THE BLOG

Find Your Personal Luxury

09/06/2013 03:06 pm ET | Updated Nov 06, 2013
  • Jeff Cannon Author/American Monk/Founder Simple Truth Project

Luxury is not about money. It is about living a truly authentic life. Contrary to what you may think, luxury products were not created to drive revenue. They were created to help people live a more comfortable life. Today, thanks to technology, that level of comfort is more readily available to anyone who wants to embrace it. Not through some new gadget, buy by just slowing down and enjoying the beauty that exists in a life simply lived.

Don't think you have the time? Read on...

Living simply is not a new idea. It is as old as time. It is just that today's simplicity is not the same as it used to be. Nor is the idea of luxury. Somewhere along the line people got distracted with the idea that having "more" was the same as having "better." It is not. Just ask anyone wallowing in credit card debt. Ask anyone fighting to keep a job they hate to pay a mortgage they don't want and a lifestyle they lost interest in long ago.

You see, true luxury is about authenticity, and you cannot create authenticity simply by buying more. Nor can you create it by buying the most expensive items or by trying to keep up with the latest and greatest that someone else told you was a "must have" for the season.

Luxury is not a matter of more. It is not even about less. True luxury is, and always has been, about creating an environment that liberates your aspirations. This means removing the distractions so that everything around you supports your life, the way you want to live it.

Do not mistake this for living a Spartan life or the life of an ascetic. It is not about reducing for the sake of reducing. Living a simple life is about removing the distractions that prevent you from being who they truly want to be. What remains is your own personal luxury. The idea of giving away everything you own in order to be happy might have worked 2,500 years ago, but today the journey of life is about discovering the right balance between work and play, people and things to help you create a life that is authentically yours -- the life you were meant to live.

I know when I mention the word luxury some of you may picture a Patek Philippe Sky Moon watch or a Bentley Continental GTC. Others may think of a Chanel jacket or a private jet, but those things are baubles that, more often than not, end up weighing you down. They can get in the way of personal luxury if you let them. You see, true luxury is not found in a catalog. It is not about brandishing someone else's logo. It is not about being the first to have whatever the latest marketing campaign is pitching. True luxury is a very personal idea. True luxury is about creating the life that you want to live. True luxury is about being authentically you and being able to liberate your aspirations in your own personal way. True luxury is about creating the right balance in your life so that you have time for the things that matter most.

Those watches and jets and cars and McMansions all cost time, not just the time it takes to amass their asking price, but the time it takes to maintain them and to dote over them. They demand your time as you cherish them and adore them.

It is one reason that time has become the new gold standard. After all, there is only so much time in the world. More cannot be created. It cannot be sold or traded. It can only be drawn upon, and the less you waste on the distractions of life, the more you have to spend creating a life that is truly yours; and that is a true luxury few can afford.

Today, the world has 24/7 access to you through technology. Work has become a non-stop schedule, unbounded by office walls. Staying grounded in all of this is the only way for you to create a life that is authentically yours. Only when your find YOUR own balance can you create the kind of simplicity that you need to be happy. Regardless of how much money you have or how many baubles you might cherish, learn to simplify your life and you will learn the value of a minute. That is when you can begin to make every minute count.

The next time you think about spending or splurging, do not think about the money it will cost. Think about the time it will demand of you. Think about what you could have been creating in that time. Would it have been real relationships with the real people in your life, like family, friends and even yourself? Would it have been better spent refining your world in a way that supports, nurtures and helps you grow?

When you are able to see the objects in your life in terms of the time they demand, you will understand the true value of a 20-minute nap. You will understand what it cost you to be home so that you could hug your son or daughter, husband or wife. That is true luxury. That is the real reward that balance and simplicity afford.

In the end, success and affluence and luxury is not about showing off the latest gadget. It is not about having a bigger car or larger house. It is about being able to manage your time and your life, YOUR way.

Take the time to evaluate what is important in your life and let that be the guideline, not just for happiness, but for living a rewarding, successful, and yes, luxurious life.

What, don't you have a minute to do that?

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