All You Need Is……..

The temptation to start with the all time great hit song by Beatles All You Need Is Love is difficult to overcome, but I will not use that for it will be too simple a solution for a rather complex topic. If love is all that one needs, I would be the happiest bloke on earth with so much love coming my way. But being mortal, while I am happy most of the time, there are times when I have to struggle to get back to my normal state of happiness due to circumstances beyond my control. Those circumstances buttressed by my own ego can cause havoc to my equilibrium when things do not go my way!

So, having got love out of the way, let me start off by pontificating a bit about a philosophy.

“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things everyday. Profit comes from what is there, usefulness comes from what is not there.”
~ Lao Tzu.

With that as the backdrop to the thrust of my post, let me start with something that I learnt in Business School almost half a century ago. A piece of knowledge called Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs was taught to us as a tool to analyze lack of motivation and to find what will motivate recalcitrant employees. I would have been a millionaire if I had got paid a rupee each time some bright eyed young manager had come up to me in my grizzled middled age to suggest his diagnosis and treatment using that tool while suggesting that I was already up in the clouds with self actualised existence and therefore unable to understand the underlings and their frustrations.

I wish that I had been self actualised. I still am not fully though I am almost there. Once I am there, I will not have the problems that I now have when things don’t go my way. And before I switch off from the thrust, let me also suggest that to call all these things as needs is the biggest blunder Maslow made. Bar the bottom most part of the pyramid, all the other things are wants and if one is honest enough, I would say that our needs have been well taken care of and what causes us all troubles are wants. Admittedly there are billions who are still at the basic need levels but this post does not reach them, nor can have any effect on them.

Being on the road to that blissful state of self actualised existence however, I chose the path of simple living as an adjunct to my other pursuits and have been subtracting every day. After all, I can afford to! Yes, that is the beauty of living a life of simplicity. No more competition to keep up with the Joneses, no more expenditure on the latest fashion, latest gadgets etc and best of all, not being bothered about any body else’s opinion about oneself. The problem is in reaching that stage in life where you really don’t care a hoot about what your neighbour thinks of you.

So, my submission is that to live a happy and simple life all you need is to reach a stage of being able to afford to be simple. Do feel free to define ‘simple’ in any way that you want. And talking about want, should we not really be talking about wants like these?

I hope that you enjoyed reading my take on this subject which was chosen by Shackman, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where five of us write on the same topic. The four other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok gaelikaaMaxiShackman. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too! Ashok too is having prohlems with his blog being down and may or not participate this week.

19 thoughts on “All You Need Is……..”

    1. Unlikely. Hard copies unless they are not available on Kindle are already out but more important is to keep discarding the ones that I will not read ever again.

        1. All fiction bar one have gone. You still interested? The next to go will likely to be the psychology ones. Shall keep the philosophy /religion ones for the last.

  1. There are certain phrases I dislike because they are insufferably pretentious psycho babble: “Self actualization”.

    I do understand the concept behind it. And I won’t take it apart here. However, we all “actualize” ourselves. In as many different ways as we are different people.

    I disagree with your assumption that, at a certain age, “all needs are taken care of”. And only “wants” left to attend to. Not necessarily so.

    You are right:: As life winds down there is an increasing desire to ‘simplify’. I see this with my parents. I see it with friends older than myself. Shedding, shedding, shedding. My own life has always been simple in as much as I dislike the superfluous. That which doesn’t enrich. Which is why I miss my garden.

    The Angel, at the other end of the age spectrum, just starting out, yet him already fearing running out of time (which I think rather a pity. I never thought like that at age 22. Still, his might be a better approach to tackling life than mine), he is one of the most minimalist people I know. Sure he does have his Marshall sound what’s it and a snazzy camera I can only dream of but whilst his ‘needs’ he has covered, his wants are minimal. Yes, I know: He is perfect.

    Ursula recently posted..Voice

    1. Perhaps it did not come out clearly that I too detest that phrase. Unfortunately, it is the one that is most understood or misunderstood and so I use it. I again must apologise for not making it clear. I meant that in India, where the strong family ties are still intact, and domestic saving rates are very high, for the middle and upper classes all needs are indeed well taken care of and for most lower income groups the family is the only institution that still takes care of the needs of the elderly. It can be different in the West and increasingly it is becoming clear that domestic debt is beginning to cripple all economies of the West, where my observation may indeed be off the mark to some extent.

  2. “All We Need Is Love” is certainly a grand romantic statement but not something that would keep the boat afloat for a very long trip. I don’t see the supposition having much application at this point in my life personally. Well perhaps one thing… all I ever need are my medications at this point. 🙂

    But… if I were to look back toward the beginnings of my life there are two things that come to mind. One is that one needs two committed and loving parents to raise them from cradle to fledgling and secondly one needs a good education.
    Alan G recently posted..A Show of Force….

  3. I do my best to simplify my life, but other people and unexpected events will insist on making it more complicated. Like the door hinge suddenly breaking on the freezer, having to buy a new freezer, the new freezer malfunctioning for several days etc. Sometimes I think living in a mountain cave would be simplicity itself, but no doubt that would also be complicated by intruding wildlife, falling rocks and food shortages.
    nick recently posted..Going unheard

  4. I had a poster on my wall that read, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY.

    I was visiting Tom in New Haven where My Fair Lady was being done as a pre-Broadway test (so to speak).Tom had tickets but I wanted to see a 2nd rate movie in French. He went late with this roommate.
    In our town we WERE the Joneses. “No more competition to keep up with the Joneses” see post. In our town we WERE the Joneses & our name was Jones.

  5. wow.
    a tour de force for the simple life rummy.
    and as you know… i live it and love it.
    they begin early in this country… going into debt for an expensive engagement ring that they’ll be paying off most of their early marriage.
    then they go in debt for the biggest house they can find… the best and latest car… then they may or may not have kids… usually they do. then one of them loses their job. or gets bored being married.
    and wham. another divorce. one wonders if they were just taught very early … the value of living a simple life… all that pain would be for naught. great post. sorry. my comment. ALWAYS TOO LONG.
    the little box here is deceiving!
    tammyj recently posted..oh to live in a land

    1. Household Debt in the West is causing more problems than what is being publicly discussed Tammy. And with unemployment and unemployability mounting, things are likely to get worse before they get better.

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