Living Simple: Five Steps Towards A Simple Life Installment Eight
Recently the citizens of the United States voted for President, as well as many other political positions and ballot measures. I, of course, voted, for I believe that if I’m not part of the process I have no business complaining.
I woke up on Election Day with the realization that it really makes no difference who was elected with regards to my lifestyle. All of the campaign promises about the economy and taxes, foreign policy and other issues, have very little effect on me or the way I live, and that is because I am now living the simple life. I have boiled my life down to the lowest common needs, namely food, shelter, and love, and I have made sure that I can survive whatever comes down the political or economic road in the years to come.
That, my friends, is freedom!
I have received a great many comments on these “Living Simple” articles, and occasionally I will get a comment that almost seems defensive in nature, as though the writer somehow thinks that I am judging those who do not embrace simple living. That simply is not the case, and I felt the need to mention that at this time. I don’t care at all if any of you decide to Live Simple. It does not affect me in the least. My job, as a writer, is to give you information about topics, and in this case I give you information about a lifestyle that is working quite well for me. If you do not choose to follow, then God bless you and I wish you a happy life.
I do not care if you own four cars and live in a 5,000 square foot home, nor do I care if you spend thousands of dollars on the latest electronic gadgets and have lavish parties. It is your life and I wish you well! I am simply pointing out an alternative way of living; if you think it sounds like something you could embrace then jump on board. Live and let live is one of my personal mantras, and it certainly applies in this case.
Today I am going to talk more about the philosophy of Simple Living. This lifestyle is not just about saving money and becoming self-sufficient. It is also about changing our lives so that we can focus on that which is truly important in life. What follows are five personal philosophies that keep me, and others, on track as we try to simplify our lives.
Acceptance is the key to all of my problems
I can hear you asking what in the world acceptance has to do with living simple, and it is a fair question.
I have control over myself….period! I have no control over what you do, or what my son does, or what the governor of Washington does, or what the CEO of a major corporation does. In fact, if I were to start listing all the things I have no control over, I fear I would still be listing things for decades into the future.
Acceptance recognizes this fact, and allows me to live my life free of the angst that is caused by feeling powerless. I am not powerless at all when it comes to the things that matter in my life. I have control over my financial situation. I have control over my home, my job, and my security. Things will happen outside of my circle of life that I cannot control and I am fine with that, and because I am fine, I have peace of mind!
The economy could tank tomorrow and it would not affect me so adversely that I could not carry on, and since that is the truth, why should I fret over what is happening with the economy? I enjoy peace of mind; anything that detracts from my peace of mind I do not enjoy. I have found that the more accepting I am of life around me, the more relaxed I am and the happier I am. I think I’ll keep doing that which is working. Seems pretty simple to me!
More thoughts on Living Simple
- Living Simple: Five Steps Towards A Simple Life Installment Five
More suggestions on simplifying your life one day at a time. Live long and prosper!
I believe that we are approaching a time in our history where it is going to be very important for communities to come together, and work together, for a better way of life. I have written often about the need to meet your neighbors and become each other’s guardians and support system.
I have had it with the political scene. What happens in Washington D.C., or London, or Tokyo, no longer interests me. For me, what is happening in my home and in my community is all I can concern myself with, and if more people felt that way then we could build strong communities, and branch out until we had an inter-connecting system of communities, all strong, all healthy, and all working together.
One way to insure a strong community is by doing service for that community. Whether it be helping an elderly neighbor with yardwork, or volunteering at a Food Bank, every act of service strengthens my community. I cannot solve the problems in Philadelphia or Houston, but I can sure be a part of the solution in Olympia’s Northeast Neighborhood.
In the year 2012, Living Simple is a radical idea. I understand that, and I also understand if someone considers it too radical. In order to live this lifestyle, it takes a willingness to change. Considering the fact that the average household in the United States has three televisions, the notion of not owning a television will certainly seem bizarre to many Americans. It takes some serious willingness to say goodbye to television.
For that matter, it takes serious willingness to say goodbye to credit cards and excessive spending; to do so is to buck a trend that has been growing for decades.
However, any change takes willingness, does it not? To go on a diet takes willingness; to begin an exercise program takes willingness, and to become a parent takes willingness.
Those of us who are embracing Living Simple are willing to change our lifestyles in order to have peace of mind and a degree of serenity. We are giving up excess and receiving tranquility! Not a bad exchange if you ask me!
My ebook on choosing a lifestyle
- Lifestyle Choices: William D. Holland: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
Lifestyle Choices: William D. Holland: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
What is the opposite of humility? If you said ego you would be correct. So what does humility have to do with living simple?
The best definition for humility I have ever seen is, “perpetual quietness of heart.” That beautifully describes living simple for me. I am at peace when my life is broken down to the lowest common denominator. When I only concern myself with my well-being and the well-being of my loved ones, my mind and heart are at rest.
When, however, my ego enters the picture, all bets are off. When I want more money, more possessions, more trappings of the good life (all fed by ego by the way) I can feel myself moving further and further away from serenity and peace of mind.
Today I am a simple person. I have simple needs. Food for the body; love for the soul; these are the things I need, and everything else is just so much baloney!
We have spoken about the willingness it takes to adopt a simple lifestyle; however, willingness alone will not get you to the Promised Land. To complete that trip, one needs to commit to a complete lifestyle change.
Need vs want….that is, in fact, what it all boils down to. What do I need and what do I want For those of us who have adopted this lifestyle, we completely understand what we need, and we are committed to living a life that is conducive to having our needs met. We are also committed to living a life that is free of angst and worry caused by excess and too much want.
A diet plan is worthless if you do not commit to it; a lifestyle change like simplicity is worthless if you are only going to give it lip service. Commit and it shall happen!
I DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS
I have been asked by some friends how one goes about achieving this simple lifestyle if the bills and obligations are just too much; in other words, if the mortgage and credit card bills are so much that you can’t get out of debt, then how do you put yourself in a position to live simply? If you have five kids and just the food and utility bills are so high that you are living from paycheck to paycheck, how do you cut back on work and cut back on bills?
I don’t have an answer! I wish I did, but I don’t. This lifestyle, which I live daily, is not going to work for everyone. Years of debt accumulation cannot be erased overnight. Few people can quit their job and declare themselves a writer like I did, and then hope for the best financially.
However, that does not mean that the rest of the Living Simple philosophy cannot be adopted. I personally think that society is out of control. There is too much running around and too much simple enjoyment missed while running around. We need to slow up and smell the proverbial roses, and we need to get back to some basic values.
In a perfect world we would all make a commitment to our community, and strengthen the bonds with our fellow citizens. In a perfect world we would all help one another and reach out a hand of help to those who need it.
In a perfect world we would all take a deep breath and learn to live simply!
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)