There’s a growing movement in our world today, something known as voluntary simplicity. The essence of simplicity is to make room for what you truly love. In a world where bigger is better, faster is cooler, and more money means more respect, what you truly love can often get lost in the shuffle.
Simple living rejects material consumerism and unconscious lifestyle habits. Each of us has one life to live, and it’s short. Would you want to spend it buying new gadgets, or experiencing all the wonders that life has to offer?
Simple living means making conscious decisions about your life. It means asking the tough questions to get to know yourself: What are your beliefs and values? Do you believe that more money will make you more happy? Or do you believe that one of life’s greatest pleasures is a warm conversation with a nurturing friend?
What does simplicity look like?
Simple living is different for every person. Some choose a life of minimal possessions, others a relationship with nature. But no matter the differences, simple living embraces a few common ideas:
Live within your means, not beyond.
- Don’t buy unnecessary items – be conscious about how you spend your money.
- Be conscious of the resources you consume, don’t consume excessively.
Let go of attachment to material wealth.
- Don’t judge your self-worth by how much money you have.
- Don’t compare your material wealth to that of others. In other words, stop keeping up with the Joneses.
- Be grateful for the life you have to live, for your body and mind. Your heart loves, your brain thinks, and your body experiences.
- Be grateful for your family and friends who love you and want you to be happy.
- Be grateful for the resources our planet provides.
Avoid passive consumption. Be conscious about how you spend your time.
- Don’t eat because you’re bored, eat because you’re hungry.
- Don’t go shopping as a hobby or out of boredom. This leads to unnecessary expenses.
- Don’t watch TV aimlessly.
Create and connect.
If you don’t spend your time shopping and consuming information, then what’s left?
- Be creative. Write, draw, paint, sculpt, design, build, etc.
- Connect and nurture your relationships. Spend time with the people you love and strengthen those bonds.
- Spend time outside. Hike, walk, bike, run, swim, or play sports.
Simple living gets rid of the extra stuff to make room for true joy and happiness. Is that something you might like in your life?
What successes and challenges have you faced in trying to simplify your life?