Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.
There is a saying about the small details that make the real difference when it comes to pretty much any subject or situation, and I think in a way this is true when it comes to the way we live our lives as well, because if you think about it, you have to admit that we, as a society, like to complicate our lives in too many ways.
Perhaps it is just becasue we need something to brag about when we are engaged in a conversation with our friends and acquaintances...i don't know. The thing is, we eventually get to a point where we understand the insignificance of the things we were chasing for, but the bad thing is that this usually happens when a lot of time, money and energy has already been spent.
These contemporary life extensions which most of the time get us to chase our own tail are well known. I will mention them below along with a few thoughts on how life could be better without this constant effort towards achieving them.
Today, if you are not wearing some designer clothes, or at least some fashion items bought from a fancy store located at a mall, you may feel like you are one of the poorest persons alive.
Wanting to feel good in you clothes is perfectly normal. However, developing an obsession over what to wear every day, constantly thinking if you are in line with the latest trends, stressing over the items in your closet, these might be indicators of the fact that you are surrounded by superficial people. Just like you should not care what other people are doing or thinking, due to the fact that everyone has their own set of principles and values, you should not care what the others are wearing. Just wear whatever makes you feel good and forget about this pressure of spending lots of money on label items.
The main purpose of a car is to take you from point A to point B. There are of course other aspects that are taken into account when talking about a car, like how many passengers it can carry, how fuel efficient the engine is, the type of transmission it has, etc..
For some people a car represents their status, some kind of reflection of who they are. There are also people who think that owning a sports car or an expensive luxury car is something which will somehow make them appear better than they already are. If you have the money for it, and you really feel like a car would complement your level of happiness, then by all means get it. If you however can not really afford one, then avoid the ridiculous situations where you buy such a car and then later on reach to the conclusion that its maintenance costs are to high.
I'm not saying that food is some kind of luxury you can live without, so don't get stingy. I'm only saying that it should be about looking for the essentials, leaving aside any additional unnecessary artificial embellishments. For example when you are on vacation, look for soul food; try the traditional dishes from different regions whenever you have the chance. Don’t look for them in fancy restaurants where you might only find an expensive imitation. Make friends with the locals when you are on a holiday and go to dinner at their place.
In terms of social behaviour, we came to the point where we have our family and friends, and then we have many acquaintances from different contexts. Too many. Why complicate our lives by participating to important events in their lives? Just because we got an invite? Does that mean we can’t say “no”. Don’t worry, it’s not rude. Actually it is common sense. And this also goes the other way around: you don’t have to invite people you don’t care about anywhere. Override any silly social constraints, keep it simple and spend time only with the important persons in your life.
Most people spend almost a year trying to save enough money to afford an expensive holiday at a costly luxurious resort. They go there to live for a week in a totally different kind of life than the one they have back home, in their not so five star residence.
Why not try a simpler option which can offer you more from several points of view, excluding the luxury side? Try to organize your own trip. Search for low cost plane tickets, search for a cheaper hotel or even a hostel. After all, you don’t go on a holiday to spend your time indoor. And then, when you reach your destination, be a traveler and start to really explore the place, simple, by foot. At the end of such a journey you will be more fulfilled spiritually than if you would have been after spending a few days in a fancy hotel.
And if you start to do things like this, you will probably afford more than one holiday per year.
The trully important things in life stand out from simplicity, not from high flown expensive objects of desire which only bring a superficial kind of joy that lasts for a short time. That’s why you should search for simplicity in everything you do, go back to the basics and capture the essentials!