“How living with less can lead to so much more” is the subtitle of my new book, Soulful Simplicity. The subtitle is what my friend Jonathan calls, “the book’s promise.” Not only is this subtitle the book’s promise, but it’s a promise I’ll make to you. Living with less has led to so much more of the good stuff in my life, and I promise that for you too … if that’s what you want.
Less has led to more in almost every area of my life in really meaningful ways. Living with less hasn’t been a sacrifice but instead a journey in discovering what matters most. Here are a few ways I can promise you that living with less can lead to so much more.
8 promising ways living with less can lead to so much more
1. Own less for more space, love and connection.
Our homes are not containers for stuff but rather a place for love and connection. By removing the excess stuff from our homes we make more physical space and create less distraction to allow us to really live the way we want to live.
2. Dress with less for more time, money and clarity.
If you’ve ever looked in your closet and thought “I have nothing to wear” while staring at hundreds of choices, I can promise you relief from dressing with less. For the last 7 years, I’ve dressed with 33 items or less including clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories. Thanks to minimalist fashion challenge Project 333, I spend less time and money shopping and experience less decision fatigue choosing from a small capsule collection.
3. Do less for more productivity and creativity.
I accomplish more and do better work by doing less of it. You know how it feels to try to get something done when you are burnt out from trying to do it all. Your work suffers. Your health suffers. Your people suffer. There will always be more to do. Choose less and do it well. Choose less and do what’s most important.
4. Less rushing leads to more lingering.
Lingering is like falling in love. Think about the evenings you’ve sat around a table after a meal, talking and laughing instead of rushing to clean up the dishes. You fell in love with the people around you and the evening you shared. Likewise, lingering over a sunrise, a good book, a long walk, or a moment of solitude encourages love; love of what you are experiencing, love of who you are spending time with, and love of who you are.
5. Worry less for more peace and sleep.
Worry keeps us up at night. Worry weighs us down. Worry encourages fear and makes us tired, cranky and scared. Worry is a trap. Simplicity helps you worry less. I used to worry about making ends meet, then I started working on fewer ends. With less around, there is less worry. Be discerning about what you choose to surround yourself with. Hold on to what matters. Let go of the rest.
6. Say yes less for more time to do things you love with people you love.
We’ve all said yes, when we wanted to say no. Whether we say it out of guilt, for fear of missing out, or out of habit, it’s important to note that saying yes, when your heart says no is a disservice not only to you, but to everyone you say yes to. If your heart says no, it will fight the yes all the way through. You won’t be excited to contribute. You won’t give your best, and you may end up resenting the commitment or the person who asked you to commit. If you don’t have time for what matters, stop doing things that don’t.
7. Connect less to your digital devices for more connection with who you are and what you know to be true.
If you want real connection and honest answers, check your heart more than you check your phone. Start by sitting quietly for a few minutes with your hands on your heart, and your eyes closed. Listen. Your heart knows who you are — now you just need a little time to know your heart.
8. Less drama results in more ease and equanimity.
Choose to under-react. Choose to take a few (hundred) deep breaths. Choose a long walk. Don’t let the drama in. Just because everything is crazy around you doesn’t mean everything has to be crazy within you.
Living with less has helped me to restore my health, engage in work I truly care about and show all the way up for the people I love. Living with less can lead to so much more.