Most of us want a simple life. We are attracted to simplicity because at our core essence, we are simple beings.
As we have evolved as human beings, we’ve added a lot more complexity to our lives, which has contributed to how we live our lives and the types of experiences we have.
Our desire to live a simple life often intensifies when we have too many commitments and priorities in life. If we don’t consciously simplify our lives, it can:
- Cause us to feel stressed because we don’t have any margin or breathing room.
- Affect our health and well-being.
- Put additional tension or pressure on our relationships.
- Cause us to feel overwhelmed and despondent.
- Result in us not fully enjoying life.
Not too long ago, I experienced my first Personal Quarterly Offsite, during which my intention was to refocus on the things that mattered the most to me.
One of the ways I identified was for me to focus on keeping things simple. I’ve always liked the mantra, Less but better! and I have already started taking steps to make my life simple again.
Below are some things I have done or will do in my desire to make my life simple again. These are things you may also want to consider doing so that you too can also refocus and recommit to doing only the things that matter most to you.
- Do a mental detox. So often, we create unnecessary stress by giving attention to things that are beyond our control. All that does is use up valuable mental energy and prevent us from fully focusing on the things we can control and do.
A mental detox is similar process to getting ourselves out of overwhelm, which is described in this post. Often, a mental detox helps clarify what is important, what we’d like to focus on, and gives us another opportunity to consider what we’d like to recommit to.
- Commit to less, say no to the rest. We have full or complicated lives because somewhere along the line, we have said yes to too many things instead of being really selective of the things we say yes to.
When we say yes to too many things, the burden or the expectations on us continue to increase, which just adds to the pressure and stress we’re already under. Learning to say no is an important thing we must all learn to become comfortable with.
- Let go of the belief that you can do it all or you can have it all. This idea is widely taught in the personal development space that we can have everything we want and we can do whatever we want. While it may be true in some aspects, it also implies that what we have is not enough or not good enough, and there is more to be gained.
Whenever we get caught in the trap of believing there is more, whether it is more to do or more to achieve, what we already have will never be enough. All that does is perpetuate our belief that we still are not enough and there is more to be done. It’s time to let that idea go.
- Give yourself the gift of time. This is really useful when new opportunities or demand come our way. One thing I have started to do when I am asked to do something new, that is not part of my current priorities, is to say, Can I get back to you on this?
A simple question like that gives me time evaluate what I am already committed to and make a better informed decision whether I can say yes to the new request or not.
- Be willing to turn new demands back to the source. This is extremely helpful especially if we have a manager or a boss. When something unexpected comes our way like a new deadline or request, we should be get them to clarify priorities.
We can simply say, “I already have these things I’ve committed to. For me to take on this new thing, what would you like me to reprioritise?” We can also say, “I am currently 100% focused on doing this thing right now. I can take on this new thing but I will not be able to commit to it 100%. What would you prefer?” There is always a way to redirect a new demand back to the original source.
Life is simple; we are the ones that make it complicated or difficult. When we stop allowing ourselves to take on more things in life, that’s when we make life simple again. Interestingly enough, when things are simple, we are more creative, more efficient, more effective and a lot happier in life.
Question: What is another technique that can be applied to make our lives simple again?
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