10 TIMELESS LESSONS FOR MAKING LIFE SIMPLE AGAIN
For almost a decade now, Marc and I have been learning to live a simpler life.
Not simpler as in “meager.” Simpler as in “meaningful.”
We’ve been working on eliminating many of life’s complexities so we’re able to spend more time with people we love and do more activities we love. This means we’ve been gradually getting rid of mental and physical clutter, and eliminating all but the essential, so we’re left with only that which gives us value.
Our overarching goal is living a life uncluttered by most of the things people fill their lives with, leaving us with space for what truly matters. A life that isn’t constant busyness, rushing and stress, but instead contemplation, creation and connection with people and projects we love.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we have zero clutter and complications. We’re human and living in the real world with everyone else. We have a home, possessions, computers, gadgets, distractions and occasional busyness. But we have reduced it to make space.
Today, after finishing up a call with a new course student who’s working diligently to simplify various aspects of her life and business, I’ve been reflecting on this simpler life Marc and I have created for ourselves, and I thought I’d share some of these reflections with you.
Some lessons I’ve learned about living a simpler life:
- A simpler life is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. Thus, you are wealthy in proportion to the number of unnecessary things you can afford to live without.
- You can’t live a simpler life if you’re unwilling to change and let go of what you’re used to.
- Letting go of old routines and habits and building new ones can be hard, but it’s easier if you do a 30-day challenge. Let go of something for 30 days and see how it affects your life. (Letting go of cable TV was one of the best decisions Marc and I made this past year – no more continuous, random, distracting noise in our home.)
- When we travel lightly, we’re freer, less burdened, and less stressed. This applies to traveling through life too, not just traveling through an airport.
- Decluttering your physical space can lead to a less cluttered mental space. These visual distractions pull on us and distract us in more ways than we often realize.
- Overthinking is one of the most rampant sources of stress and mental clutter. The key is to realize that the problem is not the problem. The problem is the incredible amount of overthinking you’re doing with the problem. Let it go and be free.
- Positivity always pays off in simplifying outcomes. So before you waste it on anger, resentment, spite or envy, think of how precious and irreplaceable your time is.
- The simplest secret to happiness and peace in the present is letting every circumstance be what it is, instead of what you think it should be, and making the best of it.
- Gratitude always makes life easier to deal with. Because happiness comes easier when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.
- The feeling you get from doing something important (and true) is far better and less stressful than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were doing it.
Is this article your wake up call to a simpler life?
How many times have you thought “this isn’t working” or “something is not right” or “things have to change”? – those thoughts and words are from your inner voice. It’s your wake-up call calling.
You don’t need a major life crisis to wake you up. And no one needs to tell you because you already know. Your inner voice has been trying to tell you, but in case it’s been a challenge to find time and space to listen through the chaos, maybe you’ll resonate with one of these situations.
- If your life is on auto-pilot, this is your wake-up call.
- If you never put yourself first, this is your wake-up call.
- If you’ve become someone you don’t recognize to please other people or to chase some version of success that doesn’t resonate with you, this is your wake-up call.
- If you are constantly numbing out with food, shopping, booze, TV, or other distractions, this is your wake-up call.
- If you are worn down, beat up, stressed out, and completely depleted, this is your wake-up call.
Getting your wake-up call is not the hard part, answering the call is. Choosing to answer the call instead of ignoring it is hard. Right now, it may feel easier to keep going, and going, and going. But you know if you don’t find a way out of the endless cycle you’re in, it’s going to get worse.