Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
People may see simplicity as something of “boring”. It is the hardest thing that we can come to. It requires understanding and intelligence to not conform to a particular pattern. We get stuck in these patterns, and they turn into habits with time. We carry around too much wherever it is that we may go, caring about things that we don’t need and doing stuff we don’t like. We overwhelm ourselves, and never allow for space to exist. We think too much, eat too much, do too much and spend too much. Too much, and never enough. We often over-do what doesn’t need to be overdone. We ADD too much, but never remove.
With removing the “too much” from our lives, we can allow.
Allow for what? You allow for space, time and mental clarity. You become lighter, and at ease. You shift from quantity to quality. You identify your needs and stop carrying around all this stuff with you.
Do you really need all this stuff you carry around? Is it doing you any good?
Arriving at simplicity you need to identify your needs. Your specific needs. What you really NEED.
Identify your needs: Whatever you love doing, has value, inspires you or has significance meaning to you. Write it down. This part is crucial. Writing something down allows you to go beyond thought. It becomes tangible. You can touch it, it’s not just an idea or thought.
Our minds tend to wander off and become “trapped” between other thoughts. Tape it to your wall or somewhere in front of you. Put it somewhere you will see it. The idea here is to constantly see it. Have it in your vision as much as you can. This will help you focus towards it.
The paper should be a constant reminder to take action.
Identify your essentials. What does this mean? It means absolutely necessary. If your goal is to become an artist and paint, do you really need a TV? Do you really need a gaming console? How about a board game? No. You don’t.
It might be hard getting rid of things that you may need. It’s a fundamental leap for simplicity. If your goal is to paint, how can you paint when you resort to distractions you see in everyday situations?
Are you not the cause for your own temptations?
Get rid of the unconscious clutter. Make a conscious decision and identify your needs.
In order to simplify your essentials, your needs must be met.
Whatever is not, remove.
How? Try it yourself.
- Ask yourself. What is it that you want to be doing? What do you love? What inspires you? I love to write and want to write. I love to help others through writing and at the same time I get to express myself. I love reading. I love to stimulate my own mind and express myself. You can have as many things as you want. Just be honest with yourself and write what it is that you love.
- Meet needs. What is it that you need to be doing what you love? Identify the essentials. In order to write I need a writing utensils, notebooks, and a laptop to share my writing. As for reading I just need books that I enjoy and that allow my imagination to run. I’ve identified my needs in order to accomplish what is it that I love to do. You might be surprised that you don’t need a lot to do what it is you love.
- Remove the rest. We buy a lot of possessions that we do not need. Consumerism is rampant. We all buy things we shouldn’t. Once I made my list, removing became easy. I noticed the stuff I had were all provoking me with distraction and temptation. I met my essentials, and the rest was stuff. The only role it this stuff had was taking up my space. I removed TV, gaming console, electronics, gadgets along with an abundance of things. None of these things were directly related to what it was I wanted to be doing. So ask yourself, is this really important to me? Do I need this in order to work towards what I love doing? If there is hesitation or you resort to justification, remove it. There should be no doubt, you either need it or you’re attached to possessions.
- Your commitments. Once you successfully get rid of the excess in your life, you will see that a lot of time is available to you. There is no more resorting to temptations and endless hours of distraction. You have to ask yourself what you value giving your time for. Start becoming aware of what it is you do with your time. In order to do what you love, time is a factor. So notice how much time you spend, wherever you may be. This part is trial and error. Time management takes time. I always make time for myself and allow for me to do what it is I love.
- I can and I will. I’m not going to fix your problems. Who is? No one. Only you can. To simplify means to identify your needs and your commitments. To allow yourself a simple outlook without the clutter. It’s hard to see clearly when there is so happening around you. Remove, remove, and then remove some more. You want to create SPACE and allow for things to come. Allow yourself to see. When there is clutter, we spend time scattering around blindly. We cannot focus on what matters when our vision is impaired.
Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.
– John Maeda
This may be a lengthy process, because we never identify our own needs. We make unconscious decisions. Those decisions cost us our own time and our own space. Removing all the extra clutter we remain with little. But all that “little” is important, it is essential to do what it is that we love.
By simplifying you’re not making a void in your life, you’re coming back to yourself and what it is that you love.
Until next time,