Simple Living: The guide to not make life so hard

People living in the 21st century spend their entire lives chasing an existence that is as complex and theatrical as possible.

The want for more money, more material things, more social influence, and more of everything else that the world has to offer is the primary driving force for many people.

As a society, we have defined the pursuit of happiness as the pursuit of these things. Still, before you get caught up in this cycle of pursuing a life of lavishness, it’s essential to ask yourself if these things are going to make you happy.

In many cases, the answer is no. Lives defined by overindulgence and complexity bring many burdens, and the pursuit of “more” is often one of the most unfulfilling paths.

Living a simple life, by contrast, means being happy where you are drawing joy from the little things. It means savoring in the moment rather than always chasing some hypothetical future and enjoying life’s many blessings rather than defining your worth by your wealth and status.

If you feel that you are ready to embrace simple living and all of the pure, undefiled joys that it has to offer, here are eight tips for living a simple, satisfying, and fulfilling life.

Reconnect With Nature

There was a time when humankind and nature lived in harmony together. The modern world, however, has created a full disconnect from the natural world. These days, many people spend their entire lives without fully knowing the peace and beauty that nature offers.

If you are thinking of adopting simple living and reconnecting with the natural world is a great way to begin experiencing the benefits of a simple life. Distance yourself from the bubble of modern society and embrace a world that most of humanity has left behind.

In the stillness of the woods on a crisp autumn day with the leaves fluttering to the ground and the birds singing from the trees, you are more likely to understand the appeal of simple living.



by Greg McKeown

⏱ 16 minute reading time

🎧 Audio version available

Distance Yourself from Social Media

At its core, social media is nothing more than a beauty pageant in which all the contestants are frauds. When you see posts and photos on social media, know that you are only seeing the carefully curated and edited versions of people’s lives that they have decided to broadcast to the world.

You don’t see the stresses and burdens and struggles that define their lives every bit as much, if not more than the glamorous photos and thinly-veiled brags they decide to share.

Inside this bubble, it’s far too easy to assume that everyone in your social circle except for you has created an ideal and fulfilling life.

It’s this false notion that social media creates that makes it such a depressing place to spend your time. If you want to begin embracing a life full of real joys and pleasures, distancing yourself from social media and all its fool’s gold is an important place to start.

Focus on Enjoying the Present

Being able to enjoy the present moment truly is the ultimate grail that simple living has to offer. Those caught in the never-ending race for more are never able to step back and enjoy the present. And since the present is all we ever have, we often never reach the joy that they are always chasing.

When you are committed to living a simple life and are not concerned about the future, you open yourself to truly enjoying the present moment.

Focus on living in the present, and you’ll be able to wake up each morning excited about what the day has to offer rather than spending each day daydreaming about what tomorrow holds in store.

Related: Minimalist Living: Everything You Need to Know About the Movement

Unclutter Your Life

As people living in a society defined by consumerism, we are surrounded by unneeded products that have purchased with the promise that they would bring us joy.

When those things we’ve bought don’t bring us the happiness we seek, society tells us that buying more is the solution. It tells us that we aren’t happy because we don’t have enough, and that more money and more expensive toys are sure to bring us the fulfillment we seek.

In reality, cluttering your life with a ton of things that you don’t even enjoy much less need is not the key to happiness. Letting go of the material possessions that aren’t bringing you joy may be incredibly difficult at first, but getting rid of the clutter in your life is sure to eliminate much of the clutter in your mind.

That doesn’t mean that you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater and sell off everything you own. After all, there’s nothing wrong with buying things that bring you joy.

It’s buying things simply for the sake of having more that needs to be avoided, and getting rid of those things so you can focus on that which you genuinely enjoy is a very beneficial exercise.

Know How to Spend Your Money

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can bring you joy at times if you know how to spend it wisely. This is only possible if you are dedicated to spending your money on the things you enjoy rather than the things our materialistic society tells you that you should enjoy.

Money can empower you to brighten a person’s day, improve their lives, and help them out of a difficult situation. It can give you the freedom to travel the world and pursue your passions, and it can help you ensure that you provide for the people you care about.

In the end, money is only a tool – it’s how you use it that makes all the difference.

Living a simple life doesn’t mean living a life of poverty. Instead, simple living means using the money you have available to improve your experiences and others rather than making the pursuit of more money and possessions the end-all goal.

Do Volunteer Work

Few things are more fulfilling and eye-opening than spending your time helping those who need your help the most. Volunteering your time to help the less fortunate not only offers a deep sense of reward and fulfillment but also enables you to appreciate the blessings you’ve been given.

When you first see how others have been able to find happiness in situations far less fortunate than your own, it’s much easier to dispel the notion that happiness only comes when a certain status is achieved.

Related: Simple, Yet Effective Daily Habits To Improve Your Life

Recommit Yourself to Your Relationships

In the pursuit of more material possessions, we often overlook the greatest gifts we’ve been given. Your relationships with friends and family members that you love are more valuable and rewarding than any product that a company has ever offered, no matter what its price tag might be.

When you distance yourself from the rat race and realign your priorities, you’ll find that the relationships you might have taken for granted all these years are where true happiness lies. Recommit yourself to those relationships. Draw your joy from them, and make sure you are pleasuring in the process.

When this life is over, and you reflect on its most beautiful moments, these relationships and the time you spent enjoying them are sure to be the pride of your life much more than any amount of wealth you might have acquired along the way.

Explore Your Passions

When we are children, we are born into a world full of creativity and passion.

Over time, as we grow older, the world enforces little by little the notion that your desires are trivial and that exploring them should always take a backseat to progress.

In our society, passions are only considered worthwhile if you can turn them into wealth. We praise famous musicians, artists, athletes, and authors who have turned their passions into careers but have little use for those who explore these passions solely for the sake of enjoying the

Whatever your passions might be, indulge them; you don’t have to make a career out of those passions for them to be worthwhile.

Embracing the Joy of Simple Living

Far too often, when people hear the term “simple living,” they imagine a life of sacrifice and loss before quickly deciding that it isn’t for them.

In reality, simple living doesn’t mean sacrificing anything at all. Letting go of the things that aren’t bringing you happiness and embracing the things that do is not a sacrifice, it’s a necessary readjustment of your priorities.

If you have found that the life of glamor and excess that the world promises you can achieve if you ignore your deepest desires and focus only on progress isn’t bringing you fulfillment, embracing the joy of simple living may be the perfect way to create a promising new start.

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