“It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.” – Bertrand Russell
Simple living gives you the freedom to strip all the unnecessary stuff out of your life. It helps you identify your goals, your priorities, and it guides you towards a life filled with your passions and accomplishments without all the background noise and clutter to hold you back. From the physical stuff to the spiritual, it’s all about focus and purpose.
Pursuing Simple Living
For some, pursuing simple living can be hard. We’re taught that the accumulation of things is a sign of success, we get caught up in the often overwhelming stress and messiness of our lives that it becomes difficult to live with purpose, meaning, and joy. Living a simple life can help craft a life dedicated to the things that are most important to you, that are fulfilling and meaningful.
4 Blessings of Simple Living
So how do you create simple living?
1. Strip It Down
“Any half-awake materialist well knows – that which you hold holds you.” – Tom Robbins
The most challenging part of simple living can be getting to minimal. Some people have spent a lifetime accumulating the collection of stuff they live in, and stripping down to the necessities is not just a challenge, it can also feel like a betrayal. After all, these objects cost money and time to acquire or were gifts or mementos of a life lived. It’s hard to put all that in the trash.
It’s important to look at your belongings critically and decide whether it’s something that is truly important, or if it’s an item you hang onto out of obligation. Is it really important to hang onto that piece of clothing that represents your goal weight?
Break it down to a handful of important criteria: Do you need it? Does it make you happy? Is it in line with your goals? Will your life be negatively impacted by the loss of this item? Letting go can be incredibly freeing, not just of the physical items themselves but of the old expectations and stressors related to them.
2. Quality Over Quantity
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
When you streamline your spending and cut out any unnecessary spending or acquisition of stuff, you find your money will go a lot further. You can dedicate your money to buying better versions of the things you need. By investing more money, you can buy better quality items that will work better, last longer, and give you a better boost to achieving your goals than the thrifty version.
3. Do Some Good For You and Others
“If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements.” – The Dalai Lama
Simple living can lead to positive life changes, both in your life and the lives of others. Everything you strip from your life, all the clutter and mess you shed like a winter coat, can help out the less fortunate. You can donate all your stuff to charities and help out those in need. Embrace reduce, reuse, recycle. The reduction of stuff going into your home will decrease your carbon footprint, making your lifestyle better for the environment. Instead of things, invest in moments. Your family and loved ones can travel together, and through your shared adventures, become closer. The principles of living a simple life can apply to your mental health, as well; devote your thoughts and time to the most important things to keep from being overwhelmed by everything.
4. Keep Going
“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
A simple life is more than cleaning out your home. It is a daily decision to buy less, use less, and devote yourself more to the things that are important. Be critical of all your purchases. Assess your priorities daily. Don’t hesitate to keep reading simple living blogs and books to maintain the correct headspace. Persist in decluttering your life spiritually and emotionally. The more you maintain the lifestyle, the more the lifestyle will pay out in meaning.