how to simplify your life

I came across an interesting analogy recently that compared our lives to that of a cake. The analogy suggested that throughout our lifetime (as a cake), we continuously accumulate sprinkles (empty baggage) as an attempt to fill in the frosted voids that are inside each and every one of us.

When I thought about this analogy and how it could be applied to the masses, it made a lot of sense to me.

A lot of the people I meet tell me how they feel overwhelmed and dissatisfied with their lives; they want to understand how I can live on (and with) so little and still be happy and fulfilled.

The life philosophy I preach is rather simple: I believe that we were all meant to be creators of our own circumstances, not creations of our circumstances. I strongly believe that life is what you make of it. Jack Canfield (Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul) once said, "If what you are doing doesn't bring you joy, don't do it." I could not agree more.

Yet when I look around, I see a lot of people who have sadly become creations of their current set of circumstances; they've allowed outside forces to strip them of their own self-worth. The only way to break free from this way of living (and thinking) is to learn how to become a creator of your circumstances. To become a creator of your circumstances, you must first learn how to simplify your life, find balance and determine what you truly value. 

[1]  Simplify Your Life

Going back to the cake analogy, we can all admit that we have things in our lives that can be classified as "sprinkles". According to Nancy Whitney - Reiter, "Belongings require maintenance. Whether it's cleaning them, sorting them, keeping track of them, or the mere fact that they take up real estate in your house, you expend energy on your possessions."

By simplifying your possessions, you are then able to refocus that energy into achieving tranquility and balance in the seven areas of your life. 

[2]  Balance Out The Seven Life Areas

The seven areas of life are as follows:

  • Spiritual - Attempts to understand the world and our place in it; beliefs.
  • Intellectual - Your ability to learn, your memory, the way you reason; knowledge.
  • Psychological - How we can develop the emotions that support us in life; emotions.
  • Social - The way we relate to other human beings; relationships.
  • Professional - Your occupation and how you handle your finances; money.
  • Recreational - Any activity intended for relaxation, refreshment and pleasure; fun.
  • Physical - Anything related to your body and its well-being; health.

When I was at my heaviest and most depressed state, the seven areas of my life were in complete disarray. It was only after I did the research and understood what these seven areas of life meant that I truly began to see my life transform for the better.

My advice to you would be to write the seven areas down on a piece of paper, then next to each area write out a paragraph clearly stating how you are going to balance out that particular area in relation to the other six areas of your life. If you are fulfilled with your professional life but your social and psychological areas are lacking, write down exactly what you need to do in order to balance those areas out.

By taking the steps to write these down, you are fueling your subconscious mind with new problems to solve. The same can be said for goals as well; as soon as you write down what you want, your subconscious mind takes over and does all of the problem solving for you.

[3]  Reveal Your True Values

After you have completed the prior two exercises, you will naturally progress to the third and final step in the process of taking control of your life. Once you have rid yourself of the unnecessary clutter and devised a written plan for balancing out the different areas of your life, you can finally reach the point where you can declare to the universe what it is you truly value. How do you do this? You need to sit down and ask yourself some very serious questions about what you really want out of life.

Questions like:

  • Who do I want to be?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What steps will I need to take in order to become that person?
  • Am I willing to do whatever it takes to become the person I want to be?
  • How do I want to be remembered after I die?
  • What do I value most?
  • How can I help people?

These are just a few of the questions you can ask yourself that will give you tremendous insight into who you want to be and what you truly want to do with the life you have been given.

When you write these questions down, give yourself adequate time to really think about your responses, then write your answers down. When you write out your answers, try to be as specific and detailed as possible. When you are finished with these three exercises, you will likely find a few similarities between what you chose to get rid of, how you chose to balance out the seven areas, and what you truly value. If you pay close attention and take this seriously, you will likely learn more about yourself in these three simple exercises than you ever have before.

When you have a written plan, and you design your life around what you truly love and value, you will change your life forever.