Drawbacks vs. Benefits of Simplicity

In considering that Balance Requires Simplicity, we must take time understand that simplicity does have its drawbacks, but those drawbacks pale in comparison to the benefits.

First, simplicity is never complete. It must always be pursued in order to keep complexity at bay. I’ve seen simplicity come and go way too many times both in my own life and in the lives of those I love, and that happens when it’s no longer doggedly pursued.

Second, simplicity makes you feel like somewhat of and outsider since most of the people around you will remain trapped in busyness and overload.

When my life was so busy that I barely had time to keep up with laundry, I guess I just wasn’t bothered that everyone else was that busy too. Maybe misery loves company, or maybe I just didn’t have the mental room to consider the level of everyone else’s busyness when I wasn’t even keeping up with my own.

Third, pursuing simplicity makes you more aware of complexity. Now that I have more margin built into my life, I notice how much others don’t have. They aren’t able to chat and hang out, and they don’t have the time to read, exercise and pursue personal interests. What used to seem like just another busy person now seems like a chaotic life.

Fortunately, the benefits of simplicity by far outweigh the drawbacks.

First, simplicity allows time for pursuing passions. Not until I focused on simplicity did the dream of becoming a writer come to fruition. Having the freedom to pursue God-given passions is truly amazing.

Second, simplicity allows room for quality relationships. Relationships can and usually do complicate life. But, this is one area where complication is welcome. When the rest of life is simple, the complication of relationships seems to bring abundance and joy in amazing ways.

Third, simplicity allows for more flexibility. What makes me happy now is less tangible and more associated with meeting others’ needs rather than just having my needs met. I’m less rattled when my plans fall apart and am able to adapt better than I’ve ever been able to before in my life. As with pursuing passions, the flexibility that comes from simplicity is a truly freeing feeling.

The fact that simplicity sets a person apart from the crowd is disheartening at first. Add to that the realization of how much effort simplicity sometimes requires, and taking a step toward it seems daunting at first. But once you opened the door, simplicity will rush in and tear it off its hinges, and you’ll want to forever leave complexity behind.

DISCUSSION: In what ways would you like to simplify your life?

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5 Replies to “Drawbacks vs. Benefits of Simplicity”

  1. My life is simpler these days. I write. I walk the dog. This spring I've also added "help with the JV baseball team" to the weekly calendar. I agree with the benefits of slowing down and enjoying a cup of coffee (which I'm doing at this moment). God bless you as you journey on the road less traveled.

  2. My life is already very simple as far as commitments go. I live in a small town where people are pretty laid back overall. I would like to simplify more by getting down to as few of possessions as possible and also downsizing our house now that three of the kids are out of the nest and only one left. I enjoyed your series.

    1. Thanks Barb. Simplifying commitments is one of the hardest parts, so I commend you for having already done that. Simplifying possessions is equally as freeing, and I have found it also to be addicting. I still have a lot way to go in simplifying my posessions though, but my husband and I have plans for doing so when our boys are in college. For now, we are enjoying the approaching of the teen years.

  3. You really got me thinking when you were talking about simplicity making you an outsider. Not that I've pursued simplicity in every part of my life, but I do notice that in certain areas I really feel like an outsider. But I never really thought about it before. I guess it's good, in a way, to be an outsider – or else you'd be chronically busy and in debt like everyone else! 🙂

    1. Yes, this is one way where being an outsider is a good thing. I feel like it's related to being aliens in this world that is not our permanent home. Also, for me, just identifying that this is a reason for me being an outsider makes being one easier to handle.

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