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The Complexity of Simplicity

The fact that I enjoy books and black coffee is more or less the central theme of this post. So, if you want to save yourself a few mins, enjoy that small glimpse into my personality and be on your way. For those with a more invested interest, I would like to talk a little about simplicity.

Life doesn’t always have to be as hectic as it seems these days, but oftentimes we only have ourselves to blame. We are all guilty of over-complicating our lives in a number of different ways, I certainly am. But I’m also always working to simplify things when I can and where I can.

One of the most difficult things to simplify can be our decision making processes, but this can also create a significant and tangible result. Something I heard awhile ago, and have been trying to share, deals with prioritizing the use of our energy, our money, and, most importantly, our time wisely. When it comes to making decisions about what to do, where to go, or who to spend our time with, if the answer isn’t a “hell yeah,” it should probably be a “no.”

However, being open to new relationships and new experiences is an absolute must. But, also, no one else is allowed to tell you how selective you can and cannot be with your choices. Make your decisions meaningful and purposeful. Quantity is not the same as quality when it comes to your inner circle or your outward ambitions.

And when it comes to the issue of choice, I find it easier to start a bit smaller — hence my love of black coffee. You could stand and stare at the Starbucks menu for an hour and still not know what the hell an upside-down macchiato is. That’s why, nine times out of ten, I just stick to black coffee. It’s cheap, it’s delicious, it’s simple.

The same goes for technology. The infinite number of apps and devices designed to make our lives easier is overwhelming. Why do we need an app to tell us if we exercised that day, or how much water we drank, or (literally) how much time we spent on our phones… using apps. With all these apps to manage one can become an observer to their own life — analyzing cautiously instead of living purposefully.

This is also why I prefer the standard paperback over a Kindle any day of the week. E-readers are so unromantic, they’re cold and uninviting. Books are like coffee: cheap, warm and great to share with likeminded people.

A common train of thought I feel a lot of people mistakenly travel along is that stuff equals security, security equals happiness, therefore, stuff equals happiness. For me, however, the phrase “the more the merrier” does not apply to consumer products.

When I moved from Hawaii to California five years ago I did so with a lot of stuff, but I have been slowly trying to streamline my existence ever since. Each time I have changed locations, I have tried to upgrade my living situation but downsize the amount of things I brought with me. And now, up near the Central Coast, everything I have can fit in the corner of my brother’s garage.

I’m as big of a work-in-progress as anyone I’ve ever met — but I am working. I’ve been trying my best to keep my life simple, my thoughts complex, my actions purposeful, and my mind open. And now, after essentially living out of a variety of bags for the past four months, I’ve become even better at being happy with just the necessities.

 

 

One comment on “The Complexity of Simplicity

  1. Winnie says:

    Oh Alec I am so with you with all what you wrote! The simpler the better !
    I am much happier since I am traveling and downsized to the necessities! I don’t need to worry about expensive possessions!
    And I am more present, living in he now and soaking all the things up I get to see, to do! After all when we leave this world we leave with nothing but the memories we create for ourselves! Well written my friend and thanks for sharing it! Stay happy always
    Winnie aka the tooth fairy

    Like

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