The bumper sticker says ‘live simply, so others may simply live’. Sayin’ it and doin’ it are two diffs… Getting simple is as easy as 1,2,3 …sing it Len Barry
As I was chillin in Tahoe recently at a local AirBnB, I experienced real simplicity. My host had a very minimalistic lifestyle. An exercise machine, several hi-speed modems & satellite service to a couple big screens, and that’s it!! wow… my first impressions were that someone is just starting out – but the more I got to know my host, it seemed they are more into living life rather than gaining possessions. They were focusing on only two things in their living quarters: being connected/entertained and staying in shape. It was that simple.
There are many motivations in getting radically simple. For me (don’t know if others do this) the one common factor in REAL simplicity is money If you don’t have money you don’t go around buying optional things. I’ve tried resisting this over the years, but find that each time I have some extra funds I tend to load up on a few ‘luxuries’ (like more solar panels, more battery storage, more cinder blocks, etc)
Another factor (again, for me) is I like to make simple things more complicated – with technology. Maybe I’m a ‘neo’simpleton 🙂
One can stay simple until… one gets money… what happens to simplicity then? With overwhelming societal peer pressure and non-stop advertisement (getting more subtle and all encompassing all the time) it’s hard to resist the temptation. I think the best antidote to these societal pressures is making sure your circle of close friends are also into simplicity…. or so I thought.
One of the basic key elements of voluntary simplicity is getting off the grid. And by that I don’t mean hooking up some solar panels – i mean the full-monty of living off-the-grid.
how to uncomplicate
I’ve spent most of my life complicating things and getting ready for worse case scenarios (its the required diet in engineering). It’s a negative version of the law of attraction.
It’s easy to un-complicate: don’t complicate in the first place!
I’ve spent a lifetime of complicating things…and I have DNA barriers to uncomplicating things. First of all I’m german – that means different things to different people – but it also means being proned more to left brain and anal retentive thinking (sorry fellow germans :-). But it also means a deep resonance with the arts, philosophy and reflection. Second, being bred as an engineer throughout my adolescent and young adulthood, it doubles down on my ‘german-ness’ and increases left brained thinking. (hey, I left our being raised as a catholic – the ultimate guilt trip of human unworthiness)
The book ‘Radical Simplicity’ is the best I’ve found on all this. The concept of ‘life force energy’ is truly groundbreaking: how much of your life’s energy do you need and use in your everyday activities.