Two Questions About Getting Back To Basics


We’ve been convinced that our basic needs include a plethora of conveniences. Think about your basic needs for a minute. Most of the things you consider needs today didn’t even exist 150 years ago. Let’s rethink basic.

Today’s post is another excerpt from my book, The Happiness Of Simple: Making Connections Between Happiness, Simplicity, And Productivity. I have two simple questions to ask. I’ll leave the answers to you.

Ask Yourself These Two Questions

  1. Am I truly happy with my life?
  2. What can I do to increase my happiness?

Perhaps these are trick questions. When you ask yourself if you’re happy, you usually begin to evaluate. Evaluation often leads to comparing yourself to others. This will never work. Evaluation also leads to accessing your material wealth. This will never work either.

The idea of increasing our happiness is problematic. We often think of success, money, mansions, and beautiful furnishings.  

What if we turned the questions upside down?

Try These Two Questions Instead

  1. Do I have the basic needs for living?
  2. What can I do to decrease what I don’t need?

This leads to another question: What are the basic needs for living?

Big corporations and advertisers have sold you a lie. Based on the images you see in the media, only the lucky few have enough. That’s no accident. 

Corporations want you to feel inadequate. Advertisers want you to believe that you lack something. It is on these premises that they gain the ability to sell you things that you don’t really need.

The constant bombardment of messages telling you that you’re not good enough take their toll. You begin to believe them. You begin to compare yourself and your life with the fantasy you see on the TV and the Internet. The cycle of achieving happiness through bigger cars and sexier partners begins. What if you tuned out the media and returned to the basics of life? 

What Are The Basic Necessities For Living

  • Air
  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Transportation
  • Employment
  • Communication
  • Relationships

If you’re honest with yourself, everything else is extra. I know what you’re thinking. The list is too sparse, stoic. Let’s revise this list to accommodate for your concerns:

  • Fresh air
  • Clean water
  • Healthy food
  • A comfortable and furnished shelter
  • Dependable transportation
  • Meaningful employment
  • Modern communication
  • Quality relationships

Is that better?

Keep in mind that quality relationships can include relationships with both people and God. Be careful of treating God as an external force. It’s only when we are able to find God within our own human spirit that we can begin to discover our true potential.      

Take Action: Make an inventory of what you believe your basic needs include. Compare that with what you have. Could having too much be causing you to be less happy?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this excerpt from my book, The Happiness Of Simple. If you’d like to read more, the book is free. There’s no signup required. Just click and read:

The Happiness Of Simple


Dan Erickson

Dan Erikson is the passionate voice behind Hip Diggs, where he explores the art of living simply and intentionally. With a keen eye for minimalism and its profound impact on our lives, Dan delves into topics ranging from decluttering spaces to decluttering the mind. Drawing from personal experiences and a deep appreciation for the minimalist ethos, he offers readers practical insights and actionable steps to embrace a more meaningful, clutter-free life. When he's not penning down his thoughts on Hip Diggs, Dan enjoys the serenity of nature, reading, and exploring the nuances of simple living in a complex world.

Articles: 253