Green Living – Made Simple

by Tess


Guest post from, "Simply Stephen, Green Living Made Simple!"

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cc Green Living Made Simple photo credit: Ryan Somma

I'm not hungry, I'm starving

In a previous post (One Brave and Amazing Teenager), Tess talked about her granddaughter Kenzie's desire to achieve. The wisdom of a simple statement “I'm not hungry, I'm starving” stood out.

Many of us talk about goals and dreams. We talk but never really do anything about it. We live vicariously through the success of others.

What do you think the difference is?

Okay, I've given it away. You have to be starving! What a great motivator. If you really want something you have to go out and get it yourself. Nobody is going to do it for you. You have to get up and make it happen and you have to want it.

A friend of mine attended a Donald Trump seminar and while interacting with the audience “The Donald” asked a participant what was stopping them. The conversation went something like this:

Audience member: Money. 

Donald Trump: What do you buy in the morning? 

Audience member: A latte from that big coffee chain. 

Donald Trump: How many? Do you buy anything else and at what price?

Audience member: A couple every day at $5 each. A croissant.

Donald Trump: So you spend $50 minimum a week on coffee and treats?

He then went on to say there are always solutions and the Latte Factor is the one obstacle that is getting in the way. If you stopped your Latte's for 6 months you would have the $1200 you need to invest in your project. It's all about desire.

What do you really want?

  • To buy your first house 
  • To finally take that trip to Europe
  • A quiet life filled with family and friends
  • Insert your dream here

Your dreams don't have to be material, but rather tangible and real

They have to be something you want – knowledge, pleasure, connection, happiness, community, success (as measured by you) or even love.

What is your latte factor?

Think about it. Stop making your excuses and start shooting for the stars. What's getting in the way? 

  • Money
  • Time
  • Energy  

Maybe, just maybe, it's passion and desire. Like Kenzie says you have to be starving to make it happen

No time like the present!

The Simply Stephen Network is a handful of websites dedicated to discovering simple solutions to everyday living. A desire to nurture and encourage – cultivated from his own direct life experiences Stephen's mantra "green living – made simple" is designed to cut out the fat and help you focus on what's important for you and the planet.

Follow Simply Stephen – Green Living Made Simple on Twitter and sign up at his blog so you don't miss a single update!

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    { 33 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jannie Funster January 27, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I love the idea of focussing on what’s important for the planet!

    And personally, I’d say energy is my biggest latte factor. I might do well to reallocate some blogging hours to guitar hours.

    However, there is another part of me that says I am doing great just being where I am at any given moment, and as long as my life energy comes from love and wanting to give to others I am right where I need to be. You know what I mean on that?

    And isn’t that house in the photo credit just gorgeous?? Such a boost to look at and appreciate all those plants and the love they get and give.

    Thanks Tess!!

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last post…(And I Thought “Leaven” Was Just A Bread-Baking Thing!!) =-.


    Peggy January 27, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I really love the principle of the Latte Factor – I use that example a lot to help others realize that they can pursue their dreams –

    I helped my oldest stepdaughter figure out how to save X by finding her latte factor. After nearly eight months of doing this, she and her fiance just closed on their first house :-)

    For me, when I found my latte factor, I grew my nest egg!

    But for my dream – it’s all about writing – so the doing of the writing is what I need time for. Applying the latte factor to time – I’m cutting back on my time wasters so that I can have more time to write :-)

    .-= Peggy´s last post…Struggle =-.


    Ruth - Web Career Girl January 27, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I loved the bit about the Latte Factor – it really makes you think. I certainly have aspects getting in the way, and although I have real tangible goals I guess I’m not *starving* for them since life is going along ok at the moment. But I should be starving for them!! There’s nothing wrong with enjoying life as it is right now but still be furiously working to achieve more. Thanks for the post – great first guest post!
    .-= Ruth – Web Career Girl´s last post…The Role of Fear for Bloggers, Internet Marketers, Self Employed =-.


    Gaga 4 Gaga January 27, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I like the picture there – reminds me when I went to the Eden Project (Cornwall, UK) where they have grass on the roof of one of the buildings there. Good insulator!
    .-= Gaga 4 Gaga´s last post…Lady Gaga – Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) – music video =-.


    Tess January 27, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I know exactly what you mean. It’s a fine balance where and how we spend our time. I’m logging my time on the computer in order to make better use of it.
    I also agree our main work is to learn how to love and there’s nothing more important than that.

    What a great gift you gave your step daughter. What wisdom. With that one thing you’ve helped her change her life. And congrats to her on the closing of her home. Write on!

    No we need to enjoy the journey and it’s not easy if were always working…balance my new blogging buddy. Welcome!

    Gaga 4 Gaga,
    Buy the way is she a marketing genius or what! Need to come and watch the video and see if I can gather any other tips to include in my plan. I’m not sure if she has the wow factor or the shock factor but either way the world knows who she is .


    Quinn January 27, 2010 at 11:28 am

    It is so true we really work for what we really want. Unfortunately what we really want is so often different from what we tell ourselves we want. We have to first be honest with ourselves in what we want and then be powerful and determined about what we need to sacrifice to get that.
    .-= Quinn´s last post…Getting my head in the game =-.


    Hilary January 27, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Tess – the Latte Factor is so true .. when I was growing up and starting my working life – I can’t remember going to coffee shops very often .. it seems a recent acceptable phenomena – and going back to accountability for one’s own life – saving for things.

    Re the green walls – I wrote a story in October about Sydney Harbour Bridge where they had a one day picnic, but also a London store Anthropologie’s opening – as they had an inside wall of plants .. as your stores are too in the States – the green walls and rooves are growing up!

    Just seen here .. one family who had one rubbish (medium) full of one year’s rubbish that had to go to landfill – the rest had been recycled .. and even some of that going to landfill could, I think, have gone to charity shops – puts all of us to shame.

    We could also get up 2 or 3 hours earlier to achieve more .. as a recent young successful guest blogger mentioned .. he had a good job too, and worked nights speaking .. he wanted to write a book – so made the commitment to get up early. After a while it was ‘normal’ and is now fine.

    Green living simple – here we come .. it’ll teach us so much for our future life, if we haven’t been living that way already…
    Thanks Tess – good points to consider ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    .-= Hilary´s last post…Haggis, Whisky and Poetry .. means only one thing "Robbie Burns" =-.


    Avani Mehta January 27, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    My latte factor is outside food. So I guess I need to starve to get what I am starving for ;)

    I like the concept of Latte Factor. Especially because it’s more about trading one thing for another rather than creating something from scratch.
    .-= Avani Mehta´s last post…10 Fabulous Motivators That Inspire You To Take Action – Part II =-.


    simply stephen January 27, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    @Tess First of all a big thank you for letting me guest post…I am honoured and what great comments.

    @Jannie …love really is all you need but a little “latte factor” and a lot of energy go a long way. Sometimes we do find we are exactly where we need to be…but if you stay there too long life can pass by. I always admire people that are so thankful for what they have. I think you must have the laughter thing down pat too!

    @Peggy…I’m always so inspired when people achieve. You must be so proud of your daughter and I’m glad your “latte factor” has created a nest egg. Maybe it’s time to create a “latte of joy” and immerse yourself in writing (you certainly have the gift).

    @Ruth…aw, thanks so much for dropping by and I’m glad I could introduce you to Tess, she is so inspiring. From what I see you enjoy life and put your right foot forward every day. Maybe that is your latte – you are living it. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…but when that thing you really want comes along, I know you’ll go for it.

    @Gaga…truly amazing picture. These living walls are popping up all over the place now. In Toronto they recently passed a bill for new commercial buildings to create green roof space, so hopefully some of the concrete will be covered with beauty.

    @Quinn…it really is hard to focus on what one wants. So much stimulation, so many activities, and so much marketing these days. It takes time to review and focus on your true desires but when you do, oh boy watch out…coz here we come.

    @Hilary…how right you are, a treat was a treat? Now many things are taken for granted as something we are entitled to. I have this feeling that fresh air and water are something we should be entitled to as well, so the actions of one family should inspire us…no need to be ashamed, just a reminder that we have all moved with the times and a new shift is coming. May the journey be fun if it hasn’t already.

    @Avani…there is nothing wrong with enjoying quality food from restaurants and with good friends. You can eat really well at home…and have company over to entertain. It’s a lot of fun. How true about the sacrifice, it is short lived and often something that you will continue with because you find another Latte Factor that you want to achieve.
    .-= simply stephen´s last post…i’m not hungry, i’m starving =-.


    Jodi at Joy Discovered January 27, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Great post! I have been a big fan of the latte factor concept and I use it a lot. I like it that you expanded it to apply to time or energy–very true that we have little areas in life that add up to a lot of time or energy taken from what is truly important to us.
    .-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s last post…A Small Dose of Self-Care =-.


    Jeanne Demers January 27, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Hi, Tess :) Yes, great guest post! It resonates. I want the career I’m creating for myself very much. I’m going for it. I know it’s within my ability to achieve my vision… even if it is my dearest dream and that would be crazy :) ). Failure would suck enough that I’m so motivated to do without my “latte” stuff right now …that it barely feels like a sacrifice. Oh, contraire, it feels good!

    High stakes are good for the blood flow to the brain. High stakes help me to think better.

    Thanks, Simply Stephen. I follow you! Green is good :)



    Kathy Holiday January 28, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Aww.. thanks a lot for this sweetie.. It’s always nice to get something that you can use for your success.. i’ve always been hungry but i never realized that it is better to starve.. Hungry because i’ve always wanted this “something” and yet, i didn’t even make a move for it.. So it’s better to upgrade my hunger to starve right? I really appreciate this post. Now, i have to make a move to start reaching that goal. Have a nice day and more power to you! :)
    .-= Kathy Holiday´s last post…Holiday Cottage in Cornwall =-.


    Patty - Why Not Start Now? January 28, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Hi Stephen and Tess – I really like how you included time in the “latte factor.” That’s it for me, and most of my clients, actually. Although they may think it’s money or energy, it’s usually time. I’ve learned that part of my challenge with it is that I want to do too much; there are just too many goodies out there to fit into one day, or life for that matter. So I’m working on getting clear each day on what is absolutely most important to me in that period of 24 hours. And then at the end of the day I can say, “that was a day well-lived.”
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last post…Why Self-Help Bores Me =-.


    suzen January 28, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Hi Tess! This was wonderful – wow, it pays to look at the “little” things we are doing unconsciously (almost) that are really not in sync with what we say we want! I’ve always loved the – are you in sync or in sink? We may say one thing and do another which doesn’t get us anywhere. And the latte? Great example. As much as I love those darn things, I put them in junk food now – not for my body as much as my wallet!
    .-= suzen´s last post…Roots for Your Dreams – A Good Addiction! =-.


    diantha January 28, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Tess and Stephen, great post about how being conscious of “the little things” makes a huge difference overall! Fortunately where we live there are no big name coffee shops so the temptation is not there. But when we lived and worked in Chicago they were on every corner! THAT was hard! We also lived one block from a chocolate factory and when I would walk home, the smell of it would make me think “hot chocolate” all the way home, but the funny thing is, as soon as I entered our home and closed the door, I totally forgot that thought that had been very pressing outside! Funny how much our thoughts are connected to our sense of smell!


    Tess January 28, 2010 at 8:13 am

    So true and I think sometimes if someone followed me with a camera for a week what would it look like I wanted? And that includes not only my work but my free time as well. Ever thing of that?

    And they are so beautiful as well. I love everything green! I think it will be my new favorite color!

    Yes I hear you about eating out. I have the shakes from cutting to down to nearly never and it when I do it’s for an ice cream or frozen yogurt. I’ve traded it for movie nights with friends. Now a bad deal but sometimes the withdrawal from restaurants is big;)

    I think you’ve been well received. Come back soon;)

    This is like taking a personal inventory for me. However when I’m too focused on dreams and work for too long I become too intense and no fun.

    Wow I need to take a lesson from you. Mine still seems like sacrifice sometimes. The key I’ve found is staying in the present moment and remembering I have everything I need and more.

    Welcome to The Bold Life and for taking the time to comment. I think balance in everything. I think the starving are more motivated yet I may be wrong. It could depend on personality!

    I think it’s true for all right brain people we want to taste so much it gets confusing, complicated and scattered. Maybe I should talk for myself but I’ve been doing the same…24 hrs at time and being accountable for how I’m using them and my resources.

    Suzen, I love it “are you in sync or in sink?” Never heard it before! Oh I love blogging! And the lattes being “junk food for my wallet.” This is funny and true. Thanks for you thoughts. I love ‘em.

    Oh Chicago…I love that city and am going next week! I’ll think of you each time I pass one of those shops…and the airports ohhh that is sooo hard. Yet I can think this or my dream? This or my dream?


    Erin January 28, 2010 at 10:20 am

    This is what we all need to read especially at this time of year while want to make changes in our lives for the coming year. Excellent work. Let’s get focused and do it.
    .-= Erin´s last post…Be Strong and Courageous =-.


    Mark January 28, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I love the “Latte Factor”, very good to consider. This reminds me of the following quote:

    “You have to find something that you love enough to be able to take risks, jump over the hurdles and break through the brick walls that are always going to be placed in front of you. If you don’t have that kind of feeling for what it is you are doing, you’ll stop at the first giant hurdle”

    George Lucas
    .-= Mark´s last post…Cleansing Ouselves Of The Muck of Our Past =-.


    gardenbeet January 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I like the picture too – where is it?


    vered - blogger for hire January 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    No time like the present – so true. The saddest thing is putting one’s goals on hold and waiting for “someday” to make them a reality.


    Tess January 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Yes to get started and do it. I’m with you all the way girlfriend.

    That’s the coolest quote ever and I never heard it before. Thanks!

    Garden beat! I don’t know but I sure like your name.

    No someday here…we’re all bold enough to go for it now!


    simply stephen January 28, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    @Jodi…there are much more important things in life, time & energy add more value than things. I constantly simplify to find my “true self”.

    @Jeanne…glad you liked. I too don’t feel like giving up is a sacrifice. Life is so abundant when I focus on the things I love.

    @Kathy…I currently just finished a book called “Focus, The power of Targeted Thinking” as the winter can distract me from my goals. If you are starving, it will help you focus even more.

    @Patty…time is something that most people let drift away. Sometimes a good thing to take time and smell the roses but when you want to focus on your goals you need to be motivated. Living each day like it is your last is certainly one of the best ways to achieve that.

    @Suzen…how true. If you keep hitting your head against a brick wall – stop. Love the sync or sink. Sometimes I think I’m drown proofing – time to do the front crawl.

    @Diantha…anything dairy and I would be in there every day. What discipline you must have. Smell can also play a strong role as a positive “habit changer” – each time you smell something you take a positive action.

    @Erin…glad I motivated you and yes timing is everything. Okay, so everyone – ready, set, GO.

    @Mark…passion and purpose are certainly the key to those hurdles.

    @gardenbeet…as Tess says, now I’m going to have to make some borscht, it’s been about 3 months since my last batch.

    @vered…someday, never comes (okay, I stole that from CCR) but how true time is fleeting, don’t let it slip away.

    @Tess…I always knew you had a great community on your blog but what a great, interactive group. Thank you all for your wonderful contributions. I would be very happy to do another post anytime you want – as I’m focusing on more green stuff on my blog it will give me more time to look at the metrics of life.


    Wilma Ham January 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Yes we live green but we go hungry if we do not get any water right now. It is unusual dry here so we needed to get a water pump to get water from the river to fill our empty tanks. The thing weighs a ton and it had to be carried quite a way through bush and steep banks. But I was thrirsty and so were the plants. I never thought I could help John carry the darn thing, but I was thirsty alright and that gave me more strength than I thought I had.
    The pump is going right now and the veggies and trees are being watered and I am taking it easy as the thing has to be carried up again tomorrow!
    When one desires something the strength and the gusto to do it is funnily always there. Always!
    Thanks Tess and Stephen.
    .-= Wilma Ham´s last post…Ann-Marie on Do we Learn from our Experiences? =-.


    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord January 29, 2010 at 4:13 am

    Simply inspiring (less is more!) — I like this clean-cut advice. Thank you, Tess and thank you, Stephen!
    .-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last post…Love, the Eternal Law =-.


    Joy January 29, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I love the “latte factor.” I’ve never heard it put that way. But so inspiring! Thanks for sharing Stephen with us!
    .-= Joy´s last post…Day 50 – M and Ms =-.


    jonathan figaro January 29, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Like Les Brow Said ” You gotta BE HUNGRY”. Your purpose must drive you from i think i can to i know i can. Great post!

    Quick question, being new to this blogging thing, how often should i comment on peoples blogs a day or eve a week?
    .-= jonathan figaro´s last post…You’ll Never Be Successful =-.


    Robin Easton January 29, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Hi Dear Tess and Stephen,

    I LOVE this post. YES!! I just chewed through it and highly resonate with the whole thing. What I love about it is that it just tells it like it is. No more excuses. Either you do or you don’t. and the responsibility is put back where it belongs…on each of us. It really forces us to access how badly we really want something. This can be a good thing to really bring us down to our bottom line priorities.

    We even may find that we don’t want something s THAT badly. Sooo, in light of that, for me, I would ask myself, “If I don’t want THAT thing that badly, is there anything that I would like to do, be, have, experience THAT badly that I would give up my latte for it?” In asking THIS we can maybe start to hone in on what is REALLY important to us, and get rid of not only the latte that is NOT that important to us, but we can start to think about what motivates, inspires us, moves us, makes us SO hungry that we’d GLADLY give up the latte for it.

    I just LOVE this post. I can see why Tess does too. Stephen, I have added your site to my RSS feed. Wonderful. And I’ve put you in my favorites group on twitter so that I can better catch your tweets. Thank you for a GREAT article. And Dear Bold Tess, thank you for having Stephen. Hugs, Robin. xox


    Angelia January 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Tess! Hi Stephen!

    I love the way this concept slides right in and takes hold – shouting out LOUD. Are you listening? What do you REALLY want?

    Immediately, I wanted Italy. I’ve been wishing and hoping somehow, someway my perfect honeymoon in October could come true. And now I know, it CAN. How bad do I want to make it happen? Because honestly? This post just made it very simple.

    I’m starving for things to happen and I have control over if they do or don’t.

    Thanks for a great post!



    Evita January 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Stephen

    Great article!

    I am probably one of the lucky few out there, who knew this before I even knew I knew this. I prioritized my life and graduated from 5 years of post secondary education without a penny of a debt. That is just the beginning of the story….

    And I never felt deprived. I just knew where I was going and I have to say it sure feels good today being here.

    Every day is about choices and priorities. Every single one…
    .-= Evita´s last post…Book Review: The Harvard Psychedelic Club =-.


    Hulbert January 30, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Stephen, I wrote a post on my blog about how we have to be “hungry” in order to push us to achieve a goal that we really want in life.

    I guess you just took it to another level by saying we should be “starving”. :)

    One thing that confused me was when you said that dreams don’t have to be material but tangible and real. Aren’t material things also tangible and real? Or do you mean something else by this?

    Sorry, I’m just always trying to learn about things that can be interpreted in different ways. Anyway, i just wanted to say good job and thanks for this post. :)
    .-= Hulbert´s last post…Trust Your Intuition – How I Almost Joined a Pyramid Scheme =-.


    Caroline January 31, 2010 at 9:00 am

    The Latte factor!!! OMG I love this concept…so true. You have given me some food for thought today Tess. How often we over look the obvious…or we need to make some adjustments in our lives to get our dream. I think I could handle not drinking $5 a day latte’s to make that happen!

    I can’t wait to check the links.
    .-= Caroline´s last post…Don’t chase the stick!!! =-.


    simply stephen February 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    @Wilma…sounds like you were hungry enough to get exactly what you want, one of my dreams too – sustainable, off grid, rural living.

    @Megan, Joy, Jonathan…glad I inspired. Go get em.

    @Robin…thank you for the kind words. Sounds like you are getting hungry for something.

    @Angelia…that honeymoon is gonna happen. Enjoy.

    @Hulbert…ah, material things are tangible and real but if we limit ourselves to the material world we miss out on so many great aspects of life. SO be starving for Adventures, Love, Life, Etc. – not just things.

    @Caroline…we usually can’t see the forest for the trees. It just takes a simple cue to have a new perspective.
    .-= simply stephen´s last post…stretch your money and repair things =-.


    Gaga 4 Gaga February 4, 2010 at 7:17 am

    @Tess Yep, she’s definitely clever in the marketing department. She didn’t get success early on ’till she tried all her crazy outfits.

    I love the fact that she’s talented too, though.
    .-= Gaga 4 Gaga´s last post…Lady Gaga – Beautiful, Dirty, Rich (video) =-.


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