be.