An Introduction To Simplicity: How Much Do You Really Need?

By Dominica

-

Last Updated: November 30, 2020

The world we live in gets complicated and busy often. With working, raising children, doing chores, running errands, and spending time doing extracurricular activities, we can run around so much that we end up feeling exhausted and frazzled.  In fact, loads of people end up burning out and/or having a nervous breakdown because they’ve become way out of balance.

This is why more people are getting on board the simplicity and minimalist train. They are opting for a simpler life.  The kind of life where they can actually relax and enjoy their days.  The kind of life where they’re not seeking internal satisfaction from external sources.

What Is Simplicity?

Simplicity refers to simple, or kept to a minimum. It’s not complex. Rather, it’s easier. There is a natural flow. It’s similar to minimalism, which means keeping things to a minimum – including your lifestyle.

Both are ways to slow down and avoid the busy, materialistic society that surrounds us.  It is a way of life that values simplicity, purpose, and joy.  Minimalism is going through life with the intent of living with the bare necessities instead of trying to acquire more and more material possessions. After all, trying to keep up with the Joneses only tends to tire us out and empty the bank account.

How To Live A Simple Life

If you’re on the path to simplicity and minimalism, you’re probably looking to glean wisdom from those that have already been on the path a while. After all, it is a lifestyle, and we all tend to learn valuable lessons when we trek a road we’re not too familiar with.

Today, there are many people – individuals and families – opting out of the mass consumerism type of living and adopting a simpler approach to life. They’re stepping outside of the box and unafraid to venture into unknown territory.

The ironic part is that simple and minimalist living is not a foreign concept. Our ancestors were minimalists and did just fine for centuries. Maybe they didn’t have all the luxuries available today, but they managed quite well. It wasn’t until the Industrialization period that people began wanting and needing more and more to satiate their carnal appetites.

Of course, it didn’t help that advertising on radio and television rolled in too.  Marketers know how to reach people and get them to hand over their money for things they had no idea they needed or wanted.

What Drives Society?

Take some time this week to engage with friends, coworkers, and family. Ask them how they are really doing. Take note of how much they complain about feeling tired, pressured, stressed out, and so on. Whether it’s not enough time to get everything done, not enough money to pay the bills, or not enough money to acquire what most consider the finer things in life, you’ll likely hear quite a bit of negativity.

What is driving people in society to run themselves ragged?  Many argue that consumerism and materialism are the driving forces. With billions spent on advertising yearly, we are bombarded daily with ads that give the picture that in order to be valuable and happy, we have to make a certain amount of money, live in a certain type of house, have a hot car, every new technology gadget around, and more

Trying to “live the dream life” can become exhausting. And, you may not even realize you’re on that hamster wheel.  You’re programmed to just keep doing the same things day after day on autopilot without stopping to really check out what’s going on in your life.  You’re not prompted much to really get honest with yourself about how you’re doing emotionally, mentally, physically, and/or spiritually.

Sure, we need basic things like shelter, food, and clothing, but there’s this underlying message in the larger part of society that the basics are not enough.

You must have more. You must do more.

The mentality behind it?

That you’re a loser, failure, etc. if you don’t have this and that.

But that is not true at all.

Our worth is not found in what we possess.  Just ask those that have made beaucoup bucks, hit celebrity status, and have made their success – they’ll tell you all that stuff didn’t cause them to feel inner joy.  It might have pacified them for a while, but it always comes back to what’s going on inside. To the emotional landscape.

Should you want for a decent life?  Adequate money to afford yourself some freedom and financial security?

Yes.

Do what you have to do to get that, but beyond that, don’t get sucked in.  Don’t think that grasping for things “out there” will ultimately bring you inner peace and joy.

Excess is not necessary.  It creates strife, relationship issues, chronic stress, health issues, and more.  Kids are neglected because more money must be made.  Relationships suffer due to a hefty consumer debt load from acquiring things not necessary.

What Can You Do?

Join the minimalist and simplicity crowd.  The person with the most toys and gadgets at the end does not win. There are no winners, as there is no contest.

If you’re committed to the simple life, here are some simplicity tips you can employ on your journey. Take what you need and pass them on:

  • Begin to simplify your life today. Make a list of the things you do not need and give them away.  De-clutter your house room by room.  You’ll be surprised at how relieved you will feel as you do so.

 

  • Determine to only purchase what is necessary in life to live on.  Do you REALLY need a 4000 square feet home when you live by yourself?  Do your children really need every new gadget that comes on the market?  Does your 4-year-old REALLY need an iPhone?  Stop stressing yourself out with so much pressure to perform for some invisible materialism status quo. Really sit and ponder what you need vs. what may just be a shopping thrill.

Sure, you can purchase things you desire, but be sure they are in balance with your budget.

  • Watch out for addictions.  If you want to live simple, be on the lookout for addictions. Love shoes? Great, but do you really need that many? Do you really need another _____? Or does it feel like a compulsion? Be on the watch for addictive behavior.

 

  • Stop impressing others.  Like it or not, we live in a society that thinks that brand names are impressive.  Simplifying may mean looking at your budget and seeing if you really can afford brand name items. If not, know that it’s alright to buy off-brand. And, know that off-brands are oftentimes just as good.

 

  • Roll your eyes at new gadgets.  You know every so often the latest and greatest tech gadget will hit the shelves and masses will be drooling.  Do you really need to purchase a new iPhone every time a new one hits the shelf? Do you really need all of the technology gadgets you have?  Roll your eyes at new gadgets and be alright with what you have. New doesn’t always mean simpler. New usually means “spend money you don’t really need to in order to come across as techy cool to your buddies.”  Don’t fall for it. You save a lot of money that way.

 

  • Be content.  Just be alright with what you have.  You don’t have to be striving for more all the time.  A simple life is more likely to bring about satisfaction and happiness. Aren’t these what you’re after anyway?  Contentment? Peace? Joy? You can acquire these feelings without having to buy more things.

The Art Of Simplicity

Begin a journey on the simplicity and minimalist trail and get to know others who are doing the same.  Think in broader terms than most. Think freedom instead of imprisonment. Think significance instead of another cog in a wheel.  Think small, not big, because in the minimalist camp, small is pretty big.

Jump on board. You’ll likely feel less stress and pressure. You may also feel more accomplished, responsible, wise, and you’ll smile a whole lot more.  Some will call you crazy and others will admire your guts to go against the grain.

Simplicity can be golden. Go ahead and give it a try.

 

Photo byTatiana from Pexels

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

9 comments on “An Introduction To Simplicity: How Much Do You Really Need?”

  1. Simplicity and Minimalist
    Acquiring material wealth cannot guarantee long term satisfaction and happiness. We need to be contented with what we have. To achieve long term happiness and satisfaction, we need to focus our attention to things that are of utmost importance like impacting lives, donating to causes etc

  2. Think I have already been put on my path..
    Hi, I read right through this publication, my life by design seems to hit the simple life. I mean I have a mobile, bought second hand and serves its purpose, nothing more. I am not exactly living like a king, I buy clothes from the charity stores.. I see it as giving & receiving simultaneously. I have a car, again second hand and nothing owed on it.
    My home is my parents, I am single in and out of work with no need for a big debt most call home ( more like a life sentence to materialism ) . Bigger is better for someone, but not who owes a large proportion of their life to settle the wolves who encourage their beliefs of lack. I am clean, I am happy , I get to spend time with the people I love, way more than those who sacrifice their love to feed this economy, the love that should be given to loved ones but exchanged cheaply, in the never satisfied lifestyle. I suppose it’s the closest we could come to being a zombie, and I am not having a go at people who work hard from love to feed their families! They are holding responsibility and sacrifice their most precious gift of life for love. It’s a quality of the passionate soul. It’s the trap they were led into, the monster that has no thought for the number they become.
    Go through life thinking it must be that way... find themselves in later life, kids left home, don’t really visit as their bond was not that close; never really had time for family and work ( just so tired tbh ).
    Marriage a bit Rocky too, wife has her own social group as she too worked to support the “ family “.. no point talking about it too her though; always ends up in a argument. I least I can have a few drinks in peace and fall asleep alone, she won’t disturb me, as we ain’t slept in the same bed for years. I can watch some TV, maybe I can see something to buy the grandkids, they never come round.. maybe it will show them how much grandad loves them !
    Years of sacrifice has paid for blessings lost, memories that should have been ( sold to the dream of a better life ). What else can I do ? I am to old to work , wife left for a younger mire virile boy !!! Grandkids, I don’t even know their names half the time. Dose not matter though. I forgot haw fun life could be before my children could talk.
    I guess I will just sit here and watch a bit of TV, probably fall asleep and maybe just maybe tomorrow will bring me a blessing ; maybe I just won’t wake up !

    I know ! It’s a bit extreme but it is a point ! Don’t sell life for manufactured dreams ! Live the dream life has gifted you .., thank you for reading me ! ?? love & light x

  3. (No subject)
    I love this article. Living more simply has been my biggest lesson during pandemic. I’ve learned to live with less things, less activities, making do with what I already have and yet still aspire to learn and grow.

  4. Generosity creates simplicity?
    When someone admires something you own........give it to them!
    Watch how fast your life slims down.
    Giving away what you don’t need or want requires more effort than simply letting go of things others may want or need?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.