Downsizing the American Dream

Downsizing the American Dream 

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Most of us are searching for a better life in one form or another. We work our butts off in school to land a big firm job; we shape a reputation as a big player in the industry; finally we build the big fantasy home we’ve always imagined.

Small just doesn’t fit into the American dream. We’re too busy leaving our mark and making a name for ourselves to be concerned with the small stuff. But small is beautiful. A refreshing change from a culture obsessed with making it big.

And sadly, this dream doesn’t deliver on all fronts. The bigger you get, the harder it is to maintain the status and lifestyle you’ve spent your life chasing. Many people come to identify themselves by their success, and when their life comes tumbling down, they don’t know who they are.

Let me suggest another way: smaller. Small is unique, compact, simplified. There are countless examples of small stuff that delivers better results:

  • Smaller cars burn less gas. They keep you in less debt, use less resources, are more fun to drive. And you can slip into that tiny space nobody else dares.
  • Smaller homes simply cost less. Less upfront payment, smaller energy bills, fewer repairs. Plus, they take up less space.
  • Smaller towns make a better community. Centralized shops and close jobs require less traveling – saving you time and money.
  • Smaller companies are more responsive. They have to be, large companies are often cheaper, small businesses must stand out in other ways. To compete, they must be more efficient – less waste, better product.
  • Smaller groups offer more accountability. Memberships is more personal, often creating a strong sense of group identity. Plus, with fewer people to please, they make decisions more quickly.
  • Smaller posts and articles can be read speedily. Letting you get the information you want faster and easier.
  • Smaller meals regulate energy levels. And small, frequent meals stave off hunger, keeping you from that mid-afternoon binge. If that’s not enough, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day by revving up your metabolism.
  • Smaller egos are refreshing. Everyone, it seems, is stuck on themselves. Selfless people seem to be happier, too. Maybe it’s because they are more compassionate and quicker to make friends
  • Smaller to-do lists let you spend more time doing what you love. Going, going, going leaves you feeling bored and stretched thin. Let go, focus on getting fewer things done well.