Simple living all but flies in the face of the common values of the Western world. It’s in direct opposition to a world of over-consumption, self-interest, and judging on the externals. If you’re confused about the conflicts between bigger-better-more and human sustainability, you’re not alone. Every day we see this fight playing out in our politics, our schools, our society, and our environment.
If ever there were something one person can do to play their part in creating a more sustainable future, simple living is the answer. But what exactly does simple living mean?
Living simply entails stripping away the nonessential and focusing your time and energy on the things that matter the most. When you simplify, you’re left with a life full of meaning...a life that is lived on your own terms. You have the time and space to pursue your interests and to create the life you truly desire.
Instead of spending your time and energy taking care of all the stuff you’ve accumulated, the projects that have backed up, and the endless drone of work that needs to be done, you detach from the material and focus on honoring your core values. Embracing this counterculture approach can create a life-transforming experience.
Let’s take a look at all the surprising benefits simplicity provides:
1. Your finances improve. Sell the stuff you don’t need any more and only purchase items you love or need. Fewer things can permit living in a smaller space. If you’re spending less, your finances are bound to be on a more secure footing. If you’re dealing with debt, simplifying and downsizing to live within your means is a huge way to reverse course and erase the debt burden.
Having an excess of financial resources eliminates a lot of the stress from life. The peace of mind you enjoy is worth the minimal sacrifice. When you’re at a place where your financial resources are at an abundance and your obligations are at a minimum, you can use that money to pursue passions that light up your soul instead of clutter your life.
2. You naturally avoid overreacting. Living a simple lifestyle allows you see the reality of the situation more easily. Your mind is less stressed because it has less to worry about. You won’t make your life more difficult by rushing to a hasty decision. Remember, don’t make a long-term decision based on a short term emotion. Keep it simple and count your blessings!
3. You strengthen your health. By focusing on what’s most important, your stress levels will be lower and your health will benefit. Stress can affect your mood, blood pressure, and mental health, just to name a few.
4. Your relationships become deeper and more meaningful. Simplifying goes beyond physical possessions and can be applied to many areas of your life. For instance, you might choose to have fewer friends, but the friends you have will be much closer. It’s easier to focus on the other person when your life is simpler. The interaction is also sincerer, since you’re free of the need to impress them.
5. Simplicity and freedom go hand in hand. The more things you own, the more responsibilities you have, the more you need to service your ego, and the less freedom you enjoy.
Simplicity is all about focusing on what’s most important to you and letting go of the rest. A simple life provides freedom.
6. You learn more about yourself. When you’re not distracting yourself with your iPhone 27 and stressed about becoming a CEO before the age of 40, you have the time and mental space to learn more about yourself. You learn how to simplify your own thoughts, creating more clarity and purpose.
7. Your life is less cluttered. Fewer possessions and commitments results in less clutter. This means you’ll spend less time cleaning and organizing. Naturally, you’ll have more free time at your disposal. Imagine not having to spend so much time keeping your life organized and dealing with all the things you don’t need or want.
8. You can be true to yourself and your values. Modern society is focused on many things that don’t lead to happiness and fulfillment. A big house, fancy car, and a second home in Aspen never made anyone happy. A complex life with a lot of expenses has made plenty of people miserable, however.
When you embrace simplicity, you’re no longer influenced by the materialistic values of society. You can follow your own conscience, without concern for appearances.
9. More free time. How will you spend all the extra time you’ll enjoy as a benefit of living a simple life? This is one of the greatest benefits of simple living. It can be hard to learn to relax when you’re used to running around trying to get everything done. But free time is a gift.
10. You make a positive impact on the environment. Less stuff means less space, less energy, less waste, less depletion of resources, and good stewardship of the environment. If you value saving the rain forests but you’re living big with all the stuff money affords, you’re making as much of a negative impact as a positive. Simplicity teaches you how to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
Is life running you ragged? Have you been successful by conventional norms, but feeling unfulfilled? There’s another option. You can buck convention and live by a simpler set of rules, rules that give you the freedom to enjoy your life.
The first step is to prioritize your core values and learn how to make choices that honor those values. I can help. Reach out if you’re ready to stop surviving and start thriving.