Need Less, Have More: Life Expands When We Eliminate the Excess

“Knowledge is learning something new every day.  Wisdom is letting go of something every day” ~Zen Saying

At its core, simplicity is about removing excess from our lives.

There are many things that you don’t need, like wants or possessions. You can go on and on.

The society tries to convince us that more should be our goal. Is this true? Continue readingIs it possible to really improve our quality of life?

Are more possessions than a point worth the added value?

Are there any benefits to having more obligations in our diaries?

Is it really possible to improve the quality of the things we already have by always wanting new gadgets?

This is Continue readingIt is not even possible for those of us struggling to survive and pay our basic bills during these difficult economic times. Many cannot afford it. There is enough, let alone Continue reading.

Live in the Moment

Living in the moment and focusing on more can lead to a life of over-complicating. We’re constantly waiting for our lives to be complete with Continue reading Striving to be a better person.

We’re in a state of deferred living. Assuming that the present is enough. Never satisfied with what we have.

My journey to simpler and less stressful life

My own path to wanting to live a simpler life is, I’m sure, fairly typical.

My life was pretty good about four-five years ago. There wasn’t much to be unhappy about. My life was full of great people and loved ones. I also had a job that paid the bills, shelter, food, and knew exactly where my next meal would come from.

I was also accumulating more over time. I was accumulating more material possessions and more obligations, as well as more meeting commitments, financial responsibilities and more trouble. These things made me feel like I was spending less time on my own. My time.

As I added more, the quality of my time decreased.

I was busy and in motion a lot of the time but wasn’t really getting what I truly wanted out of life. I was a believer in the idea of Continue readingThat and more Continue readingThis was the solution. It was easy to lose sight of my goals.

Then came a period of reflection. I began to see more of the things I wanted in my life through this time of reflection. It was also during this time that I discovered the things I’d rather have in my life.

My search for books about simpler lifestyles and lifestyle changes began. It was a great experience to be able to discover the writings of many outstanding thinkers, including Chris Guillebeau and Leo Babauta. The books not only challenged my thinking but encouraged me into the rabbit hole where I was already disappearing down.

It was also the first time I took action.

I started to peel back and eliminate what didn’t matter.

I started extracting myself from commitments and meetings I really had no interest in being at or didn’t feel I could add value to.

I learned the value and power of a polite “no thanks” when requests on my time (meetings, social gatherings) didn’t excite me, add value, or help my goals along in some way. It was important that I began to feel less guilty when saying no.

I started to see that conventional wisdom doesn’t always have to be followed.

I began to eliminate distractions from myself.

It was important for me to pay more attention to the people and things that I care about.

After realizing that freedom and flexibility are more important than earning more, I decided to start looking at ways I could live my life in this way.

My material possessions decreased, but I enjoyed more of my money (holidays and great meals, etc.).

The bottom line is that my quality of life has increased since I tried to simplify and live intentionally with less.

Is it easy to make the change?

No. It is a process and not a quick fix. In my case, however, the focus on less made a significant difference in my life. What has it meant?

Instead of trying to achieve the corporate dream I never achieved with every climb up the ladder, my one-man consultancy company has been my business. I feel more flexible, empowered, and free in my work.

Because I’ve spent less on stuff, I have been able to travel more for fun in the past two years than at any other time in my life (and the more amazing places I travel to the more I want to travel).

It is possible to have a rich life and still enjoy small pleasures, without spending a lot or buying more. One example is my love for long, early morning walks, before the sun rises, and returning to make a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

My time is more free to pursue my interests and spend it with people who I like. Although I actually have more time than I think, I am much more careful about how and when I use it.

The list may look different for you depending on what your goals and circumstances are. However, a commitment to banishing the “more is better” mindset will, I’m sure, improve the quality of your own life in equally significant ways.

Get rid of the Extras

Living a minimalist life means reducing excess.

Perhaps we don’t change to the latest smartphone every other week.

Perhaps we don’t fill our homes with clutter.

Perhaps we don’t check our email obsessively.

Perhaps we focus on and are grateful for what we do have rather than on what we don’t.

Maybe we should be thinking more about what clothes we choose, and if we are able to afford quality clothes (or have an extremely simple wardrobe that only includes the things we love).

We may intentionally make space in our life and diary so we can take a breath and be present.

Changes are not always easy. Because we have been programmed to think in a particular way, making significant changes may require a major shift in our thinking. But, the benefits we receive by eliminating false needs and wants make any effort worthwhile. You can change your entire life. It could also be defined as:

  • Increased time freedom to pursue our passions or hobbies.
  • Enjoy more time spent with people you care about
  • Less stress
  • Spend less
  • It is ironic that more high-quality possessions give us pleasure and value.
  • You can save more on vacations and any other activity you love.
  • We feel less pressure to keep up the pace of those around us

Consider this: what are you doing to stop yourself from making your own way to less and forever shedding the idea that more is better?

Carl Phillips

Carl is a prolific writer of short books that are full of great ideas. Frictionless Living is Carl’s proud company. It focuses on helping people live a simple, but fulfilling, lifestyle.

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Tiny Buddha published the post Have Less and More: Your Life Will Expand When You Get rid of Excess

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