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The Virtues of Simplicity, and How to Take it Easy

October 11, 2012

As humans, we are naturally complex. Evolution, technology, and communication have all contributed to a way of thinking that is intricate, enthralling, and remarkably complicated.  So is it any wonder that slowing down and keeping things simple can sometimes be a challenge?

It is always the simple that produces the marvelous. – Amelia Barr

As an idea, simplicity is not as easy as it sounds. We have to work hard at eliminating distractions and whittling down our words to convey true meaning. While having ease is something that we all want to achieve, it can seem an elusive – even archaic – concept to incorporate into the whirlwind of everyday life.

It is far more difficult to be simple than to be complicated; far more difficult to sacrifice skill and easy execution in the proper place, than to expand both indiscriminately. – John Ruskin

With increasing reactions to modern living such as lack of fullment in our careers, stress-related diseases, anxiety, and divorce, a daily dose of simplicity could go a long way in helping us reconnect with the things that truly matter.

We need to learn how to walk the middle path, to be sensitive to the natural flow of events while not throwing away our own determined idea of where we want to go. – Joshua Rosenthal

Here are 5 ways to de-complicate your life:

Do what you love.

Let your heart guide your actions and don’t waste your precious time doing things that deplete your happiness. This might require some planning, but once you liberate yourself of the burden of incongruity, life will flow much more smoothly.

Don’t try so hard.

There is a big difference between putting energy into things that are important to you, and creating unnecessary pressure for the mere attainment of the next goal. If you’re working yourself into a tizzy for reasons that don’t boil down to health, happiness, or love then stop, take a deep breath, and reevaluate.

Simplify.

Be mindful of signs that you’re overcomplicating something trivial. Whether you’re a Health Coach planning your next marketing outreach or a working parent trying to balance the needs of those around you, remember to check in with yourself and consider whether your efforts could be streamlined.

Detoxify your mind.

Are you stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts? Do you spread yourself too thin in an effort to accomplish several goals simultaneously? Are you fearful of the future because of all the expectations you’ve built up in your mind? Let it go, as much as you can. Instead, focus on taking care of yourself and enjoying the company of your loved ones. Trust that the rest will fall into place.

Play.

Most people take life too seriously and make little time for good ol’ fashioned fun. Don’t live a fun-free life!  Play hookie once in a while, scrap the to-do list, and let loose!

What’s one way you can simplify your life today?