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Often we’re told at a very early age that we have to suffer now – give up want we want – so that we can succeed later in life, that in order to save we must prepared to make some sacrifices. Give up instant gratification to get delayed gratification down the line.

But you can do both, as I mention in the opening paragraph of this post – you must prepared to make some scarifies.

Forever since I can remember, I was confused about this, which sent me two different messages:

1.Pleasure later. The first message was that in order to be successful, in order to build wealth and make something of yourself, you have to delay gratification. As my mom will always say “you can’t have your cake and eat.” – I never really understood what she meant by that up until I started living on my own.
2.Pleasure now. The second message was usually from other sources on happiness, but sometimes from the same source: enjoy life now, while you can, because it’s short and you never know when your last day will come. Live every day like it’s your last.

The funny thing is, I agree with both messages. And if continue to read this post, you’ll see that I touch on both messages. Live sparingly and simply! But also enjoy life.

Liuda (fiancée) and I have come to a point in our lives, where we’ve decided to make the all necessary sacrifices in other for us to own our home; so we’ve reconciled the two ways of life into one: Live life now and enjoy it to the fullest — without destroying our future. we find ways to enjoy life completely, utterly, maximally … that don’t cost our future very much.

Here are some tips for actually living that philosophy:

Find free or cheap pleasures. Sparingly does not have to be boring or restrictive … if you use your imagination. Be creative and find ways to have fun — loads of it — without spending much money. Have a drink-ups at friends homes, go to the beach, board games, take field trips , make art, bake cookies 🙂 … there are maybe a hundred of different things you could come up with a few hundred more. Make a list of simple pleasures, and enjoy them to the maximum.

Make simplifying fun. I’m a big fan of simplifying my life in every way, from decluttering to creating a simple lifestyle. And to me, this is fun. I get rid of stuff (and possibly make money selling it) and have a blast doing it.

Rediscover what’s important. Too often we spend tons of money, shopping, going out, watching television, eating out … without really enjoying life. And when we stop to think about it, we never have time for the things we really want to do. Well, that’s probably because your life is filled with things that aren’t very important to you. Instead, take a few steps back and really think about what’s important to you. Then get rid of the other (expensive) stuff, and focus on what’s important.

Make people a priority. I thought I’d give it a little more emphasis, as this is related to the above point. If you give “stuff” a priority — stuff like gadgets, nice furnishings, nice clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. — then you will spend a lot of money. But if you make people a priority — the people you love most, you close friends and family — you don’t need to spend a dime to enjoy life. Talk about books you’ve read, movies you’ve watched, new things going on in your life, your hopes and dreams. And make time for your kids or your significant other — really spend time with them, doing things that don’t cost money.

Track your successes. It doesn’t really matter how you track your success … you can use gold stars for creating a new simplifying habit, or use a spreadsheet chart to track your decreasing debt and increasing savings or investments. Tracking is a great way to not only provide motivation, but make the process of changing fun.

Reward yourself. And in order to make it more fun, celebrate every little success! Set rewards for yourself (hopefully not too expensive!) along your path to success.

Find time for yourself. Make time every day, and every week, to spend time alone. It really gives more meaning and enjoyment to your life, rather than rushing through life with no time to think, to breathe. You need some “me time” everyday.

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A little trick I like to use to make my days much more pleasant is to find little, simple pleasures and include them throughout my day.

They’re not big things, but they each simple pleasure can translate to a great day if you use them right.

So in the morning, I might have a cup of (blows) tea, and sip it slowly to enjoy it fully. I might turn the radio to listen to the local news in Dominica. I might watch the sun come up from my apartment window, and marvel at the world in pastel colors.

These are little things, and don’t really cost a thing (or not much, anyway), but they are tremendously satisfying. I have just described some of the things I might do to start off my day, but the possibilities are endless, and can be done throughout the day.

I thought it would be fun to compile a list of my simple pleasures I enjoy nearly everyday, to give you all some ideas of what I mean, and to spark other ideas of your own. Of course, you can probably come up with a thousand more, and it should also be noted that one person’s pleasures aren’t always pleasures for others.

1. Fruitcake …mmmm.
2. Listening to good music on the bus to work.
3. Taking a long, relaxing shower.
4. Blows Tea bags (Peppermint)
5. Watching the sunrise.
6. Walking on the beach.
7. Titiri ackras
8. Snuggling in bed with your partner.
9. Watching the sunset.
10. Kubuli Beer
11. Being lazy on a Sunday.
12. Laughing jokes till your sides ache.
13. Pâté banane
14. Waking to a clean house.
15. An uncluttered room.
16. Hennessy V.O.S.P and ice.
17. Pillow fights.
18. Coconut cheese
19. Helping someone in need.
20. Making someone smile.
21. A nature hike.
22. Fresh Coconut water
23. Tamarind ball
24. Fresh Baked Bread (mastiff)
25. The feeling after a good workout.

What are a few of your favorite simple pleasures? Let us know in the comments.

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