“It is not daily increase but daily decrease; hack away the unessential” ~ Bruce Lee
I would first like to thank all of my new readers for dropping by over the week. I owe it all to Elle (@Elleswim) and her interview/article about my journey (http://elleswim.net/2011/06/26/an-interview-with-marque-of-project-carpe-diem/). My new readers have given me much to consider by viewing their amazing work. Thank you.
I remember laughing at Baby, my best mate, when I skimmed through his dvd collection and saw ‘the Simple Life’. That show depicted the height of stupidity, but from it’s roots grows this blog. I’m a simple man by all accounts, I live frugal and I enjoy the world’s smallest delights like tea and wine. There was a point in my life where I wanted it all, the large home, two cars, flat screens in every room and a specialty bathroom tailored to fit my imagination. These things were to be the barometer of my success. My clothing would portray status and my cars would portray wealth. I sounded like a pompous prick, but somehow, I don’t think those thoughts are unique to me.
Many people believe that amassing more will in turn depict success. The MTV Cribs lifestyle, right? Well, I see that lifestyle and decline its fruits. The fruit I bear shall be grown and shared with everyone. The simple life. This list is one man’s way of obtaining minimalism.
1) If you find yourself hypnotized by the television, detach. Make it a clean break. I know, I know, the Bachelor is giving out his roses, Snookie is searching for that all elusive “gorilla juicehead” and House is miraculously doing the same thing he does every week. With all those temptations and variables, still, detach! You’ll feel a whole lot better for it.
2) I received a leather jacket for Christmas in my 18th year. I found the same leather jacket in my closet a couple months ago, 11 years later. Why? I haven’t worn it in almost 7 years.
Clean out the clutter. If you have clothing or junk in your house that you haven’t worn or used for more than 1 yr; get rid of it! Have a yard sale. Donate it to charity. Throw it out. They may hold sentimental value, but those memories will always be there and if you’re afraid they’ll leave. Write them down.
3) Define what makes you happy. Truly happy. The thing that makes you smile uncontrollably even when you try to stop. For me, it was easy, my friends and family give me immense pleasure.
Once you’ve defined your happiness, fill your life with it. Allow others to share it with you.
4) Give back! This altruistic principle is ridiculously simple, yet, most people are too self involved to consider it. My mate, Mcginny is a big brother. I don’t know what his reasons were for becoming one, but I’m proud of him for his commitment to helping shape someone’s life. It could be anything, volunteer at a nursing home, donate to Kiva or start your own charity for a worthy cause. No one has to know and those who would ridicule you(unfortunately, negative people are everywhere), ignore them.
5) Filter out information diarrhea. Personally, I don’t watch, read or discuss the news anymore. It’s a principle I adopted from Timothy Ferriss (@tferriss). His belief is that news happens, if something is important enough, you’ll hear about it.
This principle is completely true, I enjoy myself much more when I’m not worrying about the ills of the world. In due time, I’ll have my opportunity to contribute for the better.
6) Hobbies. Get one, two or ten. I love films and I regularly view one by myself. What do you enjoy? Comics? Gardening? Cooking? Exercising? Films? Reading? Sports? Indulge in something healthy and you’ll find yourself personally enriched.
7) Delete the debt. If it’s possible, don’t let Uncle Sam or Uncle Harper hold you under their thumb. These chains of bondage are heavy. Unfortunately, today’s North American society doesn’t look fondly upon people who live within their means. Pay them no mind and continue to sleep well without the weighted debt blanket.
8) Leave space around things in your day. Whether they’re appointments, or things you need to do, don’t stack them back-to-back. Leave a little space between things you need to do, so you will have room for contingencies, and you’ll go through your day much more relaxed.
9) Learn to do nothing. Doing nothing can be an art form, and it should be a part of every life.
10) Find inner simplicity. I’m not much of a spiritual person, but I have found that spending a little time with my inner self creates a peaceful simplicity rather than a chaotic confusion. This could be time for praying or communing with God, or time spent meditating or journaling or getting to know yourself, or time spent in nature. However you do it, working on your inner self is worth the time.