I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.Blaise Pascal
I think old Blaise might have hit the proverbial nail on the head.
We have more because we do not have the time to learn to live with less.
This story from the New York Times is about someone with exactly that problem.
Graham Hill, the founder of TreeHugger.com was one of those very bright people who made a great deal of money starting up and selling an internet company. For more money than most of us will ever make in our lifetimes.
What does a young man with virtually unlimited funds do? Go on a shopping spree, of course! In fact, he hired his own shopper to do all the boring stuff — he just pointed to polaroids and nodded to bring more stuff into his life. A big apartment in New York AND a large house in Seattle. Plus everything you need to live in those places.
But then he needed to hire people to look after his stuff. Because looking after his stuff was a job. And he didn’t have time to do it.
My house and my things were my new employers for a job I had never applied for.
It took some time, but Graham stopped worrying about owning things and concentrated on doing things. Now he lives in 420 square feet in New York.
I’m still a serial entrepreneur, and my latest venture is to design thoughtfully constructed small homes that support our lives, not the other way around….My space is small. My life is big.
His newest venture is LifeEdited — a way to help other people live smaller and better.
In the end, I don’t think it’s a case of not having enough time to learn to live with less. I think a change like that — like we are making — calls for a shift in priorities. And that is probably a very good thing.