Being Content with Less

Do we need more, more and more to be happy? Or can we be content with less? Let this tale of someone who lives on $100 a month, despite being worth close to $1bn convince you it's the latter.

Being Content with Less

Happy Sunday!

Chinese actor Chow Yun-fat is an insanely successful actor, with talents that has helped him to accumulate a fortune of $714 million. Despite his success, he only lives on $100 a month. He uses public transport in his home city and he prefers to eat street food to meals at a restaurant. He has notably used the same Nokia phone for over 17 years and doesn't plan on replacing it until it's no longer functioning.

Yun-fat doesn't spend much on clothes either, as he much prefers purchasing second-hand clothes from a charity shop – a world away from most A-list celebrities. Yun-fat says that "I don't wear clothes for other people. As long as I think it's comfortable, then it's good enough for me."

Despite his success and incredible wealth, he plans to give it all away to charity and has recently set one up with his wife.

There's something refreshingly humble about a man that can afford to buy pretty much anything he wants and spend without limit, yet chooses to live a life of relative modesty. He's someone who knows himself well and is secure enough to challenge preconceived notions of what it means to be an A-list celebrity. He takes a stoic approach to the way he lives his life.

Modern societies (particularly in the west) leads us to believe that we need more and more to be happy. But people are beginning to realise that this isn't the case. Once our basic needs have been met, the extra utility we receive from having more diminishes sharply – we'll be better off turning our attention to other things, than focusing on obtaining more material goods.

Many are very happy living this life of modesty, despite their wealth. Take for example, Ronald Read, who was a janitor that amassed an $8 million fortune by consistently investing in large and recognised companies throughout his life. Companies such as AT&T, Bank of America, GE and General Motors. He lived a life of relative simplicity and bequeathed his $8 million fortune to charity upon his death.

If everyone lived like Chow Yun-fat and Ronald Read, some argue that the global economy will collapse. I disagree. I think it would mean that there's more to go around to help those who are most vulnerable in our society, on a global scale.

Next time you see people flaunting their wealth, remember that wealth is what you don't see. If we spend our lives doing what we can to help others, instead of chasing more, more and more – we would create a far better society.

Have an awesome week ahead,

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