In this economic climate, there's never been a better time to live with less stuff and discover a life rich with meaning. It's a truth Oprah has known for some time: "What I know for sure," she says, is "having the best things is no substitute for having the best life."
And it's a scientific fact. A 2005 study by Tim Kasser, associate professor of psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and Kirk Warren Brown of Virginia Commonwealth University, compared 200 people who voluntarily simplified their lives with 200 typical Americans. According to their results, those who cut back were found to be "significantly happier." Kasser says their results suggest wealth, status and prestige can lead to persistent feelings of depression and dissatisfaction. "If you orient your life around personal growth and family and community, you'll feel better."

The Oprah Show gave five families their own "What Can You Live Without?" Challenge. The rules included: no eating out, no working late and no cell phones, computers, television or video games for a week. Though difficult, each family says they came away with life-changing lessons...


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