‘Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.’ ~ Oscar Wild
Have you ever thought?
“Everything is so confusing, the situation is very complicated” or “Why is everything so complicated, can’t things just be simpler?”
Is life really that complicated? Is life this big complex maze in which you so often wonder and lose direction?
In fact, life is not complicated. People own the complexity within their own selves by complicating life with their attitudes, dissatisfactions, expectations, excessive analyses, comparisons, competitions, and with the desire to control everything or the desire to please others.
When you need to solve a given problem oftentimes you dramatize, analyze, judge yourself or others and somehow convince yourself that there is no way out or that the decision must be something very complicated. Actually, the answer may be quite simple and might even be in front of your eyes.
Yet, you assume that the decision may not be so simple. Deep down you believe that to help yourself, the answer must be complex and difficult.
The truth is, the simpler the method, the more effective it is going to be.
Any product, tool, or program you need to use, it is always more effective when the system is clear and free from unnecessary things.
Techniques for self-help, personal self-development and life-changing initiatives that really work, in most cases, are also simple truths and principles.
To make life easier, happier and more joyful, you need to learn to simplify. To live simply means to live better.
So how do you simplify you life?
Remove people that strain you.
Consider what people you spend time with — do you have “friends” who only grumble, complain, dramatize, and create burdens and just waste their time?
What would happen if you spend that time focusing on learning and growing, practicing your hobbies, exercising, starting a business, trying something new and different, spending more time with family and friends that bring the best in you and out of you? You are entitled to do this as much as everyone else is.
Remove unnecessary items and clutter at home and in your workplace.
Have you ever thought of how a room cannot “breathe” from everything you have? In this clutter and chaos, you cannot find what you’re looking for, you waste time looking for it and you stress over not being able to find it. These unnecessary things around you also contribute to the complication of your life.
Think about it, you would be living a much simpler and less chaotic life, if there are fewer things around you and you have more free space, living only with main possessions necessary by placing them in areas where they belong.
Remove what’s wounding you internally.
Eckhart Tolle says something, which I love, and I often quote:
“If you can get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”
When everything around you seems confusing and complicated, in fact, the chaos is within you. What you see on the outside are just facts. Within yourself you have fears, complexes, harmful thoughts, contradictory desires, repressed negative feelings, which make you see everything as complicated.
If the weight from your past is weighing you down, work on removing it from your present. Forgive those who have hurt you, and forgive yourself. Otherwise, you will continue to carry the heavy load that will persist in making your life painful.
Remember that forgiveness is for you. When you do not forgive, you are hurting and punishing only your own self.
There’s no need to say anything to the person who hurt you, you do not have to justify his or her actions. You need to remove the painful feelings from yourself and leave them behind, so they stop crushing you.
· If you have offended someone and you’re struggling with this — apologize and ask for forgiveness;
· If you made a mistake, find the lesson and learn to never repeat it;
· If you need help — ask for help;
· If someone is bothering you — tell him or her or accept it;
· If you’ve made a mistake — stand by it, get back up and keep moving forward;
· If you do not want to do something that others asked you to do, just say “NO.”
In short: Do not stack yourself with negative emotions and do not expect others to think of what you need.
Determine what is most important to you and focus on it.
When you have many tasks and responsibilities in your head, chaos always ensues. It will seem to you that jumping from task to task, which in most cases will never lead to a seamless rhythm, overwhelms you.
Arrange your priorities. Determine what is most important to you and focus on it. Oftentimes people waste time on things that are really insignificant, yet they miss the most important point. At the end of the day you are tired, exhausted, and at the same time you have not accomplished anything.
So ask yourself every day: “What is the most important thing to do today? What is my priority?”
Do one thing at a time and focus on it.
Probably like most people, you’re trying to do several things at once, or at least your thoughts are in different directions. This makes you even more tired and complicates your life.
Here comes to help the good old school practice — making a daily plan and a program allocated by hours. Yet, the most important thing is to concentrate on the task at hand, at the present moment.
Be here and now, in this moment! Focus entirely on what you have to do now. Be fully concentrated on the task at hand. You will have time to think about your other tasks when it is their turn.
This way your mind is released. You no longer have thousands of things in your head, but only one specific task. And everything instantly becomes easier.
If there is something that is causing your mind chaos, take time to consider what decision you need to make moving forward. But let’s have a specific time for it. During other times, this concern will not exist for you, until it’s time to think about it.
If you have a problem, solve it, or accept the situation.
If a situation frustrates you, you can respond in three ways: try to change it, leave it, or accept it fully.
When you have a problem, take appropriate action and do what depends on you. If nothing can be changed at this stage, you can simply change your attitude towards the situation and look at it in a different way.
Wayne Dyer says:
“It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.”
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Oftentimes life bring unpleasant daily moments — traffic jams that prevent you to make it on time to your meetings, and even unforeseen situations that slow you down and irritate you.
Try to turn such unnerving situations into entertainment or something useful.
For instance — while you wait in the car during traffic jams, you can listen to motivational affirmations and change your attitude immediately towards being positive for the remainder of the day; play your favorite song and sing aloud, or play something else you usually don’t have time for.
While waiting in a public institution and you have to wait all day in front of the office, why not use the time to read a book, watch people or even relax? In fact, there are dozens of things you could do.
Don’t try to change people and to control everything.
One of the things that complicate your life is the desire to control everything and to change people. You want them to be what you want to be. You want them to tell you what you expect and for circumstances to be the way you want them planned. Yet, since this does not happen, you decide that everything is way too complicated; you become frustrated, blame the world around you and complain about how unfair life is.
Actually, this “injustice” has been created by your own self. Accept the circumstances. You may not like them, but at this moment, this is what they are. In fact, that can change in the future or any moment. And what depends on you for those changes — do exactly that, but what doesn’t, it only robs your time and energy.
Accept that people will not always say and do what you want. Let them be themselves. Or accept them, or just not be with them. But do not try to change them. In fact the only way that you can change the attitude of others towards you is by changing yourself.
Do not try to please everyone.
When you think that you have a complex, baffling circumstance, it is often because you are trying to please everyone. However, this cannot happen. You can never please everyone. Remove this need and false sense of duty. You’re not responsible for everything and everyone around you. You are solely responsible for yourself.
Do not put too much on yourself or aim too high.
It’s great to strive to achieve success, to demand of yourself more, but when your goals are too high or too sudden everything becomes difficult, filled with fights and disappointments of yourself. So follow the rule of small baby steps. Success along the way of achieving your goals reinforces success.
Set a small goal and focus on it. Once you achieve it, start with the next one, then another one. So your energy is not wasted, and concentrated on one particular objective. You see your success (though small, it is a real success) and that motivates you to go ahead and make the next step forward.
With small steps you lead the way to your success!
Free yourself from the need to be right.
Another part where you complicate your life is the need to be always right, to be the “better” person. You compare yourself with others and if others don’t approve, you feel that you are a failure.
Yes, sometimes it is nice to compete and race with others, and to feel that you are a winner and you’re better at something than someone else, but if you turn this into an ego center itself — in an argument, in a competition, or in life in general — this will only bring unnecessary tension and conflict.
When entering an argument and you believe that it necessary to impose your view, ask yourself: “Is it really so important to be right, what do I need it for? Isn’t it easier to just accept that the other person has a different opinion?”
When you opt yourself out of the need to be always right, you will see how much “lighter” and happier you feel.
These are just a few of the ways in which you can simplify your life.
Now take time to be alone with yourself and ask yourself — “In what areas of my life do I complicate things? How can I make them simpler?”
Take time to write down and describe your problem areas and create your scenarios for change. And then really do it.
Even a small change in your lifestyle and choices you make each day can perform miracles!
And if in your everyday life, there’s something that creates tension and makes you frustrated, ask yourself: “How can I simplify?”
Enjoyed reading? Please share. We are in this world to help one another. All of us grow faster when we support each other. I encourage others to add value to the world, so we can make compounding ripples of improvement for everyone.
About The Author
Dr. Mila is an internationally known Change Catalyst. She teaches individuals and organizations about awareness, connection, and the need for change – personally, socially, and professionally.