Last updated on February 11th, 2024 at 04:26 pm
After watching a TED Talk from Graham Hill espousing that <=>—that is, less is more, it really hit home. Not simply because it was something I was already trying to do as much as possible with my stuff. Not simply because he’s a pretty compelling speaker. The thing that really hit home for me is that he showed it could be done. It’s very much possible to achieve happiness, if not become happier if we have less stuff in our lives.
He rolled up so much of what’s been in my mind into one chat:
- carefully considering the things we want to buy before we actually buy them;
- making better life choices that don’t entrap us or lessen our quality of life, but instead, liberate us to live the lives we actually want to live; and
- being able to unlock the secret to happiness and identify when our behaviours actually lead us in the opposite direction (and this happens way too often)
We overcomplicate our lives by convincing ourselves that everything isn’t simply part of one greater whole.
Think about it. Think about all the -isms and where they find their power. Sexism from the differences amongst genders. Racism through differences in skin tone or our places of origin. Ostracism due to just about any difference that someone else has that we simply do not like. We spend so much time fixating on differences and never on the similarities that make up the greater whole—for example, it’s glaringly obvious that no matter what differences there are, we’re all still human and deserve to be treated equally.
Surprisingly though, today’s post isn’t going to be a lecture on human kindness—I’ve covered that seven ways from Sunday, and sometimes there’re more practical things to think about.
Finding these common threads isn’t only limited to the people of this world—it also applies to the work we do, the stuff we keep—everything is connected!
The real keys are given in Hill’s three rules for editing your life:
- Edit Ruthlessly
- Think Small
- Make Multifunctional
Here, it means to constantly try to change yourself and the things that define you to help create a clearer picture of who you are. Never doing things based on definitions that may be outdated and no longer helpful to your life.
It means to think in less grandiose terms, coming up with smaller solutions to fit your everyday needs. Smaller houses, smaller cars, smaller bags, smaller everything—only getting things as large as needs be. I learned this best when I decided to carry smaller bags to work and less in them.
It means finding multiple purposes for the things we own; finding where things overlap and getting rid of things that’re unnecessarily duplicated wherever you can.
Seriously—what will you do with hordes of unused pens, multiple bottle openers you got as freebies from conferences and various other things we’ll never use or forgot that we even owned?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Stop fooling yourself—there’s only so much that you need in the world, and the more you layer on to complicate your life, the less you’ll remember that. It’s time for you to go back to basics—the world’s already a complicated place; yours doesn’t have to be.