How about taking a challenge to follow a simple lifestyle and use just 100 items you feel are essential to live? Well! While this sort of a thing might seem to be the common man’s way of thinking; however, it is not so.
It is the latest fad of the rich and famous who have too much of everything. This new philosophy is internet-born and is creating waves with the rich and famous. This is called the “100 Thing Challenge” and promotes a simple lifestyle with no clutter.
New York may be considered the fashion capital, but California is the first to catch on with the fashionable fads and this idea has caught the imagination of the least frugal of all – the Hollywood stars!
This unique concept has been devised by a university computer executive, 37-year-old David Bruno, who came up with the challenge as a way to beat the recession as well as his own need for not letting junk pile up at his home. This San Diego resident started implementing his idea last year with about 400 of his personal items and talked about it on his personal website. He started discarding stuff and got rid of a whole lot of “unnecessary” things, such as his hiking boots, yoga mat, exercise bike, old PCs, woodwork tools, nasal hair trimmers, and a J Crew jacket, which was one of his favorites and on his last count, ended up with just 92 items. He does not consider “community property” as part of the challenge. What he terms community property are things like furniture that he shares with his wife and children, books etc. that belong to everyone. Even items such as underwear are not part of it. He says his aim is to get rid of consumerism and certainly not hygiene.
He even went to the extent of selling off his favorite camera on Craigslist, much against his wife’s wishes. He says, “I was the only person in the house to use it, but she was upset because I’d been taking pictures of our three daughters. And, yes, I loved that camera too, but I had to ask myself did I need it and the answer was no. That is what the challenge is all about.”
This novel idea seems to fascinate both men and women, but women say that it is easier for men to get rid of stuff than it is for women. One woman to the site argues that since women are judged on the way they are turned out, appearance matters, and they need a lot of things to keep themselves presentable, such as business suits for working women. This logic seems reasonable enough. However, jewelry and handbags are women’s items that are under dispute as these are not considered as essentials by the opposite sex. If you are a woman, I’m almost certain you would argue they are as necessary as clothing. But do men agree with this?
Bruno is pleasantly surprised at the popularity his idea has gained. What started as nothing but a personal challenge, spread across the internet so fast that wherever you go, you find people talking about it.
There was a poll recently that revealed a higher percentage of Americans spending less these days than they used to. Latest gadgets such as iPods and MP3 players help a great deal as they can store huge amounts of music. Then there are eBook readers that can hold titles in thousands. Photos are all stored in compute disks and the once quintessential wrist watch has been displaced by mobiles.
With so many multi-purpose gadgets at our disposal, things that were once essential are no longer needed. Many celebrities are taking this very seriously and Leonardo DeCaprio has told his friends that he would restrict to having just about 150 personal items.
This may be the new fad for Americans, but not so for the Chinese who always believed that clutter obstructs the Flow of Chi, which according to the Chinese is energy or invisible life force that flows through all living and non-living things. This is a major part of the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui. It says that chi needs to flow freely through the home in order to have a positive impact on the people living there and clutter is the biggest obstacle for chi. If there is too much clutter in the house, chi moves sluggishly, affecting the occupants. When we surround ourselves with objects that we regularly use and love, it encourages the normal flow of chi and keeps the occupants of the house happy. While loved items support and nurture us, unwanted junk has the opposite effect and their negative energy will pull us down.
Frankly, if we made note of the stuff we have accumulated over the years, each one of us is sure to find many items that are not essential to our survival. It may be painful to get rid of certain possessions that have been around for a while, but we can start by throwing away objects that have no particular meaning to us, and we may begin to feel better mentally and physically.
Are you game for this new challenge? What are the items you can or cannot live without?