How can I make my life simpler?
Know thyself. Maybe you are too cool for the world!
Try resisting other people's requests
"The fear of offending can be stronger than the fear of pain"
- Girl with a Dragon Tattoo
Endless TV channels, Quora posts without limit, and a free ubiquitous computer network presenting the sum of humanity's knowledge. How to resist it all?
“The Internet contains everything in the whole wide world ever. I don’t know about you, but I find everything in the whole wide world ever to be a bit distracting.” – Dave Gorman
Life's complexity comes to a large extent from copying other people's ambitions, passions, and achievements. One of life's hardest facets lies in avoiding peer pressure and pursuing yours – and not others – goals.
If you wish to find yourself, to have simpler life - you need to say no: no to all that does not matter all that much. Try replying no – to everything by default, and only make rare exceptions.
It may not be easy, and will takes inner strength, but your life will be simpler and profounder.
Be less harsh on yourself
- Don't be ashamed to ask for help.
- Carry less stuff in your pockets or purse.
- Clean out your house, throw away anything you haven't used in the last five years.
- for every new thing you acquire, eliminate at least one other thing.
- Keep an un-cluttered desk.
- Avoid time wasting activities.
- Hire some help with housekeeping, gardening, etc.
- Acknowledge your limitations.
- Avoid perfectionism.
- Leave the past in the past.
- Set limits on time spent on activities (TV, reading, gaming, Internet).
- From time to time, turn off your mobile phone.
- Spend less time on commuting to work (relocate if necessary).
- Contemplate terminating unhealthy relationships.
- Be truthful.
Remember: you don't need a lot for happiness
Learn from Gandhi
When meeting the British king, Gandhi wore his simple wrap-around clothes.
A journalist asked him: “Mr Gandhi, did you feel under-dressed when you met the King?”
Gandhi replied: “The King was wearing enough clothes for both of us!”
- Accumulate less
Gandhi believed in possessing little (apart from his clothes and cooking and eating utensils). He would give away or auction gifts he received.
It might be hard to settle for ten possessions as Gandhi did, but try: recycle, give, or auction your unnecessary belongings.
- Eat simple food
Gandhi was never overweight. He ate a strict vegetarian, locally produced, diet and frequently cooked his own simple food.
He ate his simple food from a small bowl, so as to eat moderately.
- Dress simply
Gandhi wore simple clothes that he mainly wove himself. Though it may be impractical to weave your own cloth or make your own clothes, dressing for comfort and not to impress, will simplify life.
- Lead a simple, stress-free life
To avoid stress, Gandhi meditated daily and spent hours in reflection and prayer.
Although a world leader and idolised by millions, he continued leading a simple life. He might even interrupt meetings to play with children.
Though he could have all his needs being taken care of, Gandhi still preferred caring for himself and being self-sufficient.
Focus on –
activities, relationships, thoughts, and "stuff" that – you are good at, passionate about, add value to your life, and you are in control of.
Everything else should be purged from your life. If eliminating it entirely may not be possible, why not outsource it to real or virtual assistants, so you'd have the time to focus your time on the above.
An alter-ego at moments may simplify life
Learn from Jerome K. Jerome
“How many people, on that (Life's) voyage, load up the boat till it is in danger of swamping with a store of foolish things which they think essential to the pleasure and comfort of the trip, but which are really only useless lumber.
How they pile the poor little craft mast-high with fine clothes and big houses; with useless servants and a host of swell friends that do not care twopence for them, and that they do not care three ha’pence for; with expensive entertainments that nobody enjoys, with formalities and fashions, with pretence and ostentation, and with – oh, heaviest, maddest lumber of all! – the dread of what will my neighbour think, with luxuries that only cloy, with pleasures that bore, with empty show that, like the criminal’s iron crown of yore, makes to bleed and swoon the aching head that wears it!
It is lumber, man – all lumber! Throw it overboard. It makes the boat so heavy to pull, you nearly faint at the oars. It makes it so cumbersome and dangerous to manage, you never know a moment’s freedom from anxiety and care, never gain a moment’s rest for dreamy laziness…
Throw the lumber over, man! Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.
You will find the boat easier to pull then, and it will not be so liable to upset, and it will not matter so much if it does upset; good plain merchandise will stand water. You will have time to think as well as to work. Time to drink in life’s sunshine.“
Travel or live abroad
If possible, travelling or living in a cheap foreign country will make you simplify you life.
You'd be forced to eliminate many complications in your life (people, job, bills, online access), and you'd have to decide which belongings are important enough to bring along.
When you return home, you'd be amaze how much less baggage (tangible and intangible) you have, allowing for fresh starts in many areas of your life.
At times, "A kick up the backside" may be all you need
Ignorance is bliss
You've got only one life to live
Know some swear words
Calvin: Life’s disappointments are harder to take when you don’t know any swear words.