Becoming Content With Less

A famous pollster says Americans are learning to live within their means, but I’m not one of them.

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When I received a copy of The Way We'll Be by pollster John Zogby, I couldn't believe some of his predictions. First of all, he says that we'll become more "Zen-like" as we learn to work at home and realize we don't want to spend hours of each day stuck in traffic. In his world, yoga may become as ubiquitous as McDonald's is now. In terms of spending, Zogby says Americans are learning their limits. Instead of fantasizing about owning a mansion, we're learning to be content with the two-bedroom condo that we can actually afford. (I recently wrote about how living more simply has also become "cooler," which seems to be a related phenomenon.)

I wish I could say that I embrace that new attitude in my own life, but for me, it's a struggle. I still want what I can't have. I'd really like to be able to afford a house, such as the three-bedroom one my parents bought when they were my age, but that will likely elude me for years. Still, I check online listings once a week and watch "for sale" signs in my neighborhood closely, even though the homes are all out of my price range.

What about you—do you feel content with what you have, or do you find yourself wanting more? If you've achieved this "Zen-like" existence that Zogby describes, please give me advice on how to join you.

(My full interview with Zogby will be posted tomorrow.)