Why is it so difficult to live simply? Wouldn’t it save us a lot of time and effort if we took the simple course of action rather than choosing a more complex one?
What does living simply mean? Well to begin with, one must have the clarity of mind to live simply. Life can become more difficult than it already is once we start to complicate matters by accumulating convoluted knowledge which can obscure clarity and make us disorganised.
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
I have always attributed simplicity to wisdom as it provides you with the easiest and quickest route towards achieving your goals in life. We sometimes can assume that any obstacle that stands in the way of our personal growth is an impregnable force which will require a complex solution to surmount. But we must learn to look beyond the surface and select the tools of simplicity to break down the walls of this seemingly impossible illusion.
“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but to so love wisdom as to live according to its dictates a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
How do we see things simply? Emptying the mind is a start. It is just the same as emptying a room filled with clutter so that you can develop the clarity to see individual things more easily. Along with this clarity comes a more organised way of thinking.
This organisation can be used to tackle issues in life one at a time which makes things easier to deal with as opposed to haphazardly trying to juggle everything at the same time. Whilst juggling with your hands full you’re more liable to drop something and cause irreparable damage in regards future difficulties for yourself.
“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
~ Albert Einstein
“Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter.”
~ D.H. Mondfleur
Having a simple life also helps with many things that affect us personally, such as stress and anxiety. Wouldn’t you like to lift the self-imposed weight of unnecessary troubles off your shoulders by not entering the arena of the world’s complexities? These things that give us difficulties have no need to enter the mind and you have the choice not to get involved with them in your life. So why not emancipate yourself from the shackles of complexity and take the easy road now to avoid an anxiety ridden journey later on.
Here is some more wise advice towards you living a simple and stress free life:
- avoid getting involved in other peoples disputes
- avoid having too many possessions that you cherish
You don’t need me to tell you what the consequences can be if things turn for the worst in a dispute, especially if it turns in your direction. So keep yourself to yourself and you will not be at fault.
As for possessions, wouldn’t it ease your mind of anxiety if you had nothing to lose to begin with? The old wise saying is very relevant here, “you can’t take it with you.” So let’s leave the collecting of baggage to the squirrels, because the only possession we need in life is a simple mind free from worry or stress.
“Everything we possess that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes a burden, and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it.”
~ Robert Brault
The accumulation of knowledge and pedantic tendencies are a serious hindrance to perceiving life simply, as we think the more complicated a thing is, the more intelligent one must be to be able to fathom and express this knowledge to others. Along with this show of vanity and conceitedness, is the need to be overzealous with detail.
Life is too short, so if one wants to waste their time trying to look clever by complicating matters and looking at every minute detail in everything they do then let them. This again serves to obscure the mind, whereas a little drop of simplicity and humility is, I feel, the wiser and intelligent way to live. So if anyone asks me an intelligent question I will respond in the same simple manner as Mark Twain,
“I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said, “I don’t know.””
Observe and learn from nature’s workings. It is of the highest intelligence and is as close to perfection when compared to anything you can find on Earth – but despite all that, it still performs with such simple functionality and works beautifully if left untouched. The only time when nature goes wrong is when Man with their complex ideas chooses to intervene with his ambitions of becoming God.
“Nature is what we know – Yet have not art to say – So impotent our wisdom is To her simplicity”
~ Emily Dickinson
We are part of nature so why not become wise to the simple fact that simplicity in life is the way to a simply heavenly existence. So let us spend our time and effort improving our minds towards peace and wisdom – and to suspend the need for complexities and befuddlement in life.
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
Wise ways towards living a simple life:
- Stop accumulating useless complex knowledge, unnecessary possessions, and other material goods – there is more to gain in life by having less – contentment and peace of mind are a couple of the good things that can be gained
- Deal with things one at a time
- Emptying your mind helps develop clarity, common sense and insight
- Always try to find a simple solution to every problem
- Never assume anything to be complicated at first sight
- Be organised and humble
- Mind your own business
- Learn the art of listening and silence