Life today can be very complex. Just have to consider all the things we “own” that are supposed to make life simpler, but they need to insured, maintained, updated, repaired, renewed, protected, etc. There’s always something that needs to be attended to, just to keep our nice, new, modern life functioning. From here it seems that a life of simplicity is a long, long way away and, if a simple life was suggested, most people would say “that would be boring” or “I couldn’t do without such-and-such”.
What would happen if we did lead a life of simplicity?
Let’s imagine having a life of simplicity.
We don’t want things
The first step to simplicity is reducing the number of “things” we have or appear to own. If we were leading a simpler life, we’d have less stuff and we wouldn’t be in a constant state of desiring more stuff (see The Story of Stuff).
We save money
Ok, so we have less stuff and less desire for stuff, so we’re definitely spending less money on things. We’re actually saving money just by not wanting so much! This wouldn’t be a good thing for the big corporations who thrive on our desire (which they fuel) to have more things and newer things.
We don’t need so much money
Amazingly, we very quickly get to the point where we don’t need so much money. How easy was that? And imagine how much daily pressure that could release from our lives. We haven’t done much yet in terms of leading a life of simplicity yet, already, we have more money and we’re under less pressure.
We eat simply and less – we’re healthier
Another significant step in living a life of simplicity is eating simple meals and not eating so much. We realise that food is just an enabler for the human body to keep functioning and we feed it just what it needs. No more. We often confuse food with social interactions with friends and family at our homes or restaurants, but food isn’t needed for a pleasant and meaningful social interaction, we’ve just become accustomed to this being so.
Since we’re eating less and focusing on simpler foods, with less complicated rich food in our diets, we’re naturally healthier. We are no longer giving our bodies health challenges every time we eat.
We don’t feel envy or jealousy
Now, how are we feeling. We don’t want things so much. We’re eating more simply so our mind is starting to work more clearly. We’re now starting to notice that there are less occasions where we might feel envious or jealous. Certainly, we’re not going to be as bothered by comparing what we have to what our neighbours have. We are searching for different things, like less pressure and better health and peace of mind, and these things are quickly coming our way.
We aren’t stressed, we don’t feel so much pressure
We feel a lot of weight lifting from our shoulders. It feels like we’re starting to leave the “rat race” behind. Our stress levels are dropping quickly and the constant “pressure to keep-up” that we used to feel is starting to appear in the rear-vision mirror.
We pollute less
Quite simply, because our desire for more stuff has diminished significantly and we’re eating simple foods, the amount of collective pollution we’re imposing on the world has dropped. But there’s another effect in play as well.
Now we’re starting to feel like people can really feel. We are part of humanity and nature. There’s no real competition and we’re all a part of life together. We don’t want to do anything that would have a negative effect on anyone else or on nature. We don’t want to pollute and we actively seek ways to reduce our destructive effect.
We serve others willingly
Now we start to feel the oneness with all other parts of humanity and nature, and we begin to feel the natural urge to do things that are collectively helpful. We begin to want to serve others and we’re very happy doing so. We find that serving others is a very positive experience for ourselves just as much as it is for the other.
We don’t have a lot of clothing or waste clothing due to fashion
Another thing we’ve noticed now is that our growing life of simplicity has led to us having less clothing and a reduced desire to update our clothing as fashions change. This is a result of our reduced desire for things and our intention to reduce our negative effect on the environment in which we all live and prosper. It’s also because we’re now feeling that we don’t have to use clothing to define and justify ourselves to the rest of humanity.
We feel great joy from simple things
The simpler life we’re now leading is not boring and there’s no desire to return to the way things were. In fact, the amount of joy we feel from very simple things in life is far greater than any fleeting joy we felt in our previously burdened life. We’re starting to feel the real happiness that we’re all entitled to.
We don’t worry about how are investments are performing
Remember those days when we worried about how our investments were performing? They are long gone. We’re comfortable in our new, simpler life and somehow feel that everything in the future will work out just fine.
We don’t worry about having enough to support our lifestyle when we retire
Because we’re living a simpler life and buying less stuff, it seems like retirement is not going to be a big problem, like we used to think and stress over constantly.
We don’t long for that new car
That longing to get that new car with those new gadgets and modern appearance is now gone. Wow, what a relief. We’re happy with any car, and even prefer simpler transport options when they’re available.
We care more for our neighbours and fellow humans
Now we’re definitely feeling that we care more for our neighbours and fellow humans compared to things like how our retirement fund is performing, whether we get that new promotion and can afford to buy the thing we’ve been longing for, or whether we’ll be able to pay back that mortgage. Our concern is now drifting firmly towards the wellbeing of ourselves and those around us.
We are more at peace
A feeling that we’ve rarely truly felt before, a feeling of peace, is coming into our life more and more. Beginning a new life of simplicity has resulted in a fundamental feeling of peace and contentment.
We have less sickness
And we’re noticing that we’re not getting sick very often, actually, hardly at all. Was it really the type of life we used to live that was making us sick? Feeling more peace, having reduced stress and pressures, and eating simply seem to be a good recipe for physical health.
We feel deep joy from inside
Now the really surprising thing. We feel moments of immense joy. We haven’t really felt this before, at least not with such a profound sensation, and we can’t even say why it arrives. We just have moments, that are getting more frequent and longer, where a wave of joy just floods over us. No single incident seems to be the cause of this, but we’re very happy to be feeling this deep joy more and more. Maybe joy is just what should be there when all of the other unnecessary things are taken away.
The passing of time is of less importance
The moments of joy that we’re feeling more often now seem to stop time. The past and the future become really unimportant when we feel such joy in the current moment. In a state of profound joy, nothing that happened in the past or could happen in the future seems to matter much at all.
We are “on the road to heaven”
It’s at this point, that you realise that we might well be on the fast road to heaven. A simple decision to live a life of simplicity has led to deep joy, a feeling of enlightenment and the lifting of stress, worry and pressure. What a good decision that was.