If you really think about it, we donâ€™t need much to survive. Thatâ€™s not to say that Iâ€™m telling you to sell all your material possessions and live in the mountains to hunt your own food. Iâ€™m just saying humans have a tendency to overcomplicate their lives without even knowing it and as a result, feel overwhelmed with everything going on in their lives.
This is where simplicity comes into play. So much can be said for living a simple life.
This article is mainly geared toward those who are stuck in that â€ścycleâ€ť in life, but donâ€™t really want to admit it. What cycle am I talking about?
Most of us have been conditioned by the media, advertising, and society in general to live lives according to their standards. We have been conditioned to equate success with the purchase of certain material possessions or the obtainment of certain jobs. When we live by the standards set by those outside of us, we get overwhelmed with all the things in our life simply because we are not living our own life â€“ we are living the lives of others.
People stuck in this â€ścycleâ€ť live lives that involve buying material possessions in an effort to alleviate that gnawing feeling they have inside themselves and to fill that meaningless void within as well. When they find those things donâ€™t work, they find themselves stuck with a problem in that theyâ€™ve traveled too deep in this journey to the point where turning back would mean losing face to those around them, so they continue this faĂ§ade to fulfill the expectations of those around them, instead of their own.
That void, that empty feeling they possess is a result of living lives of purpose given to them by those outside of them.
When purpose is defined and made on their own, that is when the void becomes filled.
The biggest difference here is one of volition. Are you living the life youâ€™re living because YOUâ€™VE decided to live that life or are you living it because thatâ€™s how others expect you to live it? There is a world of difference between the two and it is between these two worlds where most people get lost.
1. Simplifying your life allows you to have the opportunity to fill that void by giving you the time and resources to figure out what you truly want to do.
2. And if you have figured out what you truly want to do, simplifying your life will give you the time and resources to do it.
Probably the greatest thing youâ€™ll find after you figure out what you want to do, is that more often than not, you will continue to lead a simple life. Why?
Itâ€™s because your purpose in life overrides any of those things that tend to complicate our lives. Our purpose becomes more important than the latest car, the big screen TV, the computer, etc., and we become content with the things we have that allow us to live our purpose.
For example, if youâ€™ve decided your purpose was to help those who have breast cancer fight to survive, having the latest model car and cell phone seems to be so insignificant now doesnâ€™t it? It seems so trivial and in the end, it is. It really is in the grand scheme of things, yet weâ€™ve been exposed to media hyping it, conditioning us to believe that we need to buy it in order to feel good about ourselves.
So am I saying that you should renounce buying material items after you find your purpose?
Iâ€™m not saying that at all.
What I am saying is that from that point on, material items would then be used to further your objective, but in no way will they become the end objective anymore.
Therein lays the subtle difference. One person lives a life dedicated toward obtaining material possessions as his end objective, and another uses it to further his own objective.
Thatâ€™s what the trouble is. People assume that buying those expensive material items are an ends, an ends to happiness and success. They are not. They are a means to an end, an end that should be determined by each and every one of us, and only by us alone.
When you start substituting material items in an attempt to fill that void within you, you donâ€™t simply your life. You overcomplicate it. Because it doesnâ€™t just start with one expensive material item. You need another and another and another and soon enough youâ€™re living a fake lifestyle that you have to uphold in order to save face to those around you, so your time and resources are devoted to maintaining that lifestyle â€“ which is one you never truly wanted in the first place.
Can you see how complicated this gets? How people start to feel trapped and overwhelmed with their lives?
Setting a goal to a live a simple life gives you the ability to escape the â€ścycleâ€ť (if you are in it in the first place). When you do start to live simply, you free your time and resources to decide what you really want to do and if youâ€™ve already decided what that is, you have the time and resources to pursue it.
Living a simple life gives you the freedom and power to decide AND to do what YOU truly want to do, thereby releasing you from the shackles of the â€ścycleâ€ť that most people are caught living in the first place.
So all Iâ€™m saying is this.
Weâ€™ve been conditioned by society, media, and advertising in believing that buying expensive material items are an ends to the things we want. But we end up finding they are not, and we get caught up in this â€ścycleâ€ť thatâ€™s hard to escape. A cycle that involves devoting our time and resources to keeping the lifestyle we live in order to save face.
To break free from this cycle, you have to start living a simple life in order to free your time and resources. That will be different for each person. It might mean living in a smaller house, buying a less expensive car, budgeting, etc.
BUT living that kind of simple life will give you the time and resources to figure out what you truly want to do and once you do that, then everything gets put in perspective and in their proper place.
Your outlook on material items changes from them being an ends, to them being a means to an end, namely to fulfilling your purpose â€“ which is one that is truly of your own accord and decision and not of those around you.
Peace of mind, escape from the “cycle”, purposeful living – the power of living a simple life indeed.