Is It Possible To Live A Simple Life In A Complex World?
3 Simple Ways To Uncomplicate Your Life
A simple life. Sounds good, right? It looks different for everyone, but the idea conjures up similar emotions in everyone— peace, contentment and joy. Unfortunately, this dream lifestyle tends to get interrupted by reality.
We live in a world where amazing technological advances have been created to make life easier. However, it feels like they’ve only made things more complicated for us — or have they?
The truth is that our lives aren’t as complicated as we make them out to be. A lot of people have conditioned their minds to believe that they need to live in a state of struggle. The line of thinking goes… if it’s not hard, it’s not worth it.
In the words of T.S. Eliot, “Finding a way to live the simple life is one of life’s supreme complications.”
Living a simple life is considered to be a luxury. Something for the “brave and lucky” ones. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
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Yes, we live in a world where complexity is the norm. We are conditioned to rush from one place to the next as if we were a ticking time bomb. Our days are consumed with deadlines, errands, text messages, to-do lists, emails, projects. We are constantly leaving to get to our next destination.
I recently left my life in Canada and moved to Panama with my girlfriend. I gave up a beautiful penthouse, a fancy car, and all of the stuff that I’ve worked hard to purchase.
I’ve embarked on a new chapter in my life, one that is a lot simpler.
I must say that I feel freer than I ever have before. I’m not saying that it’s not nice to have nice things, but there is something beautiful about letting go of the need to live a grandiose life.
I believe that it is possible to live a simple life, one where you are present in everything that you do. The challenge is people’s perception of what a simple life looks like.
Living simply is not about depriving yourself of life’s beauty. Moving into the woods to become a monk isn’t the only way to achieve simplicity. Keep in mind that everyone has a different idea of what simple looks like.
“Simplicity involves unburdening your life and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high-quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual. You will find people living simply in large cities, rural areas and everything in between.” ~Linda Breen Pierce
Here are 3 simple ways that you can uncomplicate your life.
1. Live Within Your Means
In today’s world, living within your means isn’t celebrated because we are constantly fed things that we “need.” We are led to believe that spending money on things will make us happy. As a result, we tend to overspend and spend more than we earn.
This is why so many people are floundering in debt. If you want to live within your means you have to be aware of what your means are.
It’s about being more mindful of what you already have, instead of trying to fill the space with more things. The next time that you buy something, ask yourself, “Does this make my life better or worse? Do I really need it?’
2. Adopt An Attitude Of Gratitude
It’s easy to forget how blessed we are, especially when we are going through difficult times. A simple life means that you have committed to adopting an attitude of gratitude.
Life becomes so much simpler when you are grateful for the gifts that you already have, instead of constantly struggling to get more.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” — Robert Brault
Mindfulness and gratitude go hand in hand. When we are mindful, we have a greater appreciation for the simple things in life. Simplicity is about finding enjoyment in “being”, which is our natural state of present moment awareness. From this place, gratitude flows freely.
3. Practice Positive Thinking
Making the choice to embark on a simpler life journey begins with your mindset. Living more simply means being more at ease and in the flow of life. When you have less attachment to stuff, you are more aligned with your inner self. In this space, positive thoughts are free to abound.
Fewer distractions make room for a more meaningful existence.
Research by Barbara Fredrickson found that those who think positive thoughts have a greater capacity to take on board new information. This then improves a person’s perspective and ability to “connect the dots.”
A simple habit that you can practice every single day that will condition your mind to think happy thoughts is to recite positive affirmations. This is a self-love ritual that reminds us that everything we need is already inside of ourselves.
When we are able to harness that inner power, we are better able to handle the challenges that come from the outside world.
Jan Goldstein said it best — “Turn your face to the sun and the shadow falls behind you.”
I believe that it’s still possible to live a simple life in a complex world. It’s your choice. Life is not meant to be complicated. It’s your job to uncomplicate it. When you slow down and start doing the things that matter most to you, life becomes simple. It’s that easy.
What does simplicity mean to you?
Thank you for reading!
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