Simplicity is not abandonment! It is what I thought when I realize more and more that I needed to do the things I used to do in a different way. Don’t get me wrong! I have a mental affection (and affiliation, along with a healthy curiosity) for complex systems, dynamical systems, fuzzy logic & engineering, swarm intelligence, chaos theory, fractals,catastrophe theory, game theory, singularities, Markov chains, behavioral economics, etc.! I still love puzzles, mental games, and challenges, but, as I move on, I found myself to try to do the things in more simple ways!
I don’t feel like I abandon anything. I think that I adapt to an ever growing and more demanding life (both personal and business) I have to operate in!
I used to early adopt and pilot any system, solution, an approach that would provide me an edge over my shortcomings, my bad habits or would promote my goals in life and business. I learn a lot, a get clear insights about many of them, but now I like to focus on what I have to do!
How Would You Define Simplicity?
Most people want more and more, about … everything. That it is not bad but can trigger you to a life full of anxiety, stress, and gathering of stuff!
It is a legitimate way of life, of course, but the one thing does not bring this type of life is the balance. Balance is not something new you have to have for all course and maybe is not desirable for many people!
But balance is the one thing, that ultimately, will give you the time to lay back and check your action in a “different eye“! And that’s important in today conditions where everything and anything guides you towards doing more, faster and faster.
For me, simplicity is not something that removes you from that path (of getting what you want in life and business).
It is a way of moving towards your goals in the ways that more accustomed to you.It is moreover a way of knowing what you really want, what has to mean for you and what makes a difference to your life.
Simplicity as a Way of Life
Who said simplicity is simple (or easy)? Even though many people define simplicity as:
the state or quality of being simple (Wikipedia: Simplicity)
this definition hides many things in its simple … pronunciation! Simply is not naive, is to know what you are talking about, or what are you focusing on and make it apparent or reproducible to everyone want to employ it.
The simplicity in thought and in action takes a lot of work to be achieved and a lot work with your self. You need to have a clear view of your visions, clarity in your goals, to know your limits, to understand what or who your thoughts and actions involved!
It needs, more than anything else, to know yourself. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote once that:
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.(BrainyQuote: Leonardo da Vinci)
And he had right! You see as you grow (mentally, spiritually, emotionally, professionally, etc.) as you move on to the ladder of your ideal path towards your goals you start to question not only the things you have done but also the things you keep around you or use!
This is not an easy process. Most of the times, because it involves a lot of work, you procrastinate a lot finding excuses and evasive actions not to focus on YOU!
To work with yourself is not always easy, but, as the things are today (a new working and living ecosystem with new parameters to be considered new influential factors, new leveraging points new agents at play, along to stress, imbalance, information overload, dire economic situations, etc.) it is necessary to develop a more simple lifestyle!
Simplicity as a Life Strategy
To cope with this new environment, you need new strategies to help you to live, to thrive and to move forward towards your objectives (towards your vision, life mission, etc.) Simplicity is one such strategy and one that more than other may fit the needs of many people.
As a strategy, though, it needs clarity and works for yourself to have the results you expect of it. It is not a process you can launch and forget. It is something, once you have employed it you need to monitoring in order to bring the results you have scheduled and envisioned of it!
To do that, you need to assume accountability of your life (and of its results), to set your boundaries and begin to work in order to define your:
- Vision: Your vision or your mission is your endpoint the destination you want to reach, and in order to define with the clarity you need to know your values, the things you are prepared to do and the ones you don’t, your life priorities, your habits, etc. If you are not ready to develop or follow your vision, it is certain that you going to spend your life serving the vision of someone else.
- Strategies: Your strategies are your ways of realizινγ your vision. It is your schemes, your long-term campaigns in the war of succeeding what it is important to you. A strategy does not provide you just the way towards your objectives but also the diagnose of your present situation and the resources you need to achieve your goals. One such strategy may be the simplicity, of course, along with many other strategies you might want to employ. Other strategies may be the personal integrity, the development of a growth mindset, consistency, clarity, value-based leadership, focus on results or/and on what’s important, etc.
- Activities: Your activities depend on the strategies you have chosen in order to realize your vision.There are, various activities you can choose from to support the strategies you have chosen to serve your vision. Other are more effective, others are not. But there are a specific set of activities (or should be), each one more effective than other ones and more suited to you to guide you to do what’s matter most to the various areas of your life (personal development, health, family, relationships, financial, community, etc.). The major point is that the sum of all these activities should interconnect and interact with the other in order to support in an intentional, integrated and transparent way the realization of your objectives. That’s the way these activities should be documented, should be reviewed often (or amended as necessary) and re-aligned to your goals whenever it is necessary.
- Tasks: Your present life is your starting point, and everything you do, ideally, should serve your moving towards your endpoint (your vision). It is important to know where are you today, in order to develop the ways, the approaches, and the systems that would lead you to your objectives. And the task you do daily, are the stepping stones, or the links to the long chain of activities and thoughts that your prepare and propel your forward move towards your goals! Your task should support your larger activities or be depended on your basic life operations and should be smart enough to help you manage whatever has to be done and flexible enough to move you further in your life.
- Basic Life Operations (BLO) Along to your major life activities which should be aimed at how you performed better the tasks depended on them, you should always operate under the auspices of some basic life operations. As a matter of fact, all your decisions, on all levels, should be based on some basic operations. Life operations are the key elements of how you do whatever you do and the building blocks of your entire personal or business behavior. It is the basic principles with which you operate in your environment and try to serve your goals and your objectives. Your BLO depends on your values and the core elements of your personality and define the boundaries which you accept as limiting landmarks of your actions. They define more the “how you do something” instead of the “why” (which is the vision’s function) and the “what” (which is the strategic objectives’ function) and should serve you as the basic blueprints for your decision making in every situation.
This is, of course, the long perspective of simplicity, defining more the work you should do with yourself and about your self and less a guide on how you achieve simplicity in your everyday life.
As a winning life strategy, simplicity could yield many results for you and your family, simply by decluttering your environment, your desktop, your working mode, your possessions, etc., learning to live with the essentials (for you) and focusing on the important aspects of life.
As a specific life approach, though, or as an effective tactic (in life or in business), simplicity in life can be express with few laws (as excellently had formulated by Leo Babauta). Leo has argued that there are only four laws to help you achieve a balanced life and lead you to a more simple life!
He wrote that you can achieve simplicity simple[!!!] by:
- Collecting everything in one place.
- Choosing the essential.
- Eliminating the rest.
- Organizing the remaining stuff neatly and nicely.
It is an excellent recipe and one, everybody can follow if he/she choose from!
In any case, though, there is no recipe suitable for everybody. Everyone should spend some time with him/her self in order to decide what lifestyle really wants!