A simpler life

De-cluttering or simplifying a complex life can optimise the value of that life. 

The late Steve Jobs of Apple fame was a man of many talents and his words resonate with me: 

“Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

This Jobs quote ties in nicely with the theory of personality being the most complex thing in the world. Once you've sorted out how you behave and who you truly are in terms of individual self-awareness and acceptance... where you sit in a place of unique contented balance, life becomes easy... almost simple.

A bit like having dozens of browser tabs open at the same time, trying to simultaneously juggle a multitude of thoughts at the same time can be counter-productive, slowing us down to the point where we are unable to process all the information to hand. Rather, if we can set about simplifying our thoughts, allowing ourselves to focus on one thing at a time, we can reap huge benefits.

“Increasing emotional intelligence frees up an individual's headspace facilitating potential positive movement within a person's ease of thought, feeling, expression and efficacy. ”

As Jobs says: “it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Even if you don’t aspire to such monumental heights, just being easy within yourself is an exceptional goal worth attaining.

William Henry Davies (1871-1940) was an advocate of this simplification philosophy. In his poem, ‘Leisure’, he wrote about questioning the essence of life:

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?

His words are thought provoking, but it seems to me that Davies discovered a big guiding light in his everyday life. Davies lived for years as a ‘gentleman of the road’ with no material possessions. Living this incredibly modest life gave him his inner easement. It could be suggested that he lived his life in a simple way which facilitated and enhanced his autonomy and creativity.

I have sometimes thought I’d like to try to undertake a specific challenge or activity that feels really meaningful, but then I came up against a block of frustrated past conditioning or incongruent learnt behaviour, which prevented me from carrying out the task. 

So, how do I get past this block? Going deep into my senses and focusing on where I am, initially with the frustration and then deeper still; closer to the origins of that frustration, usually allows me to melt away that lump of irritability or mental mass, enabling me to do what I truly feel I want to do... be who I truly want to be.

I have personally learnt that I do not need to be aware of everything that goes on in the world and I certainly do not need to know all of the answers to all of the questions. Being involved psychologically in things I cannot change is, I think, futile.

To maximise or to optimise? I would urge people to consider not rushing around perpetually pursuing maximisation, but consider trying to slow down, stand and stare and optimise their genuine authenticity. 

Allowing psychological space in my head is liberating; it allows me to breath emotionally and gives me time to do be me, to be less busy, and optimise that person I truly am... the person I truly want to be.  

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