“A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.” —Albert Einstein
In our always on and chasing more times, it’s easy to lose sight of the timeless benefits of living a different kind of life. A life less busy. A life less full. A simpler life.
As counterculture as this may seem, ask yourself if following the status quo is really working for you. Is chasing more leading to more happiness? Is working more hours to earn more money meaning you get more quality time with your family and friends? Is growing your business leading to less headache, more sleep and more work/life balance? Is all this striving for more and more making you feel like your best self?
I thought not.
We can choose a different route. A simpler life is not a life of sloth, we can still get stuff done. We can still get a lot done, in fact. A quieter life is not necessarily a boring life, there is still plenty of room for adventure. We can work hard but also balance that with time to enjoy our achievements.
Quieter and Simpler – A Selective Bias
A quieter life means making some choices. It involves being selective with where and how we use our time. It involves some self-inventory. Identifying the things that matter most to us, and focusing on them purely. We remove distractions as much as possible. This can lead us to some interesting discoveries.
– Maybe all those meetings and commitments in our diary are not as important as keeping some white space for family and friends
– Maybe we need to get comfortable saying no more often
– Perhaps if we are more selective in what we say yes to, we get more done, with less fuss and less stress
– As business owners, maybe we realise we don’t actually need to (or want to) grow our company and actually we are perfectly happy with it small but profitable and agile
– Perhaps we realise that yes, we want to work hard to provide for our family, but we also want to be around to spend quality time with them and to see our children grow
– Action needs balancing with rest (yin and yang). We realise there is a time to sprint for the line and there is also a time to just put our feet up
– We can define our own version of success
– We can make space for slowing down without coming to a complete standstill
There is more than one way to live this precious life. It’s not all about rushing. It’s not all about getting ahead of the competition. It’s not always about getting more and more done. There can also be space for some quiet and calm. More than that, there has to be some space for quiet and calm.