Views of Simplicity

Simplicity for any individual is defined to a great extent by personality and temperament. An individual’s upbringing also has an impact as does individual interest. What one person finds relaxing, another may see it as complicated or even stressful.

Clothing is one example. Years ago, I found myself constantly frustrated with trying to decide what to wear each day. Then I noticed I only wore about 20% of the clothing I owned anyway. So, I whittled my wardrobe down by over 40% and have a simple style with narrow variety. In contrast, I have friends who love to try new trends and constantly mix up their wardrobes. They like to express themselves through their clothing.

Simplicity also pursues people in unique ways. For instance, significant foot (nerve entrapment) and back (slipped discs and spinal stenosis) problems along with Piriformis Syndrome limited my shoe options to only a few pair for a long time. The limit came not from simple obedience to the doctor, either. The severe foot and ankle pain gave me the option of either wearing only those few pairs of shoes or not being able to walk. This is not a simplicity I planned or pursued, but it found me and insisted I pay attention.

Small Steps

Simplicity does not happen in a person’s life through any one major event or leap. Rather, there exist a multitude of small changes and adjustments that together add up for big change to create a simpler life.

The combination of elements that created my simple life will look like no one else’s. The principles for achieving a simple life, however, are essentially the same for everyone. A simple life begins with one small step toward a simple life, and it is built by many additional small decisions to keep pursuing simplicity.

What does a simple life look like to you? What small step can you make toward a simpler life today?