Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I think the reason I appreciate it so much is because it helps simplify my life. It focuses on gratitude and a thankful disposition. When I begin to think and feel what I am thankful for, it usually excludes many of the things that complicate my life. I see them as urgent, but when I investigate their real value, they are at best distractions to what is important and detours to contentment.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” —Leonardo Da Vinci
We immerse ourselves in a fast paced schedule and make life complicated. When we focus on what’s important, we take complicated things and make them simple. This simplification leads to the amplification of what we truly value.
So here’s the question: what are you simplifying today?
Life can seem complex. Yet in reality we are the ones who are complex. In the film, “It’s Complicated” (Meryl Streep and Alex Baldwin), the only thing making their lives complicated were the characters in the movie. Life is simple. And the simple things end up being the right things. To keep adding – more clothes, furniture, tasks, gadgets, appointments, apps — is not sustainable or desirable. Where’s the subtraction? It doesn’t take a genius to see that the math doesn’t work.
It takes the hard work of focus to sort out the confusion. The real work is in the search for the truth. Simple and true go together.
Here are 4 truths that will assist your search…
1. Simplicity is satisfaction. It provides peace and happiness. There is no peace in complexity – only unnecessary burden and stress. In our hyperkinetic world we keep adding to our complexity pile. This makes us less productive, less secure, decreases control, disorients our thinking, and produces anxiety.
2. Simplicity is the ally to “why”. There should not be anything complicated about being ourselves. It’s easy to focus on what we do. It takes more focus to get to how we do it. Only laser focus gets us to why we do it. Simplification is a revealer of causation. It helps us get to why. And what do we discover? The closer we get to our center, the less complicated life becomes.
3. Simplicity is not simplistic. Simplistic is naïve. Simple is profound. Simplistic is shallow. Simple goes to the core. Simplistic leads to cloudiness. Simple leads to clarity. Simple quarantines the clutter so we are able to see more clearly.
4. Simplicity leads to contentment. This is counterintuitive because we tend to behave the opposite of what we say we believe. When we clear out, scale down, and sift through, we are left with the essentials. And we discover that they are enough. Becoming a minimalist is not the goal. The goal is not having less. The goal is having enough. A minimalist mindset is only a process to a contented mindset. This is not a denouncement of things. But it is proof that a feeling of wholeness is not found in accumulation.
So take this holiday to bypass the fast food lane. Let your life simmer. Steam off the craziness and complication that happens by default and neglect.
You are enough. And you have enough. The opposite of scarcity is not abundance. The opposite of scarcity is enough.
As we sort out the unnecessary, we discover beauty, purity, and freedom.
Simplify to amplify. Discover the power of less.