Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. – Lao Tzu
You can’t fix your life in five easy steps for one simple reason: Your life is not broken.
Often we have the tendency to rush to a solution before we identify the problem. Similarly, when we feel our lives are off track and not fulfilling we frantically look for ways to fix something, anything– and fast.
My first reaction when Mary Beth comes to me with an issue is to help her fix it. But what she really needs from me is to listen, be supportive and discuss what changes are necessary to solve the problem. This same need can be extended to how we approach our personal problems, too.
Sometimes the best thing to do is to step back and consider what simple changes can be made so a problem can be diminished naturally. When this approach is taken, the outcome is more permanent because the solution is better considered.
Rather than focusing on fixing our lives, it may be better to consider simplifying our lives. Making small, simple changes can lead to finding greater happiness and freedom.
When we remove the clutter, we gain better clarity to find our way through challenging times. Simplification leads to less anxiety about trying to fix the world, and the people, around us. I have discovered these five ways to simplify my life leads to more peace and comfort.
- Make time for “self” every day.
Carve out a few moments each day to stop and do whatever you like. Check in with your thoughts, daydream, or process what’s happening in your life. Simply do something just for you. A few minutes are all you need to re-charge your mind, body and soul. When you do, the answers you are seeking have a way of greeting you a little sooner.
- Acknowledge your victories.
Take time to celebrate your accomplishments. Recognize when you reach an important milestone and then give yourself the credit you deserve. Avoid the temptation to allow the busyness of your life to overshadow these important events. Savor these moments and allow your victories to make you stronger.
Reconnect to what’s really important. To do this, you first need to disconnect from your computer, iPhone or even your job. Use dinnertime has a way to have eye-to-eye contact with the people who matter most. Engaging with your family in meaningful ways will refresh you and remind you of why you work so hard in the first place.
- Take out your trash.
The trash that builds up can keep you from seeing past it. Your desk, computer desktop and home can quickly be mired down with unwanted items. When the piles become large enough they create an unproductive distraction. To regain some simplicity, and control, take out your trash. Throw away what’s no longer serving you and replace it with a productive, generous space that brings peaceful mindfulness once again.
- Live within your means.
Perhaps the greatest contributor to stress is money, or more specifically, the lack of it. While its true money can’t buy happiness, it can buy choices. These choices can lead to doing whatever you want to do, rather than what you have to do. Pay in cash whenever possible, save a little every day and manage your money before it manages you. Living within your means creates the choice to live a happy life.
Remember this: You are not broken and neither is your life. When you feel discouraged, remember it’s simplifying, not fixing; it’s changing, not fixing; it’s celebrating who you are, not fixing who you think you are becoming.
Delight in your goodness, recognize your worth and believe you are simply, and incredibly, enough – no repairs are needed.