I must admit a weakness: I love new technology. Since the first time I played pong on the Atari as a boy, I was hooked on games, computers and technology. While those things can be great to enjoy it still begs the question: is our life really getting much simpler?
They said back in the seventies that computers were going to simplify our lives so much that by the turn of the century the average hours a person would spend on the job would go down considerably. The opposite has been true.
The sooner that you learn that those things (while fun to enjoy) do not really bring happiness the better you will be. My eyes were opened to this truth when I went on a trip out West to the mountains of Idaho. My Grandmother has a log cabin at about 8,000 foot elevation with literally nothing else around. The little town at the base of the mountain had some how sheltered itself from any commercial advancements in the last 50 years. It was truly remarkable.
Not one brand name can be found anywhere in the entire town. No recognizable fast food restaurant, gas station, motel, or hardware store. Everything was owned individually by the members of the town. It truly felt like I had gone back in time. Things were much simpler and the people seemed happier. I was forced to slow my pace down that week and it did me much good.
How to Be Satisfied With Less
Can you really be satisfied with less? Is living a simple life all it is cracked up to be? In this episode, Jonathan shares with us 3 principles to help you discover what the core essentials of your life are.
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1. Focus on the Essential.
Many people struggle with wanting more in their life because they are not sure what they value in the first place. If you had to narrow your life down to four or five essentials, what would they be? What really matters to you? What is your heart’s desire?
Can you focus your life in such a way that you only have a few essentials? My life was scattered about a year ago until I decided to really think about what was important to me. Here is my list in no particular order.
Family (Social Time)
Reading & Writing (Mental Time)
Coaching & Mentoring (Vocation)
Exercise (Physical Time)
Spiritual Life (Spiritual Time)
Yours might be different, but that is what is most important to me. I can easily eliminate the non-essentials in my life if they do not fit into my list.Because of this list I have been able to achieve more by focusing on less. It simplifies my life and I am satisfied with less by not trying to run down every rabbit trail that appears into my life.
2. Live in Constant Gratitude.
I love to set goals. It inspires me and gives me hope that the future could be better. At the same time, I have noticed what happens to me when I set goals. I can easily become impatient because I see the gap between who I am and where I want to be. The only way to close the gap is by living with gratitude. Start with gratitude and contentment will come into your life. Gratitude is much like cleaning your house, it has to be done on a regular basis. When you live each day with a sense of gratitude, then you will be content with having less in your life.
3. Enjoy and Live in the Present.
This was the hardest principle for me to learn. I am a dreamer and love to live 10 to 15 years down the road. What I have come to realize is that living in the future makes me worthless in the present. I do not take the daily action that I need to get to where I am going. My wife is talking to me and my mind is elsewhere. I am riding bikes with my kids and thinking about the big project I have to get done for work. I am at work thinking about being at home and at home thinking about my work. Have you been there?
You solve this by forcing your mind to live in the present. Whatever activity you are doing at that moment, just focus on that. Quit bearing the responsibility of the universe on your shoulders while throwing baseball with your kids. To be successful with this principle you have to choose to have a mind like a kid. Remember the simple days? Never worried about money or where your food was going to come from.
When you were engaged with an activity as a kid that is all you thought about. Learn to live and enjoy the present moments in your life. The pressures of life will begin to fall off when you are satisfied with less in your life.