Living The Simple Life by Elaine St. James is one of the top six books that has had the biggest impact on my life, and it taught me to live simply. No fancy cars, no fancy clothes and no fancy homes, just live simply and rid yourself of the physical clutter and mental stress that goes along with materialism.
In my industry, I'm one of the oddball leaders because most successful network marketing leaders show off their Ferraris, mansions and toys, but I choose to live simply with less.
I hate to shop, and I prefer to throw away things and keep my house as empty and bare as possible. (I use the term “as possible” because I have to have some things to make sure my wife is happy.)
Benefits of Living Simply
Simple and less has its benefits.
You have less to worry about because you don't have the pressure to “keep up with the Joneses” and have the latest toys.
I truly believe one of the reasons I have tremendous daily discipline when it comes to my business, exercising, and self-development is that I have freed up my mind from having to spend time finding out what the latest and coolest things are. A clear and uncluttered mind allows maximum productivity and success.
And MOST importantly… living a simple life makes it easier to become happier.
You place your source of happiness on intangibles such as God, relationships, family, and achievements, not something that loses its value over time.
Christmas used to be a challenging time for me because the world is all about “Black Friday” and shopping and… more consumerism.
Unfortunately, you can't avoid it because it is built into our culture and, in a sad way, our culture needs it. If everyone lived a simpler life, they would stop this shopping madness and the economy would fall apart.
So just imagine how miserable I am… I know I need to get gifts, but I hate shopping because I don't believe in consumerism and buying materialistic things. And because I don't keep up with what it is “in” and cool, I have no idea what to buy for my friends!
The Best Gifts You Can Buy
Fortunately, over the years, I've learned that the best gifts you can buy are the ones that last.
It's not the latest clothes, electronics or houseware. The best gifts you can give to a friend are Experiences and Knowledge.
The Gift of Experience
Buy your friend something materialistic and chances are, 20 years from now, they will either forget about it, or they will forget the feeling they got when they received the gift.
Give your friend something they can experience, such as tickets to watch a sporting event, a concert, etc., and chances are they will never forget it.
Don't believe me?
Take one minute to write down five memorable moments in your life, and I am sure all five of them had to do with an experience and NOT with getting a physical gift.
Or just think about your best friend.
Is it quicker for you to: list five gifts that your best friend has given you over the years, or name five fun things that you’ve done with your friend?
So during this holiday season, create a happy memory for your friends and give them a gift that lasts, the Gift of Experience.
The Gift of Knowledge
Another great gift is the Gift of Knowledge. I give this gift often, and it’s my favorite.
Go buy something that will help your friend become better in life.
Give a book or some self-development program that will make your friend's life better. As their mind grows, they will grow as a person and get more out of life.
When the famous NBA basketball coach Phil Jackson used to coach the Los Angeles Lakers, he would buy and give books to his players all the time because he knew that as their minds grew, they would become better players and the team would be better. Self-development was part of the winning recipe that brought him ten NBA Championships. Later on, I adopted Phil’s approach and applied it to my network marketing business.
Nowadays, when I give gifts to MLM business partners, I either choose something from my list of Self-Development for New Associates, if they have been in the business for less than a year, or something that is relevant to their needs from my Recommended Reading List.
Your Best Gift
Christmas is less than two weeks away. Don't get too stressed over shopping. If you feel overwhelmed and not sure what to get, take my advice and give the Gift of Experience or the Gift of Knowledge.
One of the BEST gifts that I have ever received was this very simple book called The Prayer of Jabez. You could read in one hour. It took me just one hour to read, but it taught me lessons that I will keep for the rest of my life.
Just think back… What was the best and most memorable gift that you have received over the years?
Comment below and let me know.
P.S. Many of you have contacted me and enjoy the lessons that I have included in my past blogs. If you are hungry and want to learn more tips on how to increase your productivity, improve your life and become more successful, I would like to invite you to become a member of Simon Chan Insider's Circle. For a limited time Membership is FREE. Click Here to learn more.
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