10 Ways To Simplify Life And Find Your Life Purpose
If there had to be one prescription for the ailment of modern life, it definitely has to be to simplify life. We live in a freakishly consumer-driven world (meaning that our modern day life is both complex and complicated). We constantly deal with ‘multiple lives’—our social life, our online life, professional life, etc. Moreover, we have to make countless choices and take decisions on a day-to-day basis, organize our activities and constantly prioritize between multiple tasks.
Simplify life and find your authentic life purpose
There is more to simplifying your life than making things easier and stress-free—it is also about finding your life purpose and this is perhaps the most important point. We normally swim in an ocean of distractions, some of which we create ourselves, and many others that are fed to us externally.
These distractions take many forms, for example:
- physical clutter of things you once bought but don’t need anymore;
- mass media messages,
- too many social activities,
- too many roles, etc.
What these distractions do is that they obstruct the view to your true authentic aspirations. So to simplify life is also about clearing your view from such distractions and becoming free to follow what you genuinely are meant to do.
Here a 10 simple ways to simplify life and identifying your true life purpose:
1. Decluttering your space
Decluttering your spaces—both physical and mental—is perhaps the most important and obvious part of simplifying life. Clutter brings noise, distraction and obstruction. On the other hand maintaining clutter-free spaces allow more clarity, simplicity and overall harmony.
2. Filter your ‘Needs‘ from ‘Wants‘
When you really think hard about why our lives have become increasingly complex and stressful and you strip down the problem to its core, you realize that it comes from not distinguishing clearly between our needs and wants. Society has blurred the line between the two. We have very few needs and too many wants but we think that what are really our wants (and hence inessential) are also our needs—which is plainly false.
It is the consumerist society that has entranced us into this reality. We always want this or that and end up cluttering our lives with inessential stuff. What’s worse, we end up stirring away from our true path. Hence the key to simplify life is to first start becoming more sober and more conscious about what are really your needs vs. your wants.
3. Drop the inessentials
In line with the previous point, it is evident that to simplify life implies staying close to your ‘essentials’ and discarding all those things that are inessential to your life purpose. It doesn’t happen in a day. It’s a continuous process of shedding off those things that are not genuinely yours: stuff, buying choices, habits and relationships that keep you stuck from discovering your true potential and purpose.
4. Give up the maybes
The ‘maybes’ in our lives really add complexity and make things harder than they should be. “Maybe I should do this or that,” “Maybe I’ll be financially worse off doing this,” “maybe it’s a good idea,” etc. The point is that we end up hanging in suspended animation without ever taking an action forward. And the more we sit speculating about our maybes, the more ifs, maybes and buts that will pile up.
So if you want to simplify life even a bit more, you need to stop befriending those maybes and start being more clear and decisive. It doesn’t matter if you slip once in awhile. It’s still better off than being entangled in an over-complicated life where nothing ever really goes through.
5. Be okay with not trying
This is another thing that makes our modern societies frenetic and complex: the ‘pre-installed’ urge to do something all the time. We feel we have to do something about something all the time. We are programmed with the need to get what we want and take action for it. Now as we saw in the previous point, we do need to be more decisive but this doesn’t mean being stuck with a compulsion to act all the time.
We need to understand and respect the fact that sometimes it is useless or not ideal to act but it’s better to stand back for a while and let things unfold on their own accord. Patience and better judgment are key. So we need to really learn to be okay with not trying at times and stop the urge to frenetically go about doing out of compulsion.
6. Write your MITs
Every morning write those three “Most Important Tasks (MITs)” that are directly related to your life mission or that in some way support it (could be less than three tasks). These are the tasks you should focus more on and the important thing is to start straight away with them if possible and try your best to complete them within the day. This habit will channel you into a focused, distraction-free life in line with your purpose.
7. Learn to say NO
People who are naturally good at keeping things simple are those who are very clear when to say no to people even if it might be a disappointment to the other. Most people will out of sheer politeness—or worse, fear—end up always obliging to appease the others’ demands especially if they are in a position of authority or are influential in some way.
Yet I’m sure there are countless episodes in anyone’s life where things could have been much simpler if we just said no at the right time instead of being dragged into doing something out of our reach. This doesn’t mean that we should refuse to help others. What I mean is that we need to be clear about our limits and gifts and know how and when to help others without rendering our lives more complicated.
8. Simplify your digital life
As mentioned in the introduction, we live multiple lives—our digital life being one of them. It’s merely a reflection of our physical and social life in that it also needs to be simplified. In fact, the paradox is that our digital life has complicated our lives inasmuch as it has made them efficient.
A simple digital life involves keeping a clean email inbox, a tidy file and folder system (where it’s easy to find what you’re looking for) and using tools and apps that simplify your tasks and work loads.
9. Be a conscious consumer
A general rule in simple living is to stand back from excesses and consume only what nourishes you and supports you. This doesn’t mean you need to impoverish your life. Quite the contrary, abundance does not mean an oversupply of things but rather an always-available supply of those things that support your most authentic needs. Think about it.
10. KISS – Keep It Seriously Simple
The overall attitude to simplify life is to always keep things as simple as possible. It has to become a mantra or a constant reminder present in mind. Whatever you do, be always conscious that simple will work out best in the long run. This should permeate all aspects of your life whether it is work, business, relationships, or health. Simplify life and you will see how it will always work magic!