The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
We are making our way through the 7 Generosity Habits. We’ve already discussed
- Habit 1: Physical Health,
- Habit 2: Mindfulness,
- Habit 3: Connecting With Others,
- Habit 4: Connecting With Yourself,
- and Habit 5: Gratitude.
Simplicity is one of the essential 7 Generosity Habits, because simplicity makes room for what is important in your life. If you are going to be generous with yourself or with others, you have to have time, space, and energy to notice and do something about it. But when your mind, your schedule, and your home are filled with clutter, spending time on what’s most important to you is much more difficult to do because it is harder to see, harder to make time for, and harder to find the energy to do something about it.
Simplicity of Mind: A calm, balanced mind provides clarity of thought that will help you be more productive and effective in every area of your life. Simplicity of mind is not only addressed in mindfulness exercises but also in activities that take you outside the complicated man made world and into the simple, uncomplicated existence of the natural world.
Simplicity of Schedule: At the end of your life, you’ll wish you spent more time with friends and family and on treasured projects, so discover opportunities to focus on the activities that are most important to you and let go of what is no longer serving you. Work, whether it’s in the home or outside the home, has a way of dominating your life, simplifying what you do and how you do it can go a long way to integrating work with a balanced, simple, fulfilling life.
Simplicity of Home: Stuff has a way of accumulating, and as it takes up space in your home, it also takes up time and emotional energy to care for it and to live around it. Simplicity at home provides more physical space for family and friends to live in and frees up time and energy.
- On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being not at all and 10 being utterly, how overwhelmed are you?
- On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being not at all and 10 being insanely, how busy are you?
- On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being not at all and 10 being like a souvenir shop, how cluttered is your home?
For the next week, place a 24 hour waiting period before buying anything that aren’t essential food items. When you want to buy something, notice what it is. Ask yourself, where the impulse to buy it came from. Then tomorrow, ask yourself, what need will this purchase meet? Is it worth the money and space and emotional energy?