“Simplicity is NOT a destination, it’s a journey. No matter where we’re starting from, the important thing is to repeatedly make deliberate choices in the direction we want to go.”
– AMBER CURTIS, PHD
12 MYTHS ABOUT SIMPLICITY
If you’re like me, a lot of what you think you know about simplicity is wrong. 😉 Flip each box to find out the truth.
Simplicity is possible for all of us! Each of us can decide—here and now—that we want a simpler, more peaceful and purposeful life. Then each day we just have to keep taking intentional steps in that direction.
It takes a long time to get there.
It doesn't! Because simplicity is a MINDSET, we can instantly choose to simply care less about lesser-important things. Re-training our brains and reigning in old impulses does take conscious effort and repeated action, but the joy of simplicity is well worth it!
It's an end-point.
Simplicity is NOT a destination, it's a journey. Think of a continuum, extending infinitely outward in both directions, with complexity (aka chaos) on one side and simplicity (aka joy) on the other. No matter where we're starting from, the important thing is to repeatedly make deliberate choices in the direction we want to go.
Ha! Definitely not. This is a crucial misconception to dispel. Our natural human tendency is to say “yes, yes, yes!” to more activities, opportunities, material things, etc. Establishing our priorities and then firmly saying “NO!” to the things that don’t match up with them is really, really hard—but it’s so, so worth it. We just have to be intentional.
It comes more naturally to some people than others.
While we all have different personalities, those innate traits do NOT predetermine our destiny. No matter our situation, we have the power to CHOOSE our thoughts, actions, and reactions. Simplicity takes practice! Anyone who makes it look “natural” has simply spent more time on the self-awareness journey. Remember: it’s not a race. You can do it, too!
It's too late for me to get it.
Simplicity isn’t something we “get,” it’s something we consciously create. It’s never too late! Simplicity is a sliding scale, a never-ending process of seeking greater peace by aligning our time with our values. Every moment is a new chance to evaluate whether we’re living true to our SELVES and, if not, make changes in the direction we want to go.
It's incompatible with my current state in life.
When we’re in a tough season—working a demanding job, raising young kids, terribly behind financially, dealing with an illness, whatever it is—it’s easy to feel stuck and hopeless. But we’ve got to step back. WHY do we think simplicity is out of reach? There's more than one path to every goal. Chances are, simplicity is JUST the thing we need.
It's a luxury only people with enough time or money can afford to experience.
Everyone has the exact same number of hours in a week, so time cannot “cause” simplicity. And money will never solve all our problems. It might “buy” us more time, but that does no good if we’re not using our time for what matters. Therefore, money is neither sufficient nor necessary for simplicity.
It's incompatible with wealth.
Just as money cannot buy simplicity, neither does simplicity require poverty. Simplicity is not tied to our financial status: It’s the recognition that true “worth” is independent of monetary value. Thus, money is not inherently “evil,” so long as how we view and use it is in alignment with our deeper priorities. We can always use it to do GOOD!
Just the opposite! Simplicity is about getting rid of or reducing what we DON'T want in order to make more room in our life for what we DO. It's about shedding whatever isn’t serving us and filling our time with only what brings us the most value and joy.
It's incompatible with technology.
We live in a day and age with more technological expertise and gadgets than ever—tools that offer us the chance to save time and be more productive. But technology is also a double-edged sword waiting to distract us at every turn. Thus, simplicity requires using technology for the right “end” while avoiding falling prey to its vices.
When we hear “simplicity,” we might think of some former era or get nostalgic for the “good ol' days” gone by. But simplicity is not tied to time or place, and it's more than possible in the modern era. It’s simply about finding the balance between what we have and what we do, how we think and how we feel. And great news: YOU get to define what that looks like!