My church is having a Simplify Your Life yard sale this weekend. The idea is, you go through all the clutter you have accumulated and give away what you no longer need, or anything that keeps you from living your true values.
Simplicity or living simply is not a, well, simple concept because it means different things to different people. One might find it easy to get rid of a television, and despise a Game of Thrones fan. Or one might find it easy to use the library instead of buying books. Or live without very much technology. Each of us have areas where we can easily step back, and other areas where giving something up is very difficult. Of course.
The secret is to take a look at who you are and understand what you value, and then live all your life according to those values. There are many ways to get at this understanding. Ask friends and family members what they see as your strong points. Or think about what you want written on your tombstone or spoken at your eulogy. Ask yourself what you would do if money were no object. Use whatever works for you to get at your true self. There are also all sorts of books out there, from the philosophical, like First Things First by Stephen Covey, to the entirely practical like all the cheapskate books by Jeff Yeager.
De-cluttering, downsizing, simplifying your house and your life – whatever you call it, it’s good for you, if for no other reason than taking stock from time to time gets you on, or back on the right track. So start a box for Goodwill, hold a garage sale, throw something out. It will make you feel lighter (and maybe richer).
Quotes on simplicity
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.–Hans Hofmann
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius–and a lot of courage–to move in the opposite direction.–Albert Einstein
Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.–Elise Boulding
I’ve learned to keep things simple. Look at your choices, pick the best one, then go to work with all your heart.–Pat Riley
Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.–Charles Mingus
Have few desires.–Lao-tzu
Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify, simplify! … Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.–Henry David Thoreau
The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.–Paulo Coelho
Simplicity is an exact medium between too little and too much.–Sir Joshua Reynolds
Simplicity is the nature of great souls.–Papa Ramadas
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.–Leonardo da Vinci
Simplifying isn’t meant to leave your life empty, it’s meant to leave space in your life for what you really want to do. Know what those things are before you start.–Leo Babaura
‘Tis a gift to be simple,
‘Tis a gift to be free,
‘Tis a gift to come down
Where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves
In the place that’s right
‘Twill be in the valley
Of love and delight.–Shaker hymn
To be simple is the best thing in the world.–G. K. Chesterton
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