I’ve been exploring the concept of simplicity for a while now.
When I first started, everything I read seemed to point me in the direction of simplifying my external environment – so I dutifully set about cutting the complexity out of my business, reducing the size of my team, clearing out my cupboards, signing the kids up for fewer out of school activities and trying to focus on one goal only.
All very wise while it looks like your experience of life has anything to do with what’s happening in it.
But as I have spent more time looking in the direction of understanding just that: how my experience of my life is actually being created, I notice there’s a few things I’ve stopped doing quite so often, which have wiped 90% off my to do list.
- I’ve stopped looking on my bookshelves/buying ‘how to’ programs to give me answers and happiness – this was where great ideas and answers came from, I used to believe. See my bookshelves and Amazon bills as evidence of my continual seeking.
- I’ve stopped creating stuff to try and change a feeling. So much of what I used to create and do was to escape feeling insecure (“What if I end up a bag lady?” “What if anyone sees my muffin-top?”) or afraid.
- I’ve stopped doing what I should and am experimenting with following what I want instead. Can you imagine how much crap THAT has taken off the list? Turns out it’s a LOT easier!
- I’ve pretty much stopped needing to-do lists at all. Mainly because I saw that what I put on my to-do list were my to-don’ts, not my to-dos and when I’m doing number 3, why bother? And I’ve only forgotten to pick the kids up once.
- I’ve stopped trying ‘work on myself’ to become a superhuman.
- I’ve stopped trying to come up with strategies to deal with the ‘what if’s’ of an imaginary future. That used to fill nearly all my time. (That wasn’t being filled with reading new b0oks to get new ideas and writing to-don’t lists!)
- I’ve stopped having to know the answers and having to live my life in the teeny tiny area of the stuff I know.
And right now, today, this is what simplicity looks like to me now.
Not having to do any of this stuff.
Not having to try not to do any of this stuff. Or practice it. That would have just ADDED to my to-do list!
But these seven things have just happened all on their own the more and more I’ve understood how human beings worked.
I’d love to know if you’ve experienced any of the same?