Epicurus wanted to examine the things he thought he needed so he could determine which of them he could in fact live without. He realized that in many cases, we work hard to obtain something because we are convinced that we would be miserable without it. The problem is that we can live perfectly well without some of these things, but we won’t know which they are if we don’t try living without them. —William B. Irvine
Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus would have his hands full in modern times if he wanted to spread his philosophy. We live in the world in which you feel you deserve to have luxuries. In fact,they’re no longer considered luxuries but necessities because most people mistakenly think they can’t live without them.
The problem with mistaking luxuries for necessities is that it’s impossible to develop powerful self-discipline if you need a lot just to function.
How is a person who believes that they need to eat empty calories in the form of burgers, pizzas, or white bread supposed to lose weight? How likely is that an individual who thinks that it’s necessary to lease a new car every two years will exert enough self-discipline to save money and “deprive” himself or herself of what they consider a basic human need?
Periodically try living without something that you consider a necessity. You’ll benefit in several ways .
First, you’ll voluntarily put yourself in an uncomfortable situation that will help you expand your comfort zone and develop your mental resilience.
Second, you’ll discover whether you really need this thing in your life — and if you find you don’t, it will provide food for thought as to how many other things in your life are in fact not as important as you thought they were. This can then help you eliminate the unessential from your life
and free up additional resources to focus on what’s important.