Growing pains – we all know what they feel like.
As children, we would go through the occasional growth spurt. Our joints would ache and we’d experience discomfort.
But what happened as a result was well-worth the pain! We began to grow. We became stronger, taller, more capable human beings.
When it comes to pursuing a life of simplicity, the growth principle is no different. As we weed out all that is unnecessary in our lives, something new begins to take place and we feel the effects ripple throughout all that was once normal.
Although the road from chaos to simplicity is marked with inevitable discomfort and pain, the advantages far outweigh the injury.
There are many benefits that come with simplifying your life, and here are four specific advantages to encourage you as you continue your walk towards simplicity:
1) Less Stress
Holding onto the dream of living a life with no stress would be laughable. However, we do have the power to live a life with less stress.
One of the advantages of living a life expanding in simplicity is the reality that our stress will diminish.
When we cut loose the non-essentials in our lives – commitments, projects, unhealthy relationships – our schedules lighten along with the weight on our shoulders.
2) An Uncluttered Brain
Think about the number of decisions we make in a given day:
Workout or do the grocery shopping?
Budget for this or save for that?
Wear the gray shirt or the blue shirt?
This list only scratches the surface. When it comes to our jobs or our businesses the decisions become more complex:
Sell or hold out for a higher bid?
Fire this person or give them one more chance?
Take on this new project or wait for a different opportunity?
With so many decisions to make, our brains get tired. When our brains get tired, we can’t be as effective as we need to be.
Simplicity minimizes the number of decisions we have to make.
For example, if we have determined that we are maxed out on the number of projects we want to take on this year, we will already know the answer when someone presents us with the opportunity for something new.
The more defined our priorities, the less little decisions we will have in the long run. The less little decisions we have to make, the more energy and clarity we will have for the big ones.
3) Health and Happiness at Home
Simplifying our lives can be one of the healthiest things we do for our families and loved ones.
There have been seasons in my life where I have been so focused on business that I didn’t adequately prioritize my family.
At the time, I had not simplified or defined my priorities, so the most important things – like my family – were being unknowingly swept to the sidelines.
Once I began to make changes towards simplicity, I learned that good, open communication, coupled with the desire to live by priorities, gives everyone more security.
This is the necessary atmosphere for each person in our families to experience peace and pursue a greater sense of purpose.
4) Professional Freedom
I’ve learned the hard way over the years to commit slowly and to ask the right questions.
In the past I’ve made some really bad investments. I’ve had a knack for picking stocks just before the companies cratered – AIG, Countrywide and MCI are the most notable on my infamous list.
My priority at the time was making a killing through multiple means – not protecting my investments in limited areas.
I’ve since learned that there is a better way to do business.
Instead of quickly jumping into every good opportunity that comes my way, I now take the time to ask the right questions and decide if it is something I really want to commit to.
Because I’ve taken so much off of my plate in the last few years, I have space in my schedule to jump into the great opportunities!
Simplifying our professional interests decreases our area for risk and gives us the freedom to say, “Yes” in the areas which really matter to us.