Ever watched one of those circus-type shows where entertainers attempt to stay balanced while gradually adding items to be balanced? 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, families, and coworkers. We’re balancing — or at least attempting to — an amazing amount, but balancing is all we’re pretty much able to focus on.
When focused only on balancing, we’re often unable to consider the quality of our balancing act and how much we’re dropping. Simplicity allows for better balance in that it allows us to put our focus on quality over quantity and to balance well will less drops.
Simplicity is freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts. It’s the absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc. Simple means easy to understand, deal with, use, etc. Simple means not elaborate or artificial, not ornate or luxurious.
Simplicity looks 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 very different answers.
Simplicity’s Role in Balance
We can get ideas, guidance, inspiration, and direction from each other with regard to simplicity, but every one of us must individually discover what it looks like for us. Regardless of how simplicity looks in any individual’s life, it plays 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 depth and quality in every area of life from relationships to work. However, I find I can only go deeper in these areas when I take the time to simplify myself first as an individual.
Simplifying myself involves my:
- Thoughts: Where do I allow my thoughts to dwell?
- Words: I need to listen more and talk less.
- Appearance: I want to be comfortable but respectful.
- Focus: God. Family. Work. (In that order.)
- Commitments: Not being spread thin but instead 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.”