Life is Good When it’s Simple

I was inspired by our daughter Megan’s blog last month. My wife Sandy would wish that inspiration had translated into some work habit changes. And those clients who receive my ridiculously early emails might agree. No, my inspiration was to write a Part 2 message.

A simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person.

Two times that stand out when Sandy and I simplified our lives are after reading The Purpose Driven Life with our church, and navigating through The Great Recession. I believe our lives are ultimately better today because of changes from those experiences.

The easy part of simplifying your life is identifying what’s most important to you. Where it becomes a challenge is eliminating as much as you possibly can of everything else.

Here are a couple ways that may help you: (I could have written much more, but I wanted to keep this blog simple.)

Focus on what you can control, just get over things and move on. You don’t accomplish much by worrying about what might happen and regretting what already happened. And you can’t completely move on if you haven’t let go in your mind of things … many of which probably weren’t meant to be anyway. Save yourself a lot of time and anguish, and use your energy for doings things that you can control and which are for the greater good.

Focus on results, not busyness. I grew up in a generation that received the fatherly advice, “Work harder and faster and you’ll get ahead.” I clearly mastered that, but eventually came to realize that being productive (achieving results) is far more important than the time or pace it takes to achieve them. So ask yourself if what you’re about to start doing is worth the effort and will help achieve your goals and/or meet your organization’s needs?

Spend more time with the right people. Whether spontaneous or intentional, hang out with those people who bring you joy and encourage you. For me, it’s my wife, children and grandsons first! I’m also thankful to have some men in my life who hold me accountable to my convictions of being faith-centered, people-focused and values-driven.

Let things be less than perfect. I know this is essential for life and keeping one’s sanity, and something that I’ve worked hard on over the years. I’ve made great progress, but I must admit I haven’t perfected it yet.

Count your blessings. This keeps jealousy and greed at bay because you’re filling your mind and soul with joy and gratitude. It can also encourage you to pay things forward in ways that help others and matter more than filling your life with distracting complexity.

So there you go … some not-at-all secrets of a simple and good life. Ok, if you must know, I wrote this blog when most people in our community were sound asleep. And yes it was during the weekend. Which proves I still have a way to go in my pursuit of a simple life. And a happy wife.