Last week, I shared with you a quick little peek inside my time in Cambodia (you can read it here). To paraphrase it in a nutshell, experiencing this culture in particular has opened my eyes to a drastic realization: simplifying life brings abundance.
Many people equate the word “abundance” with having lots of money to afford the best resources and luxuries. Since we live in the most abundant country on earth, we’re blessed with a rich supply of foods, goods and the latest advances in science and technology. It’s incredibly easy, too easy, to take this all for granted and to want it all.
It took a trip to developing third world countries for me to realize that I can’t take things for granted, and that abundance is more than just money and what it buys. I’m aiming for an abundant life that includes peace, comfort and joy in the everyday moments. I want to feel fulfilled when I’m helping others, and I want to find harmony between mind body and soul when I’m in nature. It’s a work in progress, I know, but it’s worth the pursuit.
I strongly believe we were created to experience pure abundance in these ways, and I think that’s why deep down inside we ask ourselves why we aren’t happy when we supposedly have it all (money, material items and for some, fame). As part two of my simplifying life series, I’ve come up with seven ideas for you to think about when it comes to simplifying your life, thus creating a more abundant life:
7 Ways to Simplify Your Life
1: Think of 3 things that you simply could not live without: This could be your relationships with family and significant other, your mental and physical health, and even something as simple as your laptop. Write these down, and every time that you think you need more, remember your three things that you already have. You might find in the process that you are willingly giving some things up….Cable TV, the expense of owning a car, fast food. I know…shifting your thinking can be hard, but stick with it! Happiness is a choice and for me personally, gratitude brings me happiness.
2: Declutter Your Home: There’s no better way to simplify your life than decluttering your home! Look through your home and if your belongings don’t serve an immediate purpose, get rid of it. Dedicate a weekend to go through all of your belongings and purge what you don’t want. Not only will you free up space in your home, you’ll feel mentally lighter. Try making it a goal to keep a minimalist living space. Keep in your house only what is necessary, with a few home decor items that have meaning to you. Not only will this make it so much easier to keep your space tidy, it will give you a sense of peace every time you wake up or walk in your front door. I know when I have an open and beautiful space, I feel like I’ve uncluttered my life and am open to receiving new ideas.
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3: Think of what you really need money for: What do you really need to own? Think of all the material items you buy in a month. What are items that you need for survival, and what are items that simply make you happy? Are there any purchases in there that you could’ve done without? Make a short list of items that you truly enjoy spending your money on and try to eliminate unnecessary purchases. Make an effort each month to create a budget for yourself and try to stick with it! Building up your savings and having that sense of security is priceless.
4: Streamline all of your home duties: Think of how many times a week you go to the grocery store. Or how many times a week you clean the house or do laundry. Could these home duties be organized and streamlined so that they’re easier and more efficient to complete? Look into a la carte cleaning services. Maybe you can’t afford to have your whole place professionally cleaned but just setting up the floors and bathrooms on a regular cleaning schedule can make a big difference and frees up your time. Check out new phone apps that help you keep track of items you need to purchase on your next trip and now some major grocers allow you to store coupons in your phone and are automatically pulled up when you check out.
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5: Stop comparing yourself to others: There’s a difference between scoping out your competition as a business owner and making unhealthy comparisons between yourself and other people (especially on social media). Does this bring you any benefit? No. When you find yourself in a situation where you feel inadequate by comparing yourself to others, then take yourself out of that situation. If that means limiting your time on Snapchat or Instagram, then find another activity that will actually make a difference …like reaching out to someone who needs your help, working on your personal goals or business plan, or writing in your journal. So stop comparing yourself to others and thinking their gain is your loss. I really believe that there’s an unlimited supply of success and abundance for all of us. Any time you feel like comparing yourself to others, turn that energy into a brainstorming session on how you can bring your best self forward.
6: Be conscious of negative people, thoughts, or situations in your life and learn how to rid yourself of them: We are usually our own worst critic, so it’s important that you practice being your own cheerleader as much as possible. Get into the habit of encouraging yourself instead of engaging in negative self-talk. Surround yourself with those who lift you up and make you feel good about yourself. It’s said that “like attracts like”, so if there’s a pattern of you always bringing negative people or situations into your life, then maybe YOU need to change and be the person you want to attract. Maybe now’s the time to add new friends to the mix. Join an interest group, take a class on a subject you love, strike up a conversation with someone you see everyday when you pick up your morning latte, or join a local club. Simplify your life by eliminating toxic people from your world.
7: Find a creative outlet that brings you joy: I believe we were created to live with love, joy and confidence. Finding what brings joy and satisfaction into our life is personal for each of us. Try to strive for creative moments in your life. This could be journaling, painting, singing, dancing, hiking and yes, even daydreaming can contribute to creativity. Try to engage in some sort of creative expression that gives you joy or puts you in the “zone” and stick with it! I think many don’t give themselves credit as far as having the ability to create. Just by being aware of everything you are involved in creating every day, enjoying the wonderful people that surround you and living more in the moment, you can begin to see more enjoyment come your way.
So with that said my friends, I hope you can practice some of these simple techniques to simplifying your life. Comments for additional ways that you embrace the minimalist lifestyle are also welcome. Stay tuned next week for more thoughts on seeking to simplify and create more abundance, with the focus being on our careers!