Simple living. Downsizing. Cutting back. Minimalism. Terms like those generally conjure up images of small (or tiny) houses, twenty-piece wardrobes, and a living room void of all furniture except for a lawn chair.
I have a couple of other ideas on how to simplify your life. They’re half action, half paradigm shift. Ready?
Watch the video below (really, watch it – it’s one of my better ones).
(Please click on the video to open it in YouTube so that you can share it with your social networks. TIA.)
(But don’t subscribe – I abandoned this channel in 2020.)
The first way to simplify your life
In the video I discuss two ways to simplify your life. The first is to stop comparing yourself to other people. Comparing yourself to other people complicates your life in two ways. First, it opens the door wide to the “keeping up with the Jones’” mentality.
“Her clothes are more fashionable than mine.”
“He bought a BMW, and I’m still puttering around in my Honda.”
“My best friend says she loves the latest iPhone, and I should hurry up and get one.”
This kind of comparison complicates life in several ways, not the least of which it tempts you to spend money on things you don’t need to impress people you may not like. It can keep you in debt.
The other way comparing yourself to others complicates your life is that you begin to try to emulate others, rather than being yourself. This has caused innumerable people to enter careers they don’t like, or buy houses they really don’t want, or make friends with people whose values clash with theirs.
On the other hand, when you stop comparing yourself to other people, your choices narrow, because they will be related only to your being, your interests, your values, and not those of others. This narrowing of choices makes life simpler. It reduces stress and removes external pressures to be someone you are not. And, of course, they lead you on a path that fits you, which eventually leads to a greater sense of fulfillment and larger doses of happiness.
The second way to simplify your life
The other way to simplify your life that I discuss in the video is: stop judging other people. Judging is itself a kind of comparison, because when you judge you think you are superior to someone in way.
“He’s a jerk because he stood me up.”
“Where did she buy that outfit, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest?”
“They’re going to hell because they don’t believe exactly the way I do.”
Judging others complicates your life because it robs you of your capacity for compassion. It closes the door on your building relationships with people who are different from you – people who could very well end up becoming key in your life if you would stop judging them.
And, dagnabbit anyway, it just makes you look like a [fill in your favorite synonym to “jerk” here].
Besides, you are not God, so it is not your right to judge.
Make your life more simple right now. Stop comparing yourself to other people, and stop judging other people. In other words, follow the greatest divine command: love yourself, and love others.