Subtracting Leads to Adding

In our consumer-driven world, we are flooded with enticing advertisements that promise us happiness, power, and a better life if we buy these products.  Success in this consumer world means financial wealth rather than good character or playing the hand we are dealt. The phrase quality of life often refers to material wealth, not to the quality of one’s personal relationships.

God is not found in the soul by adding anything but by a process of subtraction.

Meister Eckhart

There is an alternative path.  On this path, material goods are just trappings to be used and shared but not to define us.  Our worth as a person is not measured by where we live or the clothes we wear.  Whether you drive an old jalopy or a hot sports car you are equally important.  The real ingredients of a quality life are not something you can buy.  

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

As a matter of fact, sometimes we need to subtract from our lives in order to create the space to add purposeful things that will bring us joy.  

The soul grows by subtraction, not addition.

Henry David Thoreau

Some things we may want to subtract from our lives:

  • Time on social media
  • Fast food
  • Clutter
  • Complaining
  • Jealousy
  • Overworking
  • Negative news on TV
  • Stress
  • Complacency
  • Regrets
  • Harmful friendships
Photo by Rachel Claire on

Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.

Benjamin Franklin

Over-exposing yourself to negative information can cause a lot of stress and depression.  Take action by cutting out watching too much news and limiting your social media usage. You do not need to prove yourself as “worthy.”  Your happiness should not be dependent on your possessions.  Make it a priority for yourself to focus on building relationships which will bring you more happiness and joy.  

Photo by Andre Furtado on

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: