That’s one of my new favorite quotes this year. Which aligns perfectly with my 2013 resolution of “Keeping it simple.” ‘Cuz unlike 80% of you guys out there, I’m actually still working on my new years goal! (oooooooooh ;))
But as much as I love this quote by Epictetus, whoever he may be, I also feel like it’s lacking some stuff. Or, a LOT of stuff even – depending on your definition of “wealth.”
If wealth = general happiness, then yeah – it’s spot on. And I’m guessing that’s what he was going for with this ;) The less wants you have, the more you’re thankful for and can appreciate those things you already have. Not to mention lessening the chance of being consumed by greed.
But if wealth = having lots of money like most of us find it to mean, well, just having few wants ain’t gonna get you there all the way. Though it does help you to curb your consumer spending. Assuming, of course, these few wants aren’t for things that cost a pretty penny! Like owning an NFL team or something of that nature, haha… (“All I want in life is to own the Redskins! That’s it!”)
So if I may, I’d like to add onto this beautiful little quote here and help clear some stuff up. Just in case Epy really did mean wealth as in wealth-wealth. AKA a $hit ton of money.
Here’s the quote again:
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
And here are my additions:
“… and also saving tons of money
… and investing tons of money
… and working hard so that you can make all of this money which you will then subsequently save and invest
Haha… Much more succinct, don’t you think? :) In all seriousness though, it’s a brilliant quote and one that sticks with you longer than usual helping you to keep on track. Or at least me on track.
There really is a lot of beauty in focusing your desires and not over-extending, and this pertains to both our finances and our lives in general. If you’re not happy with what you’ve currently got, you’re not gonna be much happier with anything more.
So preach on, dear Epictetus. Thanks for keeping it simple!
[Nice photo collage by curiouseth]