“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” ~ Bruce Lee
In our fantasies, we’re pretty good at visualizing our ideal life. In this utopian existence, there’s no stress, no mess , and nothing cluttering the pathway to a world of happiness, contentment, and wellbeing. But in reality, there’s a problem with our pathway: We blindly fill it with meaningless clutter. With every scroll, click, and ‘like’, high-density digital debris gradually fills every vacant space of our minds, hearts, and souls. When irrational beliefs, social comparison, and identity confusion in the #FOMO age cause a downward spiral of compare and despair, our mission to become the best version of our self feels like mission impossible.
As we navigate the journey, we’re pretty good at complicating our pathway to happiness. But when our mission is fueled by meaning, purpose, and passion, fear not — we can simplify our path.
When the complexity of our cluttered path finally gets the best of us, we can choose to detour down another path — one that leads us to a mentally, emotionally, and spiritually simplified existence. And when we make that choice, we begin to view our lives through a more self-determined lens. We begin to acknowledge the part that we play in our drama. (Note: It’s usually a ‘leading’ role). Our choices begin to feel less irrational and more intentional. We feel inspired to shift the spotlight away from what the world is doing…and back toward our own unique needs, aspirations, and desires. Tired of the self-imposed competition, we finally forfeit our participation and withdraw from the comparison game. And when we finally say “no mo!” to FOMO, we reacquaint ourselves with the only person who can control the clutter, minimize the mess, and choose to compete with our best (and only) rival in this game. Guess who?
Blazing a simple trail means letting go of the stuff that obstructs our view of our true self. It means making the effort to avoid unnecessary mental burden and emotional baggage. It means saying “no” to the elements that inhibit our flow. It means holding onto the essential…and letting go of that which no longer serves us. As a force of change, simplicity is what helps us to discern between the energetically paralyzing stuff that weighs us down…and the empowering stuff that elevates us to the next level. So, with your heart as your compass, filter out the fiction. Disregard the dysfunction. And ignore the irrelevant. Your soul will thank you.
We may become enamored with that inspiring someone who has that desirable something. We may obsess about what’s theirs, often to the detriment of what’s ours. We may obsessively collect (hoard?) these fascinations and fixations until our ‘backpack’ is overflowing with stuff, much of which no longer (or, perhaps never did) belong to us in the first place. Yet, when simplicity becomes our muse, our mantra, and a core value in our mission statement, we make the empowering choice to stop being anyone but the authentically awesome person that we already are. Amen!
As we “unload our packs”, we prove to ourselves that simplicity is more than just a healthy choice: It’s super food for our mind, our heart, and our soul. So, go ahead — indulge yourself. But you’ve been warned: It could be habit forming.
About the Author: Joshua GARRIN is one of Your Monthly Mentors. He holds a Ph.D. in health psychology, an M.S. in cognitive psychology, and a B.S. in general psychology and journalism. He currently resides in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Following the completion of his doctorate in 2014, Joshua was the recipient of Walden University’s Harold L. Hodgkinson Award for Outstanding Dissertation Research for his inquiry on health beliefs, outcome expectancies, and stress appraisal in college seniors. Read More…