How can we work toward living simpler, less complicated lives?
My gut reaction is turn off the TV and the cell phone. The information and stress of these two items can quickly become overwhelming. Turn the TV back on ONLY as a source of entertainment, but consider spending the time without TV and Cell phones in the outdoors observing nature (even city dwellers should be able to find a place to do this, try the local park or a friends back yard). Since the realities of life probably won't allow this radical change for any length of time, try it for just a short time each day. I suspect you'll find that the time away will improve the rest of the day.
I believe limiting the information that we are bombarded with daily can be a great first step toward simplifying your life.
I think it is quite easy in one respect and quite difficult in another respect. It cannot be done without significant preparation, planning and sacrifice. Let me repeat, it takes significant preparation, planning and sacrifice to accomplish. One must realize that the easiest path to this is to begin with finding and qualifying for a career that you enjoy, love, and if I may add one which gives you significant authority and flexibility or at minimum autonomy. That elliminates most occupations; especially if you are young and just beginning. It also is somewhat illusive; especially for those in a hurry to get married and think they need to make money today instead of a few years later after graduate school.
Yet if you indeed get through graduate school and delay your money-earning years just a few years the payoff in terms of autonomy, pay-scale, flexibility etc. can be significant.
This however, is just the beginning. Graduate School alone cannot always lead to simpler and less complicated lives. One or two or a family of more, must endeavor to make choices that truly protect your autonomy/independence and resist your craving for a higher and higher salary or compensation point. This is most difficult to do. I certainly did not do it at first; yet I have learned otherwise. Yet if you are excellent at what you do; then indeed, you can insulate yourself and build this independence or autonomy rather than complicated interdependence or need for more and more cash.
I still use my "cell" and actually text to my children and I certainly do not equate this communication as a complication or route away from simplicity. Although I do not watch much TV I do enjoy it on occasion and consider it as a most invaluable teaching & learning device.
What I have been most blessed to have been able to do is (in my opinion) is not to want for much and also have been provided for from others primarily because of my occupation and most significantly through God. Therefore, I would be less than honest if I did not advise you to look to God. Your answer lies there...
Mentally and emotionally, I live simpler by just asking why this matters so much to me, will it matter still in five minutes? An hour? Tomorrow? Is it worth getting upset over it?
Once one has that down, it's easier to look at objects and say do I need this? Is this of used to me at the moment? Once a day? Once a week? A year?
This is on par to looking at services, except the question is "how does this contribute to my growth or stability?" For example, cable does not. Car insurance does not contribute to either, and thus I have neither car insurance nor cable...nor do I have a car. The bus gets me around just fine, and allows me time to read and unwind from my day. It ensures I walk when buses are not available, and thus I get my exercise in.
At the end of the day, the best question(s) to ask is "How does this contribute to my being?" "Is this a positive or negative experience I need to carry with me?"
Don't be afraid of complicating things too with simplicity. A very basic example would be instead of wasting money on batteries for the remote control, chuck the remote and get up to work the TV manually. Or instead of writing in "leet speak" when writing, write out the whole word, give your hand some exercise.
Don't give into the stress and remove the subtle stresses, such as excess bills that are not essential to existence.
Find a true friend and you will find your answers. btw you can be creative with how you go about "finding" your friendships. CiaO
By not seeking for more of what we can afford. This way, we go content of what we have and make the most of what is there. Less wants is less expenses and less hassle is less stress; not only giving us the chance to live simply, but the priveledge of knowing the better aspect of life in expecting less for something more -- better life. It's the way I see it.
I do not know of the one, sure-fire answer that will suddenly make your life simpler and less complicated. What I have found is that developing a lifestyle that focuses on simpler and less complicated helps. Here are some simple guidelines:
1. Do everything you agreed to do.
2. Do not encroach on other people or their property.
3. Take care of your family and yourself.
4. Take care of your what belongs to you.
5. Spend time in prayer with God each day
6. Show gratitude for kind deeds done for you or to you.
7. Say please and thank you.
8. Ask yourself, "Do I need this, or want this?"
9. Avoid fast food and chain stores.
10. Eat simple
11. Think before you speak, and realize you do not have to give your opinion on everything.
These guidelines will take you a long way on the way toward a simpler, less complicated life.
Set priorities. Decide what you really value. That will dictate where you life leads. If you are consumed with getting ahead and acquiring more things, you may not be able to achieve a simpler, less complicated life.
Don't get me wrong. Having the money we need to have a comfortable life can still yield this more simple life. But if the acquisition of things drives a life there is little hope of achieving a life that is free of external pressure to be something grandiose.
Some things happened in my life and if you read some of my hubs about my family you will see what they are, that caused me to let go of things I once found so important. What is truly important in my life are the relationships that I have with my family and friends. All else is just stuff.
Not buying everything on the shelves. How many pairs of shoes or dresses can one wear? Get a cell phone without all the bells and whistles, a television that is not necessarily 60 inches and up. Get a pratical car because it's fuel efficient and not be set in getting a luxury car because your next door neighbor has one (and you can barely make the payments...) Keep your home clean and neat while keeping the decor simple yet tasteful. Take the monies that you would have spent on yet another yard sale and build your retirement/vacation plans. Eat healthier as best you can, even growing your own veggies (space permitting). Overall, keep our minds clutter free.
Well Amy, as you have heard the old saying go "you can't stop progress" but nobody ever said you can't shut it off! Turn off the tv's, cellphones and computers for a while and go cloudwatching! Plant a little garden, sit and read a good book in front of the fireplace or go out and build a snowman(if you live in Florida this advice is not for you.LOL Think of something you would like to decorate with in your home and learn to make it with your own hands(like crocheting an afghan for example). Resolve to make your own Christmas gifts this year or simply write a heartfelt letter to a friend or loved one the old fashioned way. Above all else learn to say no. If you want to lead a simpler life you must make time for yourself and it is impossible to do that if you are busy doing things for everyone else. I am not sure what is complicating your life so I can't really give you more specific advice but these are some things that I love to do to unwind!
We need to rethink what grandmothers across the globe have said for years. "Waste not, want not."
OMG ... this is quite a complicated Q
well asked ... now I'll ponder upon it for few days for sure ;-)
Avoid attachments, avoid craving and desires, stop thinking this is mine, that is mine..
see this example;
A man asked Lord Budda, "I want happiness"
Lord Buddha replied
"First leave 'I' that is ego, Then remove 'want', that is desire. see now you are left with only 'happiness'
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