Luxury… what is luxury? Recently I coined a term minimalistic “me-luxury” – everything I need and use, the exact things I want, and nothing more.
And it struck me that this concept was something that didn’t have just one known word to express it – it needed more words to be explained. And as such, it could be something that needed even more words to be understood (…AND taken advantage of! :) ).
So what is “me-luxury” and who is the mysterious “me”?
Well, my lovely, I don’t know how to tell you this, but… it’s YOU.
It’s you. It’s me. It’s your girlfriend. Your postman. Your cat. (But for the purpose of this article I’ll strictly stick to referring to humans, if you don’t mind. ;))
How is “me-luxury” different to just plain old luxury?
Luxury is a state of great comfort (or elegance).
But isn’t great comfort dependent on the person who’s defining it? What might be highly comfortable (and/or elegant) to me, might not carry the same meaning to someone else.
Yet when we say “luxury”, we think of it as defined by others: gold, million-dollar yachts and mansions that are so big, you could be spending each week in a different bedroom and not run out of rooms for six months.
But does that mean we should all aspire to what we’ve been told?
And do we ever stop and ask: would that even make me happy?
Because I know I don’t need a yacht and a gold car to make me feel luxurious.
Yet if I were defining luxury by some outside standards, I will most likely:
A. never get it, and
B. never be interested in getting it in the first place.
And what do we do if we’re not interested in something? We don’t think about it, we don’t question it, we don’t even bother to define it for ourselves.
Which is where a little problem appears.
If I don’t define what I want, I’m never going to set out to obtain it.
And so if luxury is something I don’t resonate with (not all of it anyway – foreign travels, delicious food and good service will always be on my list), then by not even thinking about it, I’m not going to improve my life to the standards that DO spark my interest.
It’s everything you want, deep down, and can imagine yourself actually enjoying. Not in some parallel world where you bumped into a Prince or a Princess as a younger self and you fell madly in love and now you’re royalty.
But in the world you find yourself now – what would make you FEEL really, really good?
It can start as small as you want and grow into as big wishes as your head can dream of.
Except first you need to ask yourself to define what is your version of “me-luxury” – one that you can resonate with, one that feels good, and one that fits your values, your lifestyle, your hopes and dreams.
Of course, it will inevitably keep changing. But if you keep reimagining what it means to you, what would it take to feel that state of great comfort (aka luxury), then you’ll find yourself obtaining it sooner than you previously thought possible.
Let’s put away Instagram-prepped pictures of “ideal life” that some blogger spent 3 hours doing their hair and makeup for, and even more time searching for props and waiting for ideal light to get that one perfect shot.
Instead, let’s focus on our lives now, just as they are, and start from there.
What could you make just a little bit better to make your everyday experience a bit easier, happier, more comfortable?
Start small, so that you can gain momentum.
But never stop asking yourself at the back of your head what is the bigger picture, the bigger vision you have that defines your own “you-luxury”. And keep upgrading your experiences and things, one at a time, in line with that bigger picture.
How could that look?
For me, I’ve defined my own version of minimalistic “me-luxury”. It’s everything I need and use, the exact things I want, and nothing more.
I do not like clutter and I enjoy cutting the 80%-of-things-that-we-rarely-use down to a minimum (in line with the 20-80 rule, where we use 20% of things 80% of time, and 80% of things 20% of time).
But it took me some time to get here…
Do you ever like an item of clothing in a store, but you think to yourself ‘damn it, I could buy a pair of trousers AND a blouse in a different store for the price of this pair of trousers’? I know I did that more than once. And in the past, I would’ve passed on something of good quality that I really liked, because I could get more for less.
But can you guess how this story ends?
I buy the cheaper pair of trousers (to be exact, I bought two), spend the same amount of money as I would’ve on that one that was exactly what I wanted. Then, for a few months, I keep wearing the two new pairs, all the while EVERY TIME I take them out of the cupboard I’m thinking ‘gosh, they are NOT what I wanted, I wonder how would that one pair I really liked look and feel on me today’. And it ends with me actually buying that one perfect pair a few months later and donating the two that I previously bought (because I’ve grown to hate them for that decision I took initially).
So all in all, I did get what I wanted, but it took me a few months to grow into this decision, to allow myself to want what I wanted AND to have what I wanted. And it cost me double the price (based on the two pairs I ended up donating).
In defining my “me-luxury” I promised myself I will not be making compromises like that and ending up with more things that I don’t fully love. I’d much rather wait, sometimes save up, and make better decisions, while owning fewer things, but things that ARE the exact things I wanted.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a process, but it happens in all areas of my life now. AND, it helps to decide not to ever buy anything on the spot. I usually take a day or two to sleep on my decisions, and if I still like and strongly want something in a couple of days, only then I get it. If I like something initially, but the next day I’m not so sure, that’s probably a no.
Same goes for kitchen equipment, furniture, electronics and just about anything material. Less is more, as long as you get only the stuff that you really truly want and love (and thus will use constantly). Quality over quantity – always.
And so I do not need to think about getting a gold car or a million-dollar yacht as a thing that would make me feel like I have luxury around me. I know that labels aren’t everything and while I do like a good spa day and that feels luxurious, the true me-luxury starts with much smaller things that make me feel good and comfortable. And it goes hand in hand with decluttering (it is SO worth making that a regular habit), so that you’re always on the lookout for the next thing that is becoming a bit dingy and needs an upgrade to make you feel better.
Find out what you want and gift it to yourself.
You might be surprised that what you actually want right now, things that will change the quality of your life, are not a helicopter, gold cars, or a mansion with a swimming pool, but things that are available to you now. Maybe just slightly outside of your comfort zone, but not as far out of it that you cannot imagine yourself being able to have it/do it/be it starting now.
(And no one said you can’t make bigger luxury goals your next steps. Once you figure out what you truly really want, you can start stepping into your own version of big goals without it feeling intimidating or parallel-life-unreal/impossible.)
Decide what it is you want specifically.
Focus on quality over quantity.
And start creating your own “me-luxury” life around you.
It might not be the big things just yet, but isn’t it better to have your life change little by little towards what you want, rather than to stay paralysed in the fear of how far away you are from your ideal life and change nothing?
One foot in front of the other. You’ve got this,
P.S. Did you ever make shopping mistakes similar to mine? What would be the next small thing that YOU could improve to increase your comfort? I would love to know! Leave a comment below. And if you enjoyed this read, do share it with your friends on social media. Thank you and till next time!