Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication

october-22Who says your life needs to be complicated? Leonardo da Vinci, a man responsible for some of history’s greatest works of art, important mathematical discoveries and important societal progress, summed up life in a simple, eloquent statement: “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”

From simplicity in your personal and professional life to simplicity at home, in this blog post, we’ll take a look at how simplifying your life and surroundings can make you happier, more focused, more productive and more successful.

The cost of living simply

Do you really need it? Look around your living room, bedroom or office. How many of the things that you own do you really use? From clothing that rarely gets worn to expensive gadgets that never get used, how much of what you own do you need?

Many of history’s greatest figures have lived simple lives, often for a good reason: if your life is simple, it costs significantly less. By consuming less, you’ll spend far less of your income and have more to spend on what you’re truly passionate about.

You’ll be surprised how inexpensive life can become when you discard the notion of ‘needing’ everything you see. Take a minimalistic approach to buying new things for your home and you’ll be surprised at how much you end up saving.

We’ve covered this before in our article on reusing laundry baskets. By using one of your home items for a variety of things – in this case, a laundry basket – you can cut down your living expenses and avoid spending more than you need to.

There’s a second cost to spending a lot – one that isn’t financial. When you purchase new things every day and go out of your way to consume, you also contribute to the degradation of the environment.

From avoiding new things to prevent wasting packaging materials to selling your car and using public transportation, simplifying your life often means doing a great thing for the environment.

The focus of living simply

“Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs

There’s far more to living simply than just discarding unnecessary items. One of the most important principles of living simply is that you should also discard all of your unnecessary thoughts and distractions.

Living simply means avoiding the stresses and frustrations of everyday life in order to remain focused. When your goals and ambitions are simple (not small, but clearly defined and simple) it becomes far easier to stay focused on achieving them.

Many of the world’s happiest, most successful people applied the strategy of simple, clear focus to their lives. Simplify your professional schedule by reducing the total number of appointments you set each day, or cut items off your to-do list.

In the end, by focusing on less, you end up achieving more. Spreading your attention wide opens you up to all the distractions and stresses of the world, while remaining highly focused lets you specialise and achieve your personal and professional goals.

Could your life be simpler?

There are many benefits to being a minimalist. From avoiding stress and frustration to reducing your living expenses, the benefits of owning less are numerous – in fact, one of them is that you appreciate what you do have far more.

If you’re feeling stressed, overworked or need a way to reduce your spending and get back on the right track financially, ask yourself one simple question: “How could I make my life simpler?”