Friday, March 12, 2010

Creating Real Happiness By Simplifying Our Lives

(From Suite -- By Catie Watson)

Daylight Savings begins this weekend.

2010 is already screaming by.

Do you share the same feeling that each year goes by faster and faster?

I have paid attention to this, and there is a way to slow this pace down.

The common denominator is SIMPLIFICATION.

During our lives, we accumulate stuff, work harder, faster, strive to be better -- but does any of it create real happiness?

People are happier when they scale down, make their finances work and have close relationships.

I didn't say it was easy, but nothing that's worth a lot is.

I heard an interview on NPR last weekend with REVEREND JAMES MARTIN, a Jesuit priest who said, "living simply means freeing yourself up from things you don't need and ultimately, that leads to happiness."

For ideas on how to simplify your life, read this article below from CATIE WATSON, Contributing Editor of


1. Simplify Your Life by Reducing your Possessions
Modern culture is materialistic, bombarding us with the message that we can find happiness in possessions. In reality, possessions create clutter. It’s hard to feel peaceful or calm when you’re surrounded by clutter. Simple living with fewer possessions will make you feel freer and more in control of your life.

2. Simplify Your Life By Rethinking Your Commitments
When your calendar is filled with commitments, you will spend all your time rushing from one activity to another. This leaves no time to slow down and find happiness in the beauty of life. If you feel over-committed, create a more simple life by rethinking your priorities. Keep only the most important commitments and bow out of those that are lower on your priority list.

3. Simplify Your Life And Find More Free Time
Once you’ve limited your commitments, look for ways to create more free time. Decide if simple living allows you to spend less time on household chores. Once you’ve reduced clutter, you’ll have less to clean. Spend your newly-found free time on activities that will help you find happiness, such as developing your talents and enjoying the company of family and friends.

4. Simplify Your Life By Thinking For Yourself
If you allow your role in life to be defined by someone else, you won’t be able to follow your heart’s desires. Trying to conform to someone else’s expectations creates inner conflict. Instead, find happiness by thinking for yourself. You can simplify life by exercising your freedom of choice and letting your heart be your guide.

5. Simplify Your Life And Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures
Preparing a delicious meal, taking a long soak in a hot tub, exploring a park or nature preserve –- these are just a few of the simple pleasures that make life sweet. One way to find happiness is to focus on life’s simple pleasures. Try to find time every day to savor the simple life.

6. Simplify Your Life And Give Up Some Control
Trying to control life’s flow can only lead to frustration. One of the fundamental benefits of a simple life is being able relax and enjoy life’s journey. When we stop trying to control things, we allow ourselves to be open to new opportunities that may arise. You can still find happiness by setting goals, but don’t expect to control the means that get you to your goals.

7. Simplify Your Life And Live In The Moment
One of the problems with bring over-committed is that it leaves little time for enjoying the present moment. Your mind is always moving ahead to the next activity on the calendar. Simple living means being fully present in the here and now. Don’t wait for tomorrow to find happiness -– learn to find it in all the small tasks and simple pleasures that make up a day.

Creating a simple life is a process rather than a final destination.

In our modern world, it’s not possible to completely escape the complexity of life.

However, you can still increase your happiness by making changes that simplify your life.

Bob Sloan, thanks for the post.

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