I offer today’s blog as a nudge to all of us to think about not just a few areas in our life to simplify, but to embrace a lifestyle of simplicity. I’ve experienced enough to know that a life built on simplicity and in most cases, common sense, will not only be liberating, but will also be more enjoyable.
As the t-shirt says, “Life is good. Simplify”. I think the challenge for most of us is not that we don’t believe the statement. We don’t realize that to obtain an “uncommon” life, we have to immerse our daily actions into a lifestyle of simplicity. A lifestyle of simplicity that makes the ordinary enjoyable.
According to Mr. Webster, the definition of simplicity is:
- the quality of being easy to understand or use.
- the state or quality of being plain or not fancy or complicated.
- something that is simple or ordinary but enjoyable.
Several months back a friend of mind gave me a book by Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline. A book best described by its inside cover, “since its publication in 1978, it has helped millions of seekers discover a richer spiritual life infused with joy, peace and a deeper understanding of God.” Now, as I complete my third reading, I can attest to the richness of this book.
In Foster’s chapter on Simplicity he talks about how simplicity can lead to freedom. But this freedom can only be gained if we understand three things:
- what we have is a gift from God,
- know that it is God’s business, and not ours, to care for what we have,
- and, what we have is available to others.
Foster then follows up his claim about freedom by offering ten controlling principles to bring this kind of simplicity to one’s life:
First, buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.
Second, reject anything that is producing an addiction.
Third, develop a habit of giving things away.
Fourth, refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry.
Fifth, learn to enjoy things without owning them.
Sixth, develop a deeper appreciation for the creation.
Seventh, look with a healthy skepticism at all “buy now, pay later” schemes.
Eighth, obey Jesus’ instructions about plain, honest speech.
Ninth, reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.
Tenth, shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the kingdom of God.
As I read these ten principles over and over I’m struck by two things:
First, the actions themselves really are quite simple.
Secondly, I can start right now marching towards freedom.
So maybe our t-shirt needs to read:
“Life is Enjoyable. There’s Freedom in Simplicity”?
Speaking of freedom- If you feel your financial journey is not leading you to freedom, I urge you to buy my book and discover that there can be simplicity in wealth building.
As always, I enjoy your thoughts and feedback.