It’s not you, but you get the point. Right? Photo by Thiébaud Faix on Unsplash

These are testing times. You’ve got so much on your plate to consume, coz, hey, you need to impress people about stuff you have, your lifestyle, and that costly lobster you ate.

We live under constant scrutiny and prying eyes of loved ones and strangers who we try to impress for validation. Life is a chaotic mess waiting to explode. 

“Waiting for the weekend” describes life now. As if the weekend’s going to straighten out your life. Since when it became about living for two days while dreading the entire week and making it through, just making it.

The majority of my living has been about voluntary complexity. It simply means that I loved making simple things complicated, only to find myself in a ditch and lurking anxiety, now and then. It was never about being truly happy, but more of pretending happiness for the others to believe. I chose drama over living.

Studying what others did, while it would have been simpler taking my path. Buying things not required or acquiring stuff costlier than the needed one. Saying yes always and trying to make friends with everybody.

Everything in your life takes up some space- Your obligations, fancy stuff, people, and your work, to name a few. The more you bring into your life, the crampier it gets with more complexity. While it seems that things and relations make your life simpler, on the contrary, they don’t.

You’ve got to be picky about things you ought to do, buy or spend time with, as this liberates and provides the freedom to live on your terms, dramatically making life easier and simpler. Our life is frittered away with details, hence, simplify.

Make conscious choices- Choose your Yes and No wisely

Your choices define you. It is critical to work on things that are important to you and acknowledge them. Look back, and you’ll realize most of your active time goes into trivial things. Conscious choices equal well thought of decisions designed to ease life. Moreover, they reflect on what you find significant and are willing to make time and space for.

Be decisive on how to spend your time. List out the vitals requiring your attention while crossing off all the other things. Your yes should be definite, and not the one tending towards maybe. If it doesn’t excite or thrill you, go for a no. It will simplify things for you. Further, saying no diverts your focus on the things that matter.

Here is a simplification exercise I did to straighten out and find time for meaningful things. 

  • Daily writing over binge-watching and weekend parties
  • Choosing minimalism over lavish
  • Experiences over acquisitions
  • Pursuing interests over influences
  • Family time over extra office hours

Not suggesting these to be suitable for all, but then they provide clarity of actions. These may or may not work for you, and you should define an individual approach towards life.

Do away with irrelevant things

Look around, and you see the world struggling for basic needs, while we adhere to collect over mindless shopping sales and the latest fads. Our conditioning has been such that things make us happy. There is an endless cycle of possessions in search of happiness and impressing people around us. For the momentary happiness that you gain, there is a truckload of stuff that goes unattended.

Visit your closet or the storeroom once in a while. The stuff lying unattended at your place is a dream for a few not so privileged ones. Possessions we have and don’t respect are a luxury to many. Sell off your stuff, donate the necessary one, throw away the rest. 

It’s unbelievable how we keep holding onto things that are damaged and broken to fix or use them “someday.” 

Unless it’s of some value, let go of it.

Set realistic goals

I understand the importance of questions such as: Where you see yourself after 5, 10 years? 

Probably back then, these questions meant of no importance to me, only to realize the invaluable nature of the ask now.

How in this world, you expect to be clueless and happy at the same time. You ought to have a sense of what you aim for in life. Sooner the better.

You meander without goals. It adds to the complexity since you are unsure about everything. More often than not, you’ll be overwhelmed with life. It is the same as writing; without an idea, you stare at the blank page only to exhaust yourself later. 

Daily goals or a long term goal, whatever suits you. With vision and something to look forward to, you tend to have clarity of thoughts. You may not fulfill everything you plan, but your path and thought process simplifies.

Start making short, medium, and long term goals.

Manage your expectations

To manage expectations, maintain ownership of the choices you make.

“I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine.” by Bruce Lee

There is always a difference between what people expect from you and who you are. Maintaining and re-thinking your relationship with people’s expectations is the way forward.

Expecting things to go our way creates undesirable complexity and stress in your life.

If you don’t manage your expectations with life and with people around, you tend to live a life on terms dictated by others. Once self-control over life is lost, frustration and anxiety creep in and make a mess and chaos in your life. We think and procrastinate to get over the situations but in vain. In turn, we make our life overly complicated.

Manage your expectations and let life unravel before you. You are better off expecting less and doing more.

Put things where they belong

Start getting organized and come up with a system to beat panic situations like the last-minute ones where you tend to pay up a bill on the last day, or unable to find a sock when ready. 

Organizing your whole life is a herculean task, rather set little things right enabling control over trivial situations. 

Often we find ourselves in a tricky situation of finding a receipt at the very last moment, or a document we need so urgently but are unable to fetch.

Cut down on this chaos and madness and simplify things for yourself. Make some files or folders for crucial things and find peace when they are required most. Start putting stuff where they belong- Your clothes, keys, and all things you need on the go.

My father and a good friend can be a case study on this. Ask them the model number or a date of purchase, and voila! You get it immediately. 

Get off the news and limit your social media

Most of the news out there is irrelevant. Every news today is breaking news. Our minds are designed to pay attention to negativity and danger when we sense one. We are glued to negative news throughout the day, only to believe that the world has turned into a monster. We live in anxiety and worry about the well being while the truth is; there are things beyond our control, and they are better left ignored.

Social media has left us gasping for time and space now. Nothing is private anymore. A typical addict would pick up the phone to scroll mindlessly into the lives of strangers. Observe, and you’ll find people endlessly scrolling through the same feed as if the world has changed in minutes.

Limit your social media time, and once you get past the awkward feeling of not connected, you will be amazed by how much time you have on your hands to utilize productively. 

It also simplifies your life by disconnecting you from comparisons and judging yourself.

Here’s an interesting read Here’s What Happened When I Stopped Using My Phone In The Bathroom

Closing thoughts

Simplifying is the way forward for a better and healthier life. Less is more and satisfying. Unfortunately, we are forced into believing otherwise. The amazing marketing gimmicks and the advent of a new world order of social media and technology, we are craving for more. We are in the numbers game, and equate satisfaction and happiness with numbers. Sadly, there is no end to numbers, and hence, happiness eludes. Look closely, and you realize that most of us have everything we need.

Start making a conscious choice of simplifying your life by cutting down on the unnecessary stuff. Make space for peace and things dear to you.

Start living like a dog. They make life unassumingly simple. How to Live like a Dog And Become A Better Human Being

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