The Discipline to Simplify

A Focus on What Matters Most

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Many of us crave a simpler life.  We do this for our own reasons. 

Perhaps our days have become crowded with appointments and commitments.  Our time no longer feels like our time as a consequence. 

Or maybe we just want to make room for what’s most important to us.  We want to focus on those people and projects that we are most passionate about, that bring us the most joy.  Avoiding distractions, as best we can. 

The reasons to simplify are many.  The benefits of simplifying are also many.  However, what many of us will find is there can be a paradox with chasing simplicity.  Simple it might be, easy it is not.  There is a discipline that must be developed.  Like developing any discipline that is new to us, this will take concentrated effort. 

Identifying and stripping away the unnecessary is not an overnight fix, it takes time.  Learning to say no to commitments, and requests on our time that do not support our goals, will not come easy but will be a necessary step.  Protecting the white space in our days so we have quality time for those we care about most will be an ongoing challenge.  Identifying the important from the not so important is a skill that needs grooving. 

Committing to an inch wide and mile deep approach rather than spreading ourselves thin, like most everyone else does, takes considerable effort. 

The truth is, simplifying is a journey not a destination.    

What simple looks like for one will not be simple enough for another. 

Embrace the Process

We can acknowledge the fact that simplifying will take effort without being discouraged.  We can make friends with the fact that achieving meaningful change takes time and is a lifetime commitment.  We can embrace the process for its own end, rather than obsessing on a finish point that may, or may not, come.  We can revel in the discipline we develop along the way and celebrate the positive habits we ingrain. 

We can simplify our approach to simplifying.  Realising that change can often be simple but rarely is it easy.

Carl writes short books full of big ideas. He is also the proud owner of Frictionless Living which is focused on helping readers live simpler, finding focus and clarity in distracted times.

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