Last Updated on 1 year by Anoob P
In this post, I’m going to tell you my take on how to live a simple life and be happy and 7 Simple Tips Anyone Can Follow to live a simple life in 2022.
Earlier, I had co-founded a video company and raised $2 million in funding and then got fired from the company I started.
You can read my full story here if you are interested.
I have also written a detailed post about How to Start an Online Business That Changes Your Life (without Luck) & lessons in entreprenuership I learnt the hard way–you can read it if you have the time.
Over the course of my life, I have realised a few things. One is that human life is almost similar in all countries.
You can go in search of greener pastures but ultimately if you are an unhappy person, you will be an unhappy person anywhere in the world.
I grew up in a dysfunctional family and I dont get very happy or ecstatic very often. There are very few things that genuinely excite me but I’m trying to find excitement and have almost given up on grand ambitions.
Everyone needs luck in thier lives and I think if you are lucky, you do not dislike the work you do, you have a decent family and you have some money saved up.
I think the problem starts when you want massive success in a very short period of time.
Many times people do not know what they are chasing but they are still running on the hamster wheel–I know this because I have also done the same.
Most young people are told that they can become anything they want to be–but my life was different.
I was told that I would never become anything. This is partly because I was an average student and people don’t think much about average kids.
My parents thought I’ll be a complete loser in life and they made every attempt to tell me that explicitly.
So I wanted success not because someone said that I can be anything I wanted to be but to prove these FCUKs wrong!
Deep down I knew that I was smart–its just that I was not smart at studying.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”–Albert Einstein
While this quote is nice to read and nod along, not everyone is a genius. I’m no genius.
In fact, I think I am stupid, I think everyone is stupid at some things and that is okay.
My obsession to become the founder of a VC-funded startup got me many things.
- Attention Deficiency
- Unhealthy eating
- Stress and Fatigue
I was driven by the dream that once I made it big, it would be the perfect revenge for all the people who said I was useless.
It’s funny how things change over time.
There was a time when I thought a certain girl was the most important person in my life and I would look forward to her birthday all year long.
Now, I don’t even know when the day passed by.
There was a time when I thought, once I raised funding for my startup, my life would never be the same again.
Now, I don’t even want that lifestyle.
Over the past few years, my thoughts have moved more towards simplicity, minimalism and just being ordinary.
I always thought that being ordinary was the worst thing anyone could do.
Now, I think being ordinary in itself is a big achievement and a sense of beauty in just living an ordinary life.
It’s hard to live in this competitive world.
The constant struggles, the work pressure and the speed at which life goes by is sometimes scary.
I’ve been part of the rollercoaster ride chasing success and I just want to get off now.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo Da Vinci
At the time of writing this post, my thoughts are more around simplicity and how to make my life simpler in an attempt to become happy.
If you are also working yourself to death, still not able to achieve success or happiness–maybe you can also consider these tips on how to live a simple life.
Here are my thoughts on How to live a simple life and be happy.
How to Live a Simple Life & Be Happy
How to Live a Simple Life And Be Happy – Tip#1 Eat Food for Health
The modern life is all about excess. We have access to excess food, alcohol, information and problems.
I’m a foodie. I love all kinds of food and you could say I am a food addict.
Due to my food addiction and unhealthy lifestyle, I put on 20 kgs in the last 2 years of the pandemic and I went into a Keto diet to help me reduce weight.
I have done an all liquid diet in the past and I was able to reduce 15 Kgs in 30 days.
I went on a full Keto diet and I got something called Keto Rash.
It’s a rare side-effect of a keto diet and unfortunately, I got it.
When I saw the doctor and explained my diet she just asked me one question–what are you trying to achieve? Why are you in such a hurry?
I had no answer.
It’s the years of working (struggling) for things and trying to find quick solutions that was making me impatient and I have gone on extreme diets in the past.
My doctor advised me to take it slow, just eat home cooked food and try veganism.
I had been a non-vegetarian all my life and since the last 2 months I’ve been strictly vegan.
Surprisingly, my weight has come down from 91 kgs to 81 kgs.
I don’t know how. I’m eating rice, carbohydrates, and gluten and all the things I am not supposed to be eating but I am off sugar, meat and I walk 1 hour a day.
My weight has come down and I am satisfied. It’s simple but it seems to be working. You should also try it.
We live in a world where everything is complicated beyond what is required.
If you want to lose weight, you need to cut down on carbs, do keto, drink only juices, have only lean meats– I say screw it all.
Just eat what you love in moderation and go for a 60 minute walk.
How to Live a Simple Life And Be Happy Tip#2: Enough Money for Daily Living (a Comfortable life)
Next rule for How to Live a Simple Life is having enough money for daily living.
Everyone’s idea of a comfortable life is different and if you think you can only be comfortable with a 7 bedroom house and a Ferrari-I cannot help you.
I was a full on maximalist and now I’m transitioning to a minimalist.
I had three cell phones (An iphone, An Android and a second Android in case the first one breaks).
I had 10 watches. (Ad Put for Sale)
I had an expensive home theater system with a big screen TV. (Now Sold)
I had a big sofa and a recliner. (Ad Put for Sale)
I still have two laptops but I am keeping them.
To live a comfortable life, you need to figure out how much money you need in a year.
Here is what my list looks like:
- Parents & Self Health Insurance
- Car Insurance
- Vacation Fund
- Miscellaneous expenses
I added up all this and arrived at a figure that I need for the year.
Now, I only work to make this much and leave the rest. Every waking hour, I could be working and making more money but now I do not see a point in doing that.
When I read the news that a startup has raised funding, it is tempting for me to think–let’s give it one more shot.
But then I tell myself I’m done. I cannot take that kind of pressure anymore.
I had been reading about Buddhism for many years and I read that desire is the cause of all pain.
I never understood that until now.
When you want more, you work more, you stress out more and you struggle.
When you want nothing more, you are satisfied–that’s where I am right now.
How to Live a Simple Life And Be Happy Tip #3 Stay Away from Debt
There are many financial gurus that teach people about the power of debt and how to use debt to your advantage.
I’m not a financial expert but in my experience, you should stay away from debt as much as possible.
Debt puts tremendous emotional stress on a person and it ties you to situations that you just cannot get out of.
“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”-Mark Twain
When I was in college, I had a friend who had put his home as collateral and taken an educational loan.
His father passed away while still in college and after graduating he could not find a decent job that would pay him enough salary to repay the loan and make his ends meet.
So the banks initially sent out few notices and then started legal proceedings. He tried his best to talk to them to give him more time to make repayment or restructure the loan but the bank just didn’t care.
They wanted his property and they wanted it bad.
Luckily, this guy found a job and was able to start making payments and slowly arranged finances and repaid the loan.
The educational loan was a very small amount compared to what was the value of his home but the bank wanted to throw him and his mother on the street as quickly as possible.
I know many of my friends who are deep in debt and continuing with thier jobs hating thier life only because they cannot afford to quit thier jobs.
On top of this, companies make long notice periods to ensure that employees who quit do have a job in hand if they resign.
For average folks, easy debt is very tempting and the logic behind such decisions is, “If not now, then when?”.
As much as possible, try to avoid debt and pay in cash. My concept is that if I do not have the savings to purchase it in full cash, I cannot afford it.
If you have a business that is making money, then you can figure out how to use debt to your advantage for reducing tax liabilities.
But if you are an average salaried person stay away from debt.
How to Live a Simple Life And Be Happy Tip #4 Find Flexibility at Work
Next on the list is flexibility at work. When I say flexibility, I mean flexibility in the truest sense.
Your hours should be flexible.
Your location should be flexible.
Your work should be flexible to accommodate what interests you.
Fortunately, my work is now flexible. I am working 100% remote and I never ever want to go back to an office.
I recently got a call from an HR Manager and she offered me a fat paycheck.
I asked her, “Is it remote work?” She said, “Yes, its remote on Saturday, rest of the days you need to come to office. Its an early stage start-up so you can imagine how we should work.”
I just laughed and said, “Not interested.”
This pandemic has showed that most work can be done from where in the world but employers still want people back in office so that they can be absolutely sure they are getting their money’s worth.
I say, Screw it.
If a company still wants you in office just quit.
I think this is partly what is happening with the Great Resignation and it is real.
If someone asked me to come to the office tomorrow, I’ll quit tonight.
I am that fed up of going to an office, stuck in traffic and dealing with petty politics.
As I get older, I know that time is slipping away and I am not willing to give anyone more than what is required.
How to Live a Simple Life And Be Happy Tip #5: Find Some side-hustle that is making money
One of the reasons why I have confidence to quit my job is because I have side hustles that make me enough money for rent and food.
Early in my career, I made the mistake of working very hard for my employer thinking that someone will take notice and reward me.
Unfortunately, 98% of all employers don’t give a sh*t about their employees and will replace a resource in a heartbeat.
Several times, my Manager has asked me to fire good resources because they thought they were paying more than market standard.
You have to be smart enough to know when you are being used and not make the mistake of overworking.
Recently, I was on a call till 8: 30 PM and while I was logging off, my boss messaged me.
“I know it’s late, but please have the presentation ready by tomorrow morning. I’m sending you my advanced “THANKS” for doing this.” Smily Face!!
You know what I did?
I had my food and went straight to bed.
I was planning on doing the work but this guy’s message reminded me that I was being used and I thought–not again you piece of cr**.
Next day morning I opened my laptop, there was a message, “Where is the presentation? You were supposed to send it by yesterday night!”
I replied, I’m working on it-will be ready in an hour.
I sent it to him by 11 AM and he sent it to his boss.
Just to show that he is extra dedicated to his boss, he was trying to make me lose sleep.
It’s just not worth it.
The mistake I made in my career was that I thought my job was everything and I would pursue it with a passion.
I was wrong, a job is a job and if you are really going to put in hard work, put it in for your side hustle where you own the business and you make the money.
Only work for 9 hours at your job and nothing more- I wish someone had given me this advice when I was younger but either way I think I would not have listened back then.
Don’t be in a rush to grow your side hustle into a salary-replacement.
Let it take time. Learn the craft and enjoy the work.
Right now, it’s 12 AM and I am still “working” on this site because its my site and nobody has any stake in this.
Its a lot of work but I love it.
How to Live a Simple Life And Be Happy Tip #6 Somebody to share your life with
I have dated many girls in the past.
I have dated Doctors, Miss teen runner-ups, Fashion models/Designers and finally I am in a relationship with a girl who is unlike any other girl I have dated.
She is not intellectual.
She is not fashionable.
She is not a workaholic.
She doesn’t worry too much about money.
She loves home-cooked meals and is surprisingly religious.
She is very different from me.
For the sake of giving a better picture about her, let me tell you two recent instances.
I have plenty of headphones at home and when one side of a headphone stops working I usually throw it away.
Once I had thrown away such a pair of headphones and went to do some work.
After coming home, I found this lady using the same headphones and laughing on some TV series.
I asked her, why are you laughing and why are you using headphones which do not work on one side.
She told me, “Oh its this funny TV series. I didn’t even realise one side of the headphone is not working. I just wanted to listen to it.”
Now, that might sound like a silly story but it made me think.
I had already discarded something as useless but it was useful for someone else.
She was more interested in the context of what the headphone did rather than its actual functioning.
I learnt that day that things are meant to be used as vehicles to achieve an end goal. When the thing becomes the goal, you miss the forest for the trees.
I took a trip with this girl to an expensive resort and after we had our first meal I saw her eyes opening wide seeing the cheque.
From the next day, she would not let me buy food at the resort. In fact, it was Valentine’s Day and she asked me can we skip the fancy meal.
She had brought instant noodles in her bag and even got couple of small bottles of beer because I liked beers. She said, let’s have that on the balcony and enjoy the night.
I have been on trips with girls before and I have never had a girl tell me not to spend money (personal experience).
I think I should marry this girl.
As I am decluttering my home and my life, I need someone this simple.
Growing up in a disfunctional family, I thought marriage was never worth it–especially if you do not have the money.
I never wanted to get married but this girl seems to be making my messed up life a little organised.
This might be luck that I found what I was looking for–let’s see.
How to Live a Simple Life And Be Happy Tip #7 Find A Philosphy
In life, often I ponder about what is the meaning of life.
What is the point of all this?
Why are we working?
Why are we annoyed?
Why do we have to struggle so much?
At this time, I think the point of life is to just live.
Long time back, I used to read a lot and I used to get into different kinds of philosophies to find answers to these questions.
I’ve read a lot about Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Stoicism & Minimalism but after I joined the busy bandwagon, I stopped thinking and just started rushing with the crowd not even knowing where I am going.
In life, if you are confused and trying to find yourself, I think you should try to find a philosophy which you can live by.
Philosophy makes living worthwhile and help find meaning in the meaningless.
Right now, I am finding minimalism very appealing and I never want to go back to being a maximalist.
If you have read till here, may be we should be friends. Let me know if you enjoyed reading this little post.
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How to Live a Simple Life and be Happy
How to Live a Simple Life and be Happy Summary
Here is my take on How to Live a Simple Life and be Happy
How to Live a Simple Life and be Happy
Almost anyone can live a simple life and be happy
It takes some time to figure this out