Ever watched one of those circus-type shows where entertainers attempt to stay balanced while gradually adding items to balance? These professionals balance people on people carrying a variety of items from plates to balls to flaming sticks. They’re focused on balancing more items than any normal person can balance, and all their focus goes toward keeping those items balanced.
Unfortunately, too many of us live like circus entertainers focused on balancing, except we’re not making any money for the show we’re putting on for our friends, family and coworkers. We’re balancing an amazing amount, but that’s all we’re pretty much able to focus on… balancing.
When focused only on balancing, we’re unable to consider the quality of what we’re trying to balance. Simplicity allows for better balance in that it allows us to put our focus on quality over quantity.
What is Simplicity?
The dictionary says that simplicity is the freedom from complexity, intricacy or division into parts. It’s the absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.
The dictionary also says that simple means easy to understand, deal with, use, etc. Simple means not elaborate or artificial, not ornate or luxurious.
As I think about each of those words and their definitions, I realize that simplicity and the words to describe it looks very different from one person to another. Ask 10 people what simplicity, simple, intricacy, luxury, ornament, etc. mean to them, and you’ll likely get 10 different answers.
Finding YOUR Simple
Like balance, simplicity exists uniquely for every person. We can get ideas, guidance, inspiration and direction from each other, but every one of us must individually discover simplicity. That being said, regardless of how simplicity looks in an individual’s life, it does play an important role in a balanced life for every person.
In my own journey toward a balanced life, simplicity plays a tremendous role in creating relationships with depth. But I find that I can only go deeper when I take the time to simplify myself first as an individual. When I do this, my relationships can then take a leading role in the activity of my life.
For me, simplifying myself involves the following 5 areas:
- What I think about… where I allow my thoughts to dwell.
- The words I speak… listen more and talk less.
- Appearance… comfortable but respectful.
- Focus… God. Family. Work. (In that order.)
- Commitments… not spread thin and having ample margin.
When I begin to feel overwhelmed and stop to consider why, the Holy Spirit without fail goes to one or more of these areas and says, “Simplify.” This is how simplicity works in my life for balance. How does it work in yours? What does simplicity mean for you?