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Live Simple: Five Steps Towards A Simple Life....Installment Four
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT MONEY
“Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu spoke the truth with those words. Living Simple is not all about saving money and cutting expenses. It is also about getting back in touch with a simpler lifestyle.
For those from my generation, memories of a simpler lifestyle are always with us. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s seemed like Utopia compared to today’s world. For those of you from later generations, perhaps you have visions of childhood, or days before marriage and family, when life proceeded at a slower pace and there were fewer worries.
Whatever the case, Living Simple is about re-capturing that lifestyle. It is about getting in touch with those things that are truly important, like peace of mind and loving one another.
Let’s take a look at five suggestions that are guaranteed to inject a little simple into your life.
WILL THIS BRING ME A SIMPLE LIFE?
This is a question I ask myself often! Before I make a big decision or undergo a major task, I ask myself if this decision or action is going to aid in bringing me a simple life. If it isn’t I really have to consider whether it is worthwhile because you see, I’m committed to living simply. I have led the high life with the six-figure income and all it brought was dis-ease, worry and headaches.
Several times in the past few months I have turned down writing gigs that were simply too big to consider. Yes, they meant more money (a great deal more) but they also meant more time away from the things I enjoy doing, like sitting on the back deck drinking tea, and going for walks with Bev. For me, the trade-off was not worth it.
Once you adopt the living simple mindset, then these decisions will become easier and easier. It is not about the money nor is it about possessions; it is, rather, about quality lifestyle, or as Lao Tzu would say, contentment with what you already have.
ADD SIMPLE PLEASURES TO YOUR LIFE
This is so important! Find time each day to add a simple pleasure to your life. It may be as simple as a half hour sitting in the garden reading. It may be quality time with a loved one. It may be stolen moments listening to opera while enjoying a warm bath. Whatever floats your boat, it is vital that you reward yourself and enjoy living at least once per day.
You might find out you like it, in which case you may increase to two simple pleasures in a day, and then three, and before you know it, it will have become a lifestyle change for the better.
A video about Living Simple
A Guide To Information About Thoreau
- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862): A Guide to Resources on Henry David Thoreau and Transcendentalism
Henry David Thoreau links: a concise, simple directory to resources on Henry David Thoreau, American author, poet and philosopher. More links to Thoreau's works including Civil Disobedience, Walden, Slavery in Massachusetts.
For this writer, no man in history better exemplifies Living Simple that Henry David Thoreau. He was a true visionary, and even though his works were written in the mid 1800’s, he could have easily been talking about life today.
Thoreau’s main concerns were over-crowding, greed, and what he saw as man’s inability to recognize what is truly important in life.
On July 4, 1845, Thoreau moved into a small cabin on Walden Pond and lived for two years.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”
When he returned to civilization on September 6, 1847, he set about writing a book about his experience, and in 1854 he published “Walden, or Life in the Woods.” If ever there was a book that summarized Living Simple, it was “Walden”.
Pick up a copy of “Walden” and learn about Simple Living from the Master.
A Call To Action
- Living Simple: A Manifesto For Change
The beginning of a series about changing our lives; in this article the author discusses his reasons for writing this series and the steps he has taken.
SIMPLIFY YOUR HOUSE
Physical clutter equals mental clutter! It is time to get serious about the house you live in. However, most people, when faced with the daunting task of de-cluttering an entire home, freeze up and do nothing.
Instead, do one room per week until the job is done. Seven days to organize one room; surely that is not a daunting task! If need be, get organizing supplies so you can put all like items in one container. What isn’t needed, take out in the garage in preparation of a garage sale. What better way to reward yourself than to sell off the un-needed and make some extra money….or….you can pile it all in your car and donate it to the Goodwill which, by the way, is a tax deduction!
Before you begin, however, ask yourself this question: what is truly necessary? You need to determine need vs want before you begin, and then stick to it and do not waver!
FIND TIME FOR YOUR PASSIONS
Where has all the passion in life gone? Is there passion in your life? Are you passionate about living? If not then why, because quite frankly, you only get one shot at this thing called life, and you never know when that one shot will end. We keep putting it off and putting it off, and the bucket list gets longer and longer, and then one day it’s all over and what has been accomplished?
“Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.” ~Henri-Frédéric Amiel,Journal, 17 December 1856
What are you passionate about? Playing music? Hikes in the woods? Photography? Your grandchildren or children? Find time each and every day to feed that passion so that it doesn’t die a slow death. Remember, whether you realize it or not, time is running out.
Feed your passion daily!
My Kindle Books
- Amazon.com: William D. Holland: Kindle Store
Amazon.com: William D. Holland: Kindle Store
UNTIL NEXT TIME
If you practice these five steps already then you are well on your way to your own cabin in the woods, and peace of mind will be your companion.
If you are just starting out on this journey, then I highly recommend that you give these five a try. Before you scoff and write this off as pure silliness, ask yourself what do you have to lose? I can attest to the fact that Living Simple is working for me, and has been for six years. I have several friends who embrace this lifestyle and they are quite happy. If it can happen for us then it can happen for you.
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)