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“The most common mistake people make is believing the term ‘luxury’. It’s become an excuse for a lack of common sense and invariably stands for over-priced, poorly considered products, whether it’s a hotel, an apartment block, a handbag or a holiday.” -British designer Jasper Morrison
The beautiful quality of focusing on simple luxury is that careful attention is paid to ease and comfort which luxury is intended to provide. By definition, luxury is the state of great comfort and extravagant living, but as Morrison points out in his above quote, too often the first half of the definition is forgotten, and often people go about seeking luxury as a way of defining themselves to the world paying no real mind to the ease at which such luxury is supposed to bring into their lives. For example, haute couture is certainly seen as a luxury, but if when you purchase your tailored made dress for $40,000, you are not at ease because you are debt up to your ears, it is not luxury. So you see, true luxury to one person, may be creating internal stress and a deep dive into debt which is not, by definition, luxurious.
However, on the other hand, if you choose to live in a smaller home rather than a large estate, and in so doing you create a lifestyle that instills a sense of ease and tranquility allowing you to live well, then you are choosing true luxury even though to the outside world it may seem meek.
Last year I made a list of 36 examples of true luxury, and today I’d like to take a look at what true luxury is not. As I mentioned above, true luxury will vary from person to person based on your circumstance and personal preference, but the key is to always remember what true luxury is: great comfort paired with seemingly (to the outsider) extravagant living. Now, yes, since we defined luxury, we should also define extravagant – exceeding what is needed or appropriate. But when we choose a simply luxurious life, and hone in on attaining true luxury, then while the Lanvin flats we purchased may seem excessive to outsiders, we know that we have fewer items in our closet, thus saving up to invest in quality over quantity, and we understand the concept of cost per wear. In other words, we have brought ease to our budget, ease to our self-confidence and comfort in the design of the shoe.
True Luxury Is Not. . .
1. Owning or renting an apartment/a house that eats up too much of your budget, leaving you to not enjoy the everyday
I am always amazed at the amount of space or neighborhood many assume is necessary to live well. While it may be nice to live in a large place or in a locale that is the creme of the crop in your particular town, if living in this particular manner exhausts your budget to the point where you are merely working to pay the mortgage and very little else can be enjoyed, reassess. Remember, true luxury involves creating a life of comfort and ease, not stress and exhaustion. Click here to discover more benefits of living in a smaller home.
2. Keeping up with others’ expectations or definition of “the good life”
When we choose to follow others we let go of trying to discover ourselves, and thus we let go of the best way to attain a truly fulfilling life. The others we admire may indeed be living a life of true luxury, but if we simply pattern our lives after what they have done, we ignore the unique person we are and talents we can offer. Choose to live a life that sits well with you at night, a life that makes you want to pinch yourself not because others are applauding because you are content with yourself and your life choices.
3. More food, clothes, friends, money, cars, square footage
In early 2013, I wrote in-depth on the topic of less actually being the more that we seek. In other words, often by seeking more, we think it will bring us greater joy, comfort, fulfillment and pleasure, but ultimately, all that “more” does is breed more stress, clutter, drama and a thicker waistline. Anything we bring into our lives or help foster should be done with the attention to create a life of quality – worthwhile friendships, a body that can carry us through anything, enough money to bring comfort as we live within our means, transportation that is necessary, efficient and affordable and clothes that makes us feel our best and will last for many seasons.
4. A handbag from the top design house of the moment
If choosing a particular handbag is being primarily motivated by the need to show the outside world that you have [insert designer name here]’s latest creation on your arm, then reassess. While many top designers do indeed make quality, life-long lasting designs, there are some who do not. Choose a bag because it will last, will work well with your life and you love it.
5. Visiting Paris or New York City, if such destinations don’t interest you
While I don’t fit into this category, I know not everyone finds pleasure and exhilaration in large metropolitan areas. So it is important to seek out destinations that garner your attention and curiosity each time you read about them in the travel section in your local paper. Paris and New York have perfected the marketing approach which endlessly draws tourists, and this is wise as tourism is necessary to support a significant part of their cities’ budgets. But again, it’s about understanding yourself, being honest with yourself and then moving forward on your authentic path.
6. More responsibilities and power positions
With more responsibilities comes more power and potential respect; however, we must choose the responsibilities we welcome into our lives carefully in order to do a quality job. After all, we are human, and in order think clearly, make sound decisions and respond and lead with poise and assuredness, we must have time to take care of ourselves and rejuvenate regularly.
Understanding how to welcome true luxury into our lives involves knowing what to say no to as well. By getting to the core of what each decision will bring into our lives, we can better be able to accurately access what will and what won’t bring more ease and comfort into our everyday living. I don’t know about you, but now that I have looked at the “Not” list, I’m going to go check out the “What True Luxury Is . . . “ list and begin seeing how to bring even more simple comfort into my life.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
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