Leo Babauta on consumerism — and how you really don’t need it to be happy.
I was reading a series in GQ called 10 Essentials where a designer or stylish celebrity names 10 things that are essential to them. I love the idea, but the lists seem like such tributes to luxury consumerism.
I’m the last guy that GQ would interview for this series (I have no sense of style, to start with), but it got me to thinking: what are my “10 essentials”?
And so I made a list:
1. What I wear: jeans. I love the thick texture of jeans. I wear them every day. Some people like synthetic fabrics because they’re lightweight and dry fast, but jeans are just comfortable. I only buy my jeans at Goodwill.
2. What I also wear: T-shirt. I only have a few — black, blue, and grey — but I wear them everyday until they get thin.
3. How I hydrate: water. I do drink coffee and tea, but neither compares to plain water. I drink from the tap, throughout the day.
4. What I love to eat: fruit. Fresh from the farmer’s market, or berries picked straight from the bush. Mmmm.
5. What entertains me: books. Any type. I get them used, from friends or the library.
6. My essential writing tool: a text editor. I’ll also take a pen and small notebook, especially if I’m out and about and feel like writing.
7. What I do for fun: walk. I like to go outside and just take in the city, or nature. I don’t even need shoes — barefoot walking is even more enjoyable. Even better: walk with someone I like.
8. Where I go for inspiration: nature. A nice park, a garden, a forest, the ocean, hills.
I ran out of things at this point — and the last couple aren’t exactly things. I really tried for 10 items but I can’t think of more. If I have the 8 items above, I’m very happy: jeans & t-shirt, water & fruit, a book and a notebook, a walk in nature.
I could live on just those items — of course I’d need other food for nourishment, but not much more. I don’t even need a computer — I could write in a notebook and use a computer at a library to post to my blog.
You don’t need consumerism to be very happy — in fact, I’d argue that life is better without it.
This article originally appeared on mnmlist
Photo credit: Tom Magliery/flickr