Simple approach to life makes it so simple
This article was first published in the Hindustan Times on May 30, 2015. All rights reserved with Hindustan Times.
Simplicity can mean living with a few possessions and entanglements, but more broadly, it is an attitude, an approach to life. It is also the art of expressing ones thoughts in an orderly and easy to understand fashion. Often, people speak more complexly than they have to; add more details than they need to.
The key to good communication is simplicity. The greatest ideas are always the simplest. Confucius was right when he said that “life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated”. French author and philosopher Albert Camus also wrote, “…but what is happiness but the simple harmony between man and the life he leads.” American author Henry David Thoreau who experimented in living a simple life in the woods for two years, wrote his memoirs in his book ‘Walden’, also said, “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify”.
However there exists a difference between simplicity and ease. In our world today, many people think that having an iphone or computer watch may make their world simple. However, these technologies make the world we live in easy, but add to the complexity of life. Simplicity is freedom from complexity. We live in a world which is always in a hurry to get things done. So when do we really enjoy our lives and our freedom?
Simplicity requires turning off the outside noise and centring our hearts on what is important. It is about honouring oneself and making life devoid of any complicated ego trips, apologising when needed, honestly facing our demons head on, and asking for help if needed, unashamed. It is accepting oneself truly and honestly and living openly without judgements and giving up on one’s prejudices. In short, simplicity is the art of eliminating the unnecessary clutter so that the necessary may speak.
This attitude of simplicity makes way for less stress and more happiness. In following our dreams no matter what the pay-check, we live happily because we are enthusiastic about what we do. It makes us re-examine our relationship with money, thus re-adjusting our definition of success. One very important aspect of simplicity is that it makes us live in the light of knowledge. It is not a project in suffering or making sacrifices, but a way to prioritise and discover what is important. It encourages open mindedness and supports loving relationships. It is the strength of quiet resolve and trusting our own instincts. Living simply, helps us slow down and become more attentive and loving as we are satisfied with what we have – a balanced family and work life.
Nature teaches us the biggest lessons on simplicity – eating simple food, exercising, simple precautions, work wonders. Simple things just have a kind of charm- a simple cottage on the outskirts of a forest, a simple tree, a walk – all imply beauty, purity and clarity. Life just becomes that much more wondrously beautiful when we look at it as simple, and brush aside our trivial cares and concerns, worries and failures. These are just interruptions in our lives and are not the real thing, that we should allow them to have any dominion over us.
Simplicity of thought brings depth to our minds, our souls and our imaginations, changing our lives for the better. And when it enters a person, it ceases to just be theoretical knowledge. It then becomes like the needle of a compass in a person’s life – it knows only its one point – its north – its ideal. In simplicity, one learns to love and be grateful for life, knowing that there are so many others who are not that fortunate.
As Albert Einstein very famously and simply put it, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself”.
Note: Kamalrukh Khan is a Mumbai-based Clinical Hypnotherapist and Wellness Coach. She’s intuitive, strong and positive and loves travelling. She believes travelling to a new country is the best education she can give her kids. Painting and flying a plane or chopper top her bucket-list.