Simplicity is King!
My current lifestyle is pretty bloody simple…and in my humble opinion, pretty bloody awesome…and these days, pour moi, ‘awesome’ is mostly defined by simplicity.
Simplicity in my thoughts
Simplicity in my attention
Simplicity in my actions
Simplicity in my expectations
Basically…simplicity in my choices…the less I have in terms of supplemental attention-draining activities and ‘stuff’ around me, the more time I have to focus on what I want, what I need, and what is best for me.
Simplicity is a discipline.
Discipline is simplicity.
…more Zen-gold from yours truly…
On this self-imposed sabbatical that I’ve been on for the past 24 months, I have taken the art of simplicity to a whole new level…for me anyway.
It’s been 2 years of complete and utter selfishnessnessnessness…ness.
Nothing too Zen mind you, but I’ve practiced, deliberately practiced (nearly) everyday methods, strategies and disciplines that will not only simplify my external environment, but also, like i have mentioned in previous posts, the noise, distractions, opinions, assumptions that either cloud my thoughts or inhibit my capacity to stimulus that I shouldn’t tolerate…this is itself is near-on a full time occupation 😂
Watching or listening to mind-numbing crap on the TV
Reading/listening to completely unnecessary commentary or opinion…like this blog.
Scrolling aimlessly through social media.
Letting one’s ego dictate the narrative going on in ones head…shut up!!
Why Do This?
Don’t think so…I’m only 36
Complete and utter selfishnessnessnessness…ness?
…and…because I could I do it, and the time was ripe.
So ripe n juicy because…
I was broke…both emotionally and financially.
I was tired of making the same mistakes over n over.
I was suffering decision fatigue.
I felt like I had more in the tank, but something was stopping me progressing.
Get out the way Luke…here i come…
Never to do anything rash or compulsive, I decided to do something I always do, which was, to do something rash and compulsive, and make some big decisions as to what I wanted to dedicate my time & energy to.
Decisions as to what sacrifices I had to make, to at least begin this process of utter selfishnessnessnessness…ness.
[Again, I need to note that I’m very fortunate (when it comes to being in a position to make these decisions) because i have very little in terms of ‘commitments’ to a partner, children, dog, gold-fish…I do have some plants and they’re flourishing…so my time, and what I do with it is both unhindered and mine, mine, mine…hysterical laughter]
So I began the process, the investigative process, to find out why I do what i do.
Every spiritual, religious and woo-woo guru that I had seen or read ALL profess to the importance of quietude & stillness, so that we can avail ourselves the opportunity to nurture reflection, write, look within and ask all those hairy questions we’d prefer to avoid, and plunge into our cognitive recesses through alcohol, poor food choices, being a dick, and self-enabling behaviours that are really not that conducive to one’s own wellbeing….you know what I mean.
Was/Is It Hard?
Yes, no…yes…but not really…
Firstly, it needs to be said that in the great scheme of things my problems, challenges and hurdles are completely and utterly insignificant in the eyes and lives of those living in war torn countries like Syria, or countries struggling with starvation and/or desperate poverty like our close neighbours in Indonesia (something to remember when you’re bartering 20,000 rupe’s for a Bintang singlet)…or closer to home, the completely-hard-to-fathom bush fires our brothers and sisters and precious flora and fauna are experiencing on the Eastern seaboard of Australia…something I believe we all need to keep front and centre when we have those “oh woe is me” moments or find ourselves complaining that our latte isn’t hot enough, or someone was rude to you, or you’re complaining that you’ve put weight on over the festive season because you ate too much and drank too many pints of Bailey’s…hello????
I always like to remind myself when I notice that my head is up my arse, which can be often, and I’m all too precious & self-indulgent about something completely irrelevant, that there’s probably at least 6 billion people that would swap my problems for theirs in a heart-beat.
So, as insignificant as my challenges were/are, I decided to approach each problem head-on as an obstacle that needed a solution. Because the reality is… I had made the conscious decision to do what I was doing, so I had to make conscious choices about how best to proceed.
It would be completely insane of me to get pissed at my situation, because it was me that decided on the situation…I laughed when I typed that because that’s exactly what I did for the past 30odd years….aahhh hindsight you glorious bastard you.
So how best could I not only overcome my challenges BUT…also learn something….mmmmmmmm shits getting real.
Reality Check...firstly, I need some income to ‘live’ on.
Financially speaking its been a wonderfully challenging proposition.
For the past 2 years I have lived off roughly $600-$700 a week, again, completely self-inflicted, as I could ‘earn more’ but I wanted the valuable resource of time to not only work on myself (man), but invest as much unhindered energy into my passion-project My Future Self, which, too be completely transparent, is one in the same thing…there is very little, if anything, separating by own self from MyFutureSelf…deep huh?.
Anyways, my rent is $360 per week. I could go cheaper, but I like living near the coast and I have 2 bedrooms, with the spare bedroom as my office and gym. (no gym fees means a saving of $60-$100 a month)
So that leaves me roughly $300 a week to live off for utilities and food.
Now for someone who had over hundred $100+ business ties, a penchant for Panerai Watches, a tidy Paul Smith suits collection, a fine array of Jeffrey West boots, a Sydney Harbourside apartment & nose candy habit that Jordan Belfort (Wolf of Wall Street) would of been proud of, I have blown (literally 😇) some serious coin over the years.
So this exercise is frugality has not only been a massive learning curve, but a profound (again more deep stuff) habit-rewiring, from a state of excruciatingly obscene excess, to where I am now…the complete other end of the consumer-spectrum…a dude with about 20 items in his closet/draws, a couple of plants, a bike, coffee machine and a laptop….mmmm heaven!
Secondly “Marie-Kondo” Your Environment…aka…Cut The Crap
Because I couldn’t neither afford nor desire to buy and collect more stuff to clutter my environment, I decided to focus on streamlining my living space and go minimalist.
Anybody wanting to improve their budget, relinquish a nasty consumerism habit, become more mindful, stress-free, more productive and clear headed – then ‘practicing minimalism’ is a sure fired way to certainly improve all those aspects of your life.
You notice, after a few months, the impact of clutter and noise when you’re out an about.
Your “clean’ home becomes even more of a sanctuary because quite frankly…it’s f***** cra-cra out there.
I can’t even, let me rephrase that…I don’t even want to…look/read newspapers, commercial TV etc because of the ‘junk’ information & opinion it spews. I got better things to think about…not Crocs.
Anyways…minimalism.. clearing the physical, visual and audible clutter from your environment is a bona-fide epiphany-inducing exercise.
Thirdly, Why Everyone Needs A Solid Morning Routine
I’m pretty chuffed with myself because I successfully implemented a lifestyle regime that not only promotes peace of mind via the reduction of distractions in my environment, but also promotes and maintains my health & wellbeing – physiologically, metabolically, physiologically and err…spiritually?…
Honestly, I think I prefer cheerfully to spiritually.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not grinning like Jack Nicholson in the Shining, skipping down the high street, high-fiving strangers…I’m just more consistently cheerful within. Confident within. Quieter within…
The key word here is choices – as I’ve alluded to in he past, I am a bit of a slow learner…and often epiphanies need to strike me over the head more than once for me to realise what’s going on. So for me to finally realise, quite recently in fact, and completely due to my utter selfishnessnessnessness…ness I not only learned, which is important, but also enacted, that I have the ability, the POWER, to choose my problems.
See what i reckon is, and I’ve touched on this in previous posts, so apologies in advance if I’m repeating myself, repeating myself…Is that we need to change the narrative around the conscious problems that we’ve created for ourselves, and reframe it so our approach is self-motivated to overcome it.
“Problems” come with so much baggage man
“Problems” coming from unconscious thinking serve no real benefit, as they tend to further exacerbate your shitty unconscious thinking patterns…I know, i know we can learn from ‘everything’, but that thinking within the context of this post doesn’t suit my message…haha!
So lets, from now on, change the narrative of conscious-decision-made-‘problems’ to something like “opportunities”.
See the word ‘opportunities/opportunity’ even sounds ‘fun’.
Are We There Yet??
Feeling…not less, but heightened on the important stuff most of the time. I’d like to say all the time, but the reality is my feelings, emotions and thinking always escape me…think Crocs.
But having less to think, have, do etc enables me to bring me back to where I am.
Where i need to be
And if I am where I want to be, that will only kindle my ability and desire to always not only stick to the choices that benefit me, but to also protect them from compromising choices and also challenge them, putting them under the stress test by learning more…and the more I learn, I tweak, I adjust, I massage, I rethink, I retrain…I practice.
This in my book is the process.
And that is essentially what I do everyday.
And its within the glorious humdrum, the day to day, between sunrise and sunset that I have an opportunity to not only raise my personal game, but actually have the time to notice how f****** good the daily humdrum of life is. There is so much to see and experience everyday, and doing less, being less, thinking less allows me notice opportunities throughout the day to see, hear and feel all the good shit.
There is only one constant in life, and that is change.
What I’m learning, through LESS, is that we have the capacity to not only take hold of change, but mould it and direct it for our own self-betterment.