Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~ Confucius
Why is it that so many people complain about the stress and pressure in their life and talk wistfully about making things more simple, but when it comes down to it they find it hard to do?
Have you noticed that only too often the idea of letting go, or getting rid of some of what we have, even if we don’t use it, or need it can terrify people?
The primary reason I’m sure is that we are attached to, and over identify with our possessions. In addition, we are all to one degree or another conditioned by society around us into believing that the more we have, the higher our value within our community and as people.
That conditioning also gives rise to fear of not being good enough, happy, successful, loved, or financially secure. And it brings with it the expectations we have that both shape and define us.
I don’t know if you agree, but I see the trend towards minimalism and simplification as a necessity. Most people, however, seem uncomfortable about it. Perhaps they have bought into the misconception that simplifying entails forfeiting pleasure and security, and condemning oneself to a life of self-sacrifice.
So what is this idea of simplicity?
Well, instead of longing for what we don’t have or craving for what think we should have, simplicity involves letting go of life’s complications. It is a process of deciding and learning to appreciate what is in front of us at any particular moment. It is a form of Mindfulness and invokes a heightened state of self-awareness.
The act of simplifying your life takes simplicity one step further. It provokes questions about what you want, your desires and priorities. It asks us to reconsider what is really important to us. It strips us back to the basics of what keeps us motivated and happy.
Simplicity by its nature shakes up our values and demands that we modify our behaviour – let go of our clutter and excess – slim down, smarten up and make thoughtful sustainable choices.
Why is simplicity a hard sell for some people?
There will always be some conflict between what we know and what we don’t. The idea of getting back to the life’s basis often starts an inner tug of war in our minds that never gets resolved unless we explore the possibilities.
For sure, the magnanimous part of our mind knows that in choosing to live a simple, simplified, more sustainable life we can reduce our financial debt, invest in our future, help the environment and promote a more equitable distribution of resources across the planet.
And the conditioned part that is attached to how things are (and what we own) is frightened about what it might lose, what other people will think and how their kids will cope if they don’t have what all the other kids do. Will they be the oddballs and not fit in with their peers?
And that is what makes simplicity difficult.
So how can we go about simplifying our life without triggering that inner resistance? What’s the gentle approach to getting started and exploring simplicity one step at a time?
Just a few hours ago I was surfing the net, looking for information along those lines. I found the article titled “5 ways to simplify your life” written by Cristin Frank an author at leaflifestyle.com.
In her article, Cristin shared some basic tips on how to start simplifying your life in 5 steps. She explains the following:
- Why it’s fun to declutter and organise your life
- How unplugging from your electronics for a fixed time each day gives you space to think
- Why taking better control your finances reduces stress
- How to manage your emotional responses do you don’t take things personally
- How sharing your talents brings a sense of purpose and contribution to your life
These is a basic and simple list that give you some clues to follow and ideas to explore. It’s a great way to get started and experience the benefits of simplifying and regaining control of your life. I have read the article twice today —- and switched off Skype so I could write this post uninterrupted.
You can read the full article here.
Here are some more simplicity resources for you along the same vein:
- 7 Ways to simplify your life
- How to simplify your life in 5 easy steps
- 27 legends reveal tips to simplify your life
On a personal note, and to close this post , I would like to say that at this point in human history, simplicity and simplification must be the way to go. And here’s why.
Many of our planetary resources are finite. We have ignored that and thoughtlessly brought about the biggest mass extinction of fauna and flora in our planet’s history since the elimination of the dinosaurs. We have, and continue to endanger our own lives by taking what we want without recognising consequence. We too often live life like a wrecking ball.
We are dying from stress, fast food and debt.
We have reached a tipping point. If you read outside the popular press (Geological magazine for instance), despite governmental disbelief, it is clear that we are in the midst of planetary wide environmental changes that are accelerating faster than any popular climate model has predicted.
Life for our children (as adults) and their families will be very different. In 50 years I predict that many of the excesses that we take for granted will be seen as shocking and irresponsible, and will be socially unacceptable. Simplification and sustainability will be a way of life and those that discover how to live well, in a managed and sustainable way will be seen as the responsible elite.
So why not start now?
So now it’s your turn to speak. What do you think?
Do you have a story about downsizing or simplifying your life has helped you or your family? What about your finance? Are you more content and relaxed these days? What about a tip to share with others who are just starting out?
As always, your interaction with our posts creates a reservoir of wisdom for all our readers to benefit from so please share your thoughts, stories and questions in the comments box below and remember to tweet, like and +1 ~thanks