In thinking about and dissecting simplicity, I’ve come up with a few things that I know to be true. Simplicity has become a force in my life with benefits and habit changes that I couldn’t have imagined from the start.
When I started my journey into simplicity by eating less meat, I had no idea that I would:
- become a vegetarian
- pay off debt
- practice yoga
- make new friends
- give away stuff (lots of stuff)
- quit my job
- have a happier marriage
- have fewer than 33 items in my wardrobe
- sell my car
- do work I love
- write books
- live more fully
I didn’t expect it, but that is exactly what happened. And because that happened and awesome things continue to happen, I love writing and talking about how to live more simply.
Simplicity is not a sacrifice.
Living with less is not a project in suffering, but instead a way to discover what is most important. Sometimes, the only way to figure out what is really important in your life is to get rid of everything that isn’t.
Simplicity doesn’t look the same for everyone.
Simplicity might mean growing your own food and living off the land, or downsizing and renting a small apartment in the city close to public transportation and a grocery store. There are lots of versions in between too and the best version is the one that makes your life better.
Simplicity will change you.
While many changes work from the inside out, simplicity has a powerful way of working from the outside in. It provides the opportunity to remove the layers and connect with what is most important.
Simplicity will make you more open-minded.
Once you see how easy it is, and how much happier you are living an unconventional lifestyle, you will become more open to change, uncertainty, and new ways of improving your life and the lives around you.
Simplicity is not a competition.
Being more or less simple than anyone else doesn’t matter. Simplicity challenges like living with less than 100 things or dressing with less than 33 are experiments and sometimes tools to help you see the power of less. They can be fun challenges, but the numbers don’t really matter. This is your life.
Simplicity supports loving relationships.
Living more simply invites you to slow down and be more attentive and loving. If you notice that your relationships are challenged because you want to live more simply than they do, step back and focus on love. Fighting about decluttering is just as damaging as fighting about clutter.
Simplicity demonstrates happiness with less.
I’ve learned that more attracts more and less attracts less when it comes to stuff and clutter and things you think you must have. If you ask most people what they really want from life and work their first answer is not more money, a bigger house, or a new car. Instead they want health, happiness, time, security, love, respect, satisfaction, inspiration, and less stress. None of those things are available at the mall or through any material purchase.
Ironically, there are many more simple truths about living with less. Your journey can be inspired by other people sharing stories of simplicity, but ultimately you will find a version of simplicity that best fits your life.
What one simple truth have you discovered?