How to get Everything you want (11)

I’m back with Part 11 of How to get Everything you want.

I bought a painting this afternoon. Well, actually I’d just deposited because I didn’t bring enough money. I will show you when I bring it home, I promise. For now I’m working around my cash flow spreadsheet to find room for the painting (personal finance itself is a huge topic, I’m still trying to manage my money better and will surely write about it later).

I talked to the gallery’s owner while browsing around:

– I like this painting. The artist must have liked (looking out of) windows enough to paint a window and the colorful life outside. I love looking out of windows too, I take pictures of windows and the outside world all the time. Let me show you some of my pics.

– Actually I painted the piece – he said – and I think we have something in common.


(This is one of my windows pictures)

In short, maybe because we had something in common, the artist named an almost unreal price for a very original and sensational (and huge) piece of art – $xxx – “Just for fun, I like that you like it!”, he said.

Still, it was not cheap at all according to my paycheck. Sometimes people do say –Why arts while you still have to worry about making a living? – And maybe (just maybe) they are right. Nevertheless, let me take my chance today to convince you (and to remind myself) to live an artful but affordable life (while working hard to get everything we want).

But first, let’s revise our journey until now:

How to get Everything you want (THEN WHAT?)

Part 1: Every (great) thing in life starts with a vision. Create your vision!

Part 2: Count what you have AND what you don’t yet have; be grateful for both!

Part 3: Take a walk

Part 4: Create your A—>B agenda. Stick to it.

Part 5: Do your homework. Research. Get to know-how (at least theoretically).

Part 6: Differentiate between pure fairy tales and ambitious (but doable) dreams.

Part 7: When you get stuck, unplug yourself from work for a while, go out and enjoy life. Set yourself time to come back to work.

Part 8: DO your best everyday (for yourself first), the rest will come.

Part 9: Select the people that you keep (closely) around yourself.

Part 10: Be patient while accumulating (please don’t be patient sitting there doing nothing).

Trust me, life can get really stressful and even meaningless if you think too much and work too hard all the time. That’s why Step 11 is very important, here it is:

Part 11: Be happy living frugally, then (one day) you can have it all and will still be happy, then (one day) you may lose everything and will still be happy.

You don’t have to agree with me but I strongly believe that – Whatever we do, in order to get more money, relationships, power, freedom, etc. – will only matter if we are gonna be happy in the end. There’s a high chance that you will get what (you think) you really want and don’t feel happy (for long) at all.

Ironically, happiness and contentment do not cost a lot. We can get so much more for so much less. And who am I to tell you that? I (don’t just travel but) move around a lot – I learn from it and I want to share my experience with you, take it as an example and design your own artful-life formula.

My magnificent life (including my glamorous walk-in wardrobe and artworks) needs to fit perfectly into 2 big suitcases. After a decade of packing and unpacking, I’m quite confident to say that I’m now quite good at making life pleasant without possessing a lot:

Less is more 

Many of us (including my younger self) get it wrong all the time. “Less is more” doesn’t mean living cheaply, it means do not buy things that give you burdens and/or distractions; buy things that you need and/or give you inspirations; then you’ll have more space & ideas in your head for more important stuff.

Eat well. Sleep well. Get a good health insurance.

Eat well: Don’t eat too much. Eating too much brings you nothing but diseases. Spend some time and money online or with a doctor to build some healthy diets with ingredients that are easy to source. Spoil yourself on weekends.

Sleep well: Prayers (and a nice bed) guarantee you a good sleep almost every night.

Health insurance: I’d spent few years of my life under depression & being physically ill, I had some experience – the most economical way to get medical and psychological treatments is to get a good health insurance. A good health insurance is a life saver every time, you never know what might happen. Also, don’t work for any employer who doesn’t pay for your health insurance.

Ask for help 

It’s nothing shameful about asking for help from friends, partner, family, coaches or even psychologists (just try your best not to ask for money).

Time is the most valuable thing, not Money

In fact, Money is only a tool to trade values. Waste your time only when you feel like wasting it (and you should, life’s too short). Otherwise, focus on making things happen and delivering values to the world (guess what, money will follow).

Do things the ways you like WITH consideration of opportunity costs.

I’m a very complicated person with very specific needs – I don’t drive, I don’t like to sleep on a modest bed, I don’t like to live in an ugly house, etc. Sounds scary? Well, if I wanted to live the ways I wanted, I’d have to (1) make enough money (2) sacrifice other spendings (3) find a job that supplies some of the needs (4) build my own business(es) that function the way I want. Simple, however easier said than done.

The house

A big house is a house, a small house is a house. YOUR house is THE house. Buying a house when you still have to think about money is like tying your own hands (and legs). Unless you want to settle, give a nice rented apartment a few years try.

My definition of My house: lots of natural light, my favourite paintings & sculptures, a good bed and nice scents. How much do those things cost? A lot of effort and not a lot of money. YOUR house is THE house. Make it YOUR house. 

Audrey Hepburn? I have lots of respect for her, but you don’t go on red carpet everyday do you?

Do you notice that only cheap clothing stores stock a lot of clothes on their racks? In other words, be expensive – You should be able to stock all your killers in a suitcase and go on killing. The secret is: Own a few high quality and timeless and comfortable stuff.

With all my worship to fashion, I swear to God these are all I often carry with myself when I move around: The men shirts (to me women shirts are waste of money), the jeans, the black heels, the black flats, the dark leather bags (small, med, big, enough), the silk dress, the linen dress, the cotton dress, the cashmere sweaters, the linen scarf, the cashmere scarf, the formal attires, the gown, the trench coat, the black blazer, the big sunglasses, the big hat.

The most expensive painting on earth

My favourite part of this article – Why arts while you still have to worry about making a living?
"Onement VI" by Barnett Newman is on dis

This is the most expensive painting on earth – It was sold for $37,125,000

Make your own judgement. The point is – The most powerful meaning of (even) the most expensive artworks on earth is to give you a pleasant state of mind. I buy paintings (which I really like) because they make me feel good looking at them and give me inspirations to do things. And you don’t even have to buy anything, just go to a museum or paint yourself the most expensive painting on earth if you would like to.

Buy things that gain value over time 

A diamond is an excellent example – Why diamonds are better than a saving account? Not (only) because a diamond represents a forever love (such naive belief), but a diamond is literally a DOUBLE saving account. I mean, who would see your saving account and praise it everyday? Plus saving accounts in most local currencies will just lose their values to inflation. If you do have your $10k saving account, get rid of it and go buy a big fat happy diamond (and an insurance, you never know). Sell the stone when you need money (or when you have grown apart from it).

Go online happily 

Block everything and people that annoy you. Don’t read news everyday, they’re toxics.

Invest in yourself, protect your heart

F**KING OWN YOUR LIFE: Make plans, love, work, play, learn, read books, party, whatever and make it clear: NO GOOD HEART TO JERKS (you’ll meet a lot of them).

– Skye 


2 thoughts on “How to get Everything you want (11)

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