About Simple Living

Simple living means different things to different people. For me, simple living is a means to an end – that end being harmonious living. Put another way, if harmonious living is the overall goal or objective, then simple living is the strategy (the how) to achieving that goal.

Simple living is also a journey, so what it means to me is going to change over time. For now though, here’s how I see it:

Goal: Harmonious living – This can be subdivided into two categories:

  1. Balanced Living (micro/personal level) – a lifestyle that allows appropriate and proportional attention (time, energy and resources) to all areas that are important to you (family, friends, self-care, community involvement, hobbies)
  2. Sustainable Living (macro/global level) – an ethos of making responsible decisions that take into account the long-term impact of our life choices on the future of ourselves, our communities and our planet.

Strategy: Simple living: The rejection of society’s pace and priorities in exchange for embracing a slower, meaningful and purpose-driven life that is in line with your values.

Principles and Tactics:

Balanced Living:
“Excess and deficiency are equal at fault” – Confucius
 

  • De-cluttering time
    • Work fewer hours (not working less)
    • Purge your calendar
    • Spend enough time on all aspects of your health (physical, mental, emotional, social)
    • Learn to say no
  • De-cluttering space
    • Buy less, buy used (minimalism)
    • Spend money on experiences not stuff
    • Avoid debt
    • Work at a job you love vs being well-paid
    • Purge your stuff

Sustainable Living:
Live simply so others may simply live.” – author unknown (often attributed to Ghandi)

  • Conscious consumerism/conservation
    • Reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink
    • Shop ethically
    • Use public transit/fly less
  • Compassionate Living
    • Advocate on behalf of the poor
    • Increase awareness on global issues
    • Be a good neighbour
    • Put people over profits
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