3 Principles for Living Better (Part 3- “Do” or “Have”?)

As I shared in part one and part two of this post, being vegan is about more than food. It’s about living better. For me, that means embracing minimalism, living peacefully, and “doing” more instead of “having” more. Of course, none of that is easy but it is about the journey, not the destination.

I am sharing these three principles in hopes you might find value in them along your own journey.


“Do” More versus “Have” More

We work so hard so we can buy things so those things can provide a better life for us, but what if we have it backwards? What if we are actually being trained to buy more things so we have to work harder to have a better life? Clearly, that is a terrible recipe. Working harder and harder for incremental improvements in your life… sucks.

Try this instead…

Focus on “doing” more instead of “having” more. My favorite example of this is the smart phone. I am a tech junkie and there is no device I love more than my smart phone. I always opt for the top of the line device regardless of price or features. At roughly $800 a pop every 18 months or so, it adds up quick, especially when you tack on all the accessories to make my device flashy and practical–the case, the screen protector, the extended battery, extra cords, new, faster car charger, better headphones, etc.

A problem with this is I can probably get by with a much lower-tech device. I don’t play video games or do graphic design on-the-fly so I don’t need the most powerful processor out there. I store my pictures and videos in the cloud so I don’t need the most memory. I am not even sure why I keep buying screen protectors. The only time my phone is not in my pocket, it is in my hand. I have never scratched a screen.

Those are minor issues, though. The big problem is this… I can’t tell you what phone I had four years ago. Whatever it was, it is obsolete now. It doesn’t matter. I will never reminisce about the features or apps I used to have three or four phones ago. What a waste of money. You know what I will remember, though? Almost for sure, I will never forget the vacation I took with my family to Punta Cana. For the cost of 2 forgettable toys, I have memories that will never fade.

I will never forget the first trip to Savannah Nicole and I made. I won’t remember or care about what television shows I watched the week before that, but I will always remember the fried creamed corn nuggets we had and our many walks through Forsyth Park.

Everything we do with our hard-earned money is a compromise. Every time you choose to “have” or “own” something, you are choosing not to “do” or “be” something. In other words, if you choose to buy a big screen TV, then you are choosing to forego putting that money toward learning a new sport, taking a vacation, or paying for yoga classes. If you learn yoga, you will always have it and it will always pay dividends. That TV, though, you won’t even remember what brand it was 20 years from now.

When you have the choice to “Do” something or to “Have” something, consider which one will bring more value to your life. Despite what commercials and media would have you believe, sometimes being a “have-not” pays better.


I hope the 3 Principles for Living Better gave you something to think about or encouraged you to stay on track. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog, share a post with your friends, or talk about this stuff with your loved ones (please and thanks!).

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