Simplify Your Life

Life Management and the art of Simplification

I remember the first time I heard the less-than-savory phrase "rat-race" to describe life, and even though I didn't understand the full meaning of it, I didn't like it. Granted, I was maybe 8 and I was listening to my father vent about his life in the Soviet Union to my mother, I knew his life was tough, and I felt really bad for my dad. No one should describe his or her life as any kind of race involving rodents, yet many do.

When we immigrated to the States, I don't remember life being so hectic and for a while I remember my dad and mom being happy and worry free. As I grew up, life became hectic, and I myself felt like I was in the rat race my dad mentioned so many years ago.

Due to the unending number of responsibilities and events scheduled into our lives many feel overwhelmed and depressed from the stress that surrounds us daily.

To get back on track to the life that's more pleasant, here are 5 easy ways to simplify things and feel more fulfilled.

1. Examine the clutter in your life.

Maintaining a healthy outlook on what's important is one of the most effective ways you can remember what really matters. If your calendar is overflowing with appointments, dates and activities, you will be overwhelmed by your commitments. Sifting through all the possibilities and actively straining out the unnecessary appointments can clear your mind and leave you time to focus on family, friends and yourself.

Distinguishing between what's necessary and what you want can be a crucial part of getting back to the basics and simplification.

2. Find and pursue your passion.

This is your time to do the things that you really enjoy; spend time with your kids, mediate, take a yoga class, rediscover your love of painting-whatever you miss having in your life or have yearned to discover, there is no better time than now.

3. Reprogram yourself: learn to savor, not rush through.

There are so many sources of pleasure available to us in life; it would a disfavor to ignore them. Part of finding pleasure means slowing down enough to appreciate things when they appear. Cook a fabulous meal, take time to research good wine pairings and savor both! Your sense of taste is a powerful one; spoiling your taste buds with amazing food and drink is an age-old (but timeless) method of relaxation and merry-making.

4. Stop obsessing and worrying about the future.

You can plan for the future, but you're planted in the "here and now". Finding the beauty in the moments we are living in can remind us of how precious each minute is.

5. Forfeit some of your control.

This ties into the last bullet - your happiness should not hinge on all your plans going off without a hitch. Life is full of hitches; it's what keeps things interesting for better or worse. If you don't demand complete control over your life and the outcome of each day, you will gain flexibility that makes adjusting to change much easier, and thus simpler. Reserve your frustration for situations where it's really valid.

Cheers to your success,