Learning to Live a Simple Life, Pt. II

We don’t need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it. ~ Donald Horban

If you truly seek to live a simple life, you will have to face the truth about your current lifestyle. You will have to answer some tough questions. Then you will have to be motivated to make changes consistent with your new ‘truths’. Are you ready?

First, face the easiest challenge: possessions.
How much of what you have do you really need? Walk through each room and look critically at everything in it. Is it a blessing or a burden? How much of the clutter do you not even ‘see’ anymore? What can you eliminate? If an item is not functional or beautiful to you, get rid of it. Sell it. Give it away. Trash it.

This is a particularly good exercise for all of us Boomers – we have 30-40 years of cumulative accumulation. Our kids do not want to sort through all of our ‘stuff’. It is up to us to simplify while we have the energy and will to do it! The benefit is less to take care of, move, dust, repair or replace. Ahh. Simplicity!

Next, consider your commitments.
How valuable are the things you give your time to? We each have the same non-refundable, non-renewable, non-returnable 1440 minutes in each day. What value are you receiving from your investment of time, money and resources?

Ask yourself,
• How important is this activity?
• Do I find value or blessing when I do this?
• Is it a priority for my life?
• Does it contribute to my personal growth and development?”

If not, extricate yourself from the commitment. Rethink your schedule and redesign your calendar. Learn to say NO without guilt or excuse.

Third, give up the media binge.
I think you’ll agree that we all spend too much time watching TV, answering emails and surfing the web. One of the easiest ways to simplify your life is to stop the glut of information that floods your brain, particularly negative input like the news. Truly, haven’t you noticed that ‘news’ really isn’t? It’s old ‘news’ by the time you hear it – nothing you can do to change it – depressing to your mental and emotional health.

The same is true of all those drama series on nightly TV. Why not use that time to do something you enjoy, something uplifting and positive? If you’re going to put your brain on auto-pilot, at least give it something happy to watch, something that makes you laugh!

Fourth, move into slow motion.
Busy is the new ‘buzzword’ in our society. It doesn’t have to be yours. Slowing down is emotionally comforting, mentally calming and spiritually relaxing. Warp speed is for spaceships, not people.

• Spend quiet time alone.
• Play calming music.
• Eat slower.
• Take time to connect with people you love.

Revisit us in two days for the final tips on living a simple life. Simplicity can be condensed into one thought. What matters most? Anything else is clutter!

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