Community//

Simplify Yourself!

How to rid yourself of the non-essentials

In
this time when so much is available, everything can be made possible
and so much is coming at you I face a dilemma. Technology is bringing
us so much good, but brings also challenges we never had to deal with
before. How do I deal with all this coming at me without becoming
overwhelmed or loose myself in the choice paradoxes and complexity?

In
the last couple of years I have been focusing on my personal
development in order to deal with these things, especially when time
became much more precious due to higher responsibilities as a
husband, father and manager.

In
this proces I discovered that the deeper I went inside myself the
more clear the outward picture became. This seems a paradox, but it’s
true for me. A quote from Carl Jung summarizes the process:

One
who looks outside, dreams. One who looks inside, awakens.”

In
the proces I am going through I found out that if I want to have a
clear picture of myself I had to get rid of all the clutter in my
life and especially in my mind. This is easier said than done.

When
I read the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson this summer I
bumped on the following quote by Jonathan Ive, Apple’s lead designer,
where he is describing his design philosophy:

Simplicity
isn’t just a visual style. It’s not just minimalism or the
absence of clutter. It involves digging through the depth of the
complexity. To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. […] The
better way is to go deeper with the simplicity, to understand
everything about it and how it’s manufactured. You have to deeply
understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of
the parts that are not essential.

Especially
that last sentence did a whole lot for me and I came to the insight
that if I am my own product, I should completely understand myself
and my essence to be able to get rid of alle the non-essentials.

That
is the path I am on right now. I am right in the process and progress
is made. A few of the steps I took on how to better understand my
essence are the following:

  1. Honesty.
    Be 100% honest with yourself about everything: failure, dreams,
    mistakes, attitude, way of thinking, beliefs.

  2. Vulnerability.
    Give room to your surroundings to tell you exactly how they see you.
    The good, the bad and the ugly.

  3. Internalize
    point 1 and 2 and let it sink in. For me there is no quick fix, it’s
    an enduring process. Awareness is much more important than direct
    answers or conclusions.

Some
realizations are hard to take, but I see them as a necessary
emotional investment. One example is the realization how much
opportunities I missed and how much potential I didn’t use in the
past.

The
main point is, that I am making a continuing study of myself, because
I know when I discover my essentials and loose the non essentials I
will be able to find and give my unique gifts.

Love
to see your comments and I’d like to hear how you are dealing with
this quest and what practical steps you are taking!

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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