The less you have…

September 1, 2018


I am addicted to security.

To the illusion of security, that is. Security doesn’t actually exist in any real sense. No matter how much you accumulate, or how much you feel protected, anything in life can vanish in an instant. We all know this. Yet many of us live our lives as though it were one constant pursuit of security.

It’s garden variety fear, of course. And it holds us back from living the lives we were meant to live. Yet it’s a difficult thing to shake.

Take my present work situation as an example. I currently work for a company that is going through a period of significant turmoil and I could get laid off in the coming months. The rational side of me knows that even if that happened, everything would be fine. It might even be the best thing for me to have the security blanket torn away. Otherwise I might just keep clinging to it with this conflicted death grip I have going on.


But security is a strange thing. For those afflicted with this disease, it runs deep in our psychology, all the way to the root of our survival instinct.

Yesterday on a bike ride with my family, after a challenging week of work and several days of running hard and losing myself in the stressful narratives, time slowed down and I was able to pay attention and notice things again.

And in an instant, graced by one of those simple epiphanies, it occurred to me. I have habituated myself to amass, to build up, to accumulate as though that will give me security, which deep inside I’ve linked to a belief that this will bring comfort and fulfillment. And of course it won’t.

But that unconscious belief has it more wrong than I even realized. Because in my experience, when I really pay attention, I have noticed that the less you have, the more you appreciate the little things.

The more you’re able to appreciate the little things, the more content you are.

If that’s the case, why fear losing things at all?