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Living Simply

“We sense, somehow, that most of the madness of our modern lives is unnecessary, our stresses and rushing about all faintly superfluous.”

David Williams

We have too much stuff, too many plans, and too many things to do. Which makes us too busy, too stressed, too distracted, and too tired. We worry too much about the wrong things and never get around to the things that matter — constantly tied up with the urgent and never quite getting to the important. Rather than living our lives, our lives seem to just be happening to us. We often feel overwhelmed and helpless.

The truth is that 90% of the things we spend our time doing, worrying about, buying, maintaining, working toward are not going to give us what we really need. In fact, they keep us from what we need.

Yet, we do them anyway. Why? Two main reasons:

1) Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)

We’re scared of missing out on something. We’re afraid that if we dare to dive deep that we’ll miss out on something up at the busy surface. The irony, of course, is that staying on the busy surface, so we don’t miss out on anything, simply means we have chosen to miss out on the far more plentiful and fulfilling experiences of the depths below. In an age of virtually endless opportunities and information, you will always be missing out on most of it. If you approach your life in terms of what you are missing out on you will always be anxious and never happy.

Let it go. Instead, do less, and that which you do, do better. Explore its depths, its richness, and savor every drop. Don’t be afraid to dive deep into what’s right in front of you.

2) We’re not intentional enough

In our noisy marketplace of a world, if you don’t intentionally protect your silence, time, and attention, you’ll quickly find yourself without any. It’s not enough to merely want to live simply. You must actively choose a simple life and then defend it fiercely.

You will not stumble into a simple life anymore than the weeds will walk themselves from your garden. You must continually and ruthlessly cultivate your life if you want it to remain simple. Otherwise it will devolve into chaos and complexity and the weeds will consume it.

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.”

Henry David Thoreau

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