“Happiness is not found in things you possess, but in what you have the courage to release.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne

This took me a long time to understand. I admit, I grew up a spoiled child, caught amidst the greed of material superficiality yet torn in between letting that go and embracing the finer things in life. I had always likened the idea that more is good, more equals success, more means happiness. I was wrong. And I knew it because I started to feel the emptiness within.

So I tried to flirt with the idea of less is more. But it’s hard you know? Cos…I want that handbag, and this wallet, and this car and that and this and that. But it only gave me temporary happiness. Very temporary if I might add. And so I decided to experiment. I decided not to do any substantial shopping for 6 months. I decided to lay low on satisfying my wants and focussing on my realistic needs. I decided to embrace life for what it is and focus on the proper goodness – the things that would make me happy without being materialistic. I gave away half my closet, packed up boxes to give away to charity, and basically cleared the clutter. It felt good. And then I realised, happiness is not found in the things I possessed, but in the courage to give it all away. For once, I felt good about myself.

And now I want to make it a lifestyle. That was me 2 years ago. But we’re all a constant work in progress right? So I feel like I’m still evolving, always torn in between but trying my best to put the better judgment first. I finally realised what happiness is really about – it’s not about what you have or dramatising that effect, it’s about being able to just let it go at a snap of a finger and knowing all will be ok. It’s about not having attachment issues with the things that you can live without. It’s about looking at life with a bigger picture. It’s about having good values. It’s appreciating what you have. It’s about finding happiness within.

Ultimately I’ve learned a thing or two about letting go of the things/people that don’t make me happy and holding tight to the ones that do. It took a lot of courage. But I’ve felt more content since.

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