In a recent New York Times opinion piece, writer Pico Iyer shared how he left a high-profile career in Manhattan to find greater fulfillment in Japan, living without modern luxuries in a simple apartment. He questioned his pursuit of outward accomplishments and possessions, observing, "I decided that…happiness arose out of all I didn't want or need, not all I did". Iyer wrote that while the toll of the recession is unfortunate, it may prompt people to reconsider what is truly essential in their lives. Might the economic downturn bring about a paradigm shift in society and the idea of the American dream? David Lazarus talks with Pico Iyer about the merits of living with less.