A few months ago, I heard this story about entrepreneurship from Denise Duffields-Thomas who wrote the book, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. It really exemplified for me the importance of going back to the basics, of taking back control by making things as simple as possible.
She said this, “A few years ago, I was at a conference for six figure income business owners who wanted to move to the next level. I had a six-figure business, but I wanted to get over to that next level. I wanted a seven-figure business. And in my head, I was imagining that I would have to do all of these crazy things in order to get there. Then, an individual who had a seven-figure business got up to speak to us about how he ran his business. As he started speaking about all of the different things he did, I realized, happily, that I did exactly the same things as him. I was already doing them! It was just a matter of keeping on going, and waiting for momentum to build up.”
This story is brilliant to me for so many reasons. But the main thing that it shows me, is that people always think that they need to do all of these fancy-schmancy things in order to move over to the next level. Or to do anything great.
We Believe We Need Some Secret Difficult Formula In Order To Get To Our Dreams
I think society actually perpetuates this idea, that we need to do something really difficult and crazy in order to get to our dreams, whatever they might be. Because if it was simple, then everyone would be successful, rich, and famous, right? The fact that most people are not successful, rich, and famous, proves to us, in a convoluted manner, that they require some difficult, magical, and secretive steps that we are not privy to.
We don’t know how to get there, because we imagine it’s something difficult.
Most people want to believe that it isn’t possible for them – that they cannot reach their dreams anyways. So why not just waste our time, Netflix, and Chill, and while our lives away, waiting for that moment when we die? Why not, indeed?
Why spend any time, or energy, working hard on things that are never going to come to fruition? We are told it’s going to be hard, so we believe it’s going to be hard. Only certain special gifted people are able to get to the epitome of success, because they are special somehow. This is, of course, a myth that was busted a long time ago, but again, we don’t want to believe it.
If we believe it, then that means that we have to realize that the only reason we are not successful is because we are lazy, and procrastinators, and we are just not focused enough on what we want, and working on what we need. That’s a hard pill to swallow. Well, it was for me.
I Realized That My Failures Were Because I Pushed Responsibility To Outsiders
From a very young age, I was fascinated by successful people. I would forever be asking myself, “Why are these particular people successful? Why them, and why not me? What qualities do they have that make them so awesome? What makes them so confident in themselves?” These questions haunted me from when I was about 11 or 12 years old.
The older I got, the more I realized that society is actually stacked in a way that prevents people from believing that they can be successful as well. Everyone tells us that success requires complicated steps that you couldn’t possibly take on. So why not just do your little job, and go shopping to buy the things that you don’t actually need, until one day you die from old age or illness.
Too cynical? I don’t think so.
I was told these things as well, over and over again. Whenever I wanted to try a difference course of action, so I could move myself towards that life that I dreamed of, freedom, and travel, and creativity, I was pushed back to the traditional realm. Don’t take chances, don’t take risks, don’t do anything outside of normal.
Don’t bother trying to be successful, because it doesn’t matter anyways. You are not special enough to get there. You don’t have all the secrets. The secrets are hidden, and they are not available to you – they are only available to certain people and they are not going to share them with you.
Success Is Actually Quite Simple – Consistency Over A Long Period Of Time
As I spent a lot of my time reading about successful people, and trying to figure out what made certain people successful and what made others, not so much, I could only see one common thread among all of them.
The simplicity of it was so cruel that it actually bit me in the ass. I felt like it couldn’t be so simple, could it? I mean, it had to be harder than this. Could it be? Could it be as simple as just being consistent over a long period of time?
Nah, it couldn’t be. Could it?
That’s when I realized that success is actually quite simple. It’s just about the magic of consistency. Just like becoming rich is about the magic of compounding (consistency over a long period of time), the same thing with success. I noticed over and over again, that successful people were the ones who were successful because they loved what they did, they would do it even if they weren’t paid for it, they worked hard at it, over a long period of time, and they kept on going with it, even when they became really successful.
If you are one of those people who thinks, “I just want to make a million dollars, so I can quit everything, and then sit on the beach, then I am sorry to inform you, you are probably not going to make that million dollars.”
The people who make the big dough, they really, really care about what they are doing (if you are going to send me exceptions, let me remind you that there are always exceptions to every rule).
We Complicate Not Only Success, But Everything Else
When I started applying this theory of simplifying things over to everything else, I realized that I had been complicated things in every aspect of my life.
- I was complicating healthy living, and healthy eating. It’s actually quite simple for me. If I avoid meats, dairy, sugar, and all processed foods, as well as, gluten, and soy, I am quite healthy. If I add a tiny bit of exercise to that mixture, I am the healthiest I have ever been. That’s it. Now, you might say, that sounds quite complicated. But the reality is simple – eat mostly plants. Easy, right? Sickeningly simple. But all of my life, I decided my health was complicated, and I needed to do all of these crazy difficult things for it. Not so, my grasshopper.
- Same thing with happiness. Happiness, I have realized, at least for me, is really quite simple. It’s dead simple. As long as I have the freedom to live where I want to live, working on creative projects that I really care about, with the time to be in silence, meditation, yoga, and writing, every day, I am extremely happy. Basically, it all culls down to freedom of time, space, and work. But again, I complicated this all of my life to something more and beyond. I believed I needed millions of dollars, and a house on the beach, and a bunch of cars or clothes or watches, or some other random stuff.
- Finally, with money. Everyone always tells me that I will need a lot of money in this world in order to survive. Now, I know that to be absolutely false. Not only because I am a major minimalist, but also, because there are so many possibilities on this planet now to live where you want, to cut down your costs, and to work online. All of which reduces your living expenses, and allows you to live on a smaller income. Once I figured this out, I knew that I could spend my time, not worrying about money as much, and focusing on things that really matter to me.
What are these things for you? How have you been complicating them, and how can you come back to the basics?
Complications Tire Us Out, Stress Us, And Make Us Miserable
Why does it matter? Why does simple matter so much to me? Because I see people every day who are complicating their lives, and I see how tired they are, from all of the complications. I see how miserable they are, because they have no time for themselves. And I see how stressed out they are, because there’s just way too much going on in their lives.
Now, you might be saying, “But, Boom, I can’t simplify my life. My complicated life comes from outside forces that are out of my control.” Before you start whining about this, I have to say that I used to believe exactly the same. I believed that all of the complications in my life came from the outside.
Which is absolutely not true.
I complicated my life. I did it to myself. We all do it to ourselves. Perhaps, it makes us feel better about ourselves. Or it makes us feel special, or needed, or important. Whatever it might be, there is no need for us to do it anymore.
Because nothing good comes from complicating things. Relationships break because we complicate things – instead of focusing on love and companionship, we started looking beyond it. Health tarries because we complicate things – instead of focusing on what we eat and how we move, we start looking for Acai berries, and Triphala to fix our issues.
It’s Really Not Our Fault – We Live In An Overcomplicated World
I pass by a little rock on my walks every morning. It says, “Stop the glorification of busy.”
That can be translated really well to complicating our worlds, and our lives. Instead of focusing on the simple solution to something, we always look for something more, something better. It can’t be that we can do things the simple way – that is just too easy.
We always believe that if the way is complicated, then it should work. If it’s too easy, then it probably won’t work. From when we are children, we are taught to believe in this fallacy. It isn’t just 1 plus 1 equals 2, but 2-(-4) equals 2.
Do you know what I’m saying? Even my blog posts are 2300 words or longer now, because that’s what people like and that’s how much I love to write (I like the sound of my voice, what can I say). I could have said everything in this one sentence, “Keep things simple. Period.”
But no, I rambled on for 1900 words till now.
We live in a world where simple isn’t good enough. It’s not going to get us places, or that’s what we think.
But We Also Live In A World Where Simplifying Is Becoming Chic
Thankfully, because of the advent of minimalism, and because of so much illness, and stress due to overcomplicated lives, people all over the world are moving back to simple. They are sick and tired of spending all of their time, money, energy, and most importantly, health, on complicated issues, and situations.
People want to come back to basis. That’s why tiny homes are becoming popular, minimalism is on the rise, and veganism is growing at an exponential rate.
Less is more.
All of this is not just a fad. I think this is a revolution that is here to stay. Even technologies, and softwares are embracing simple. We don’t want it all. We want things to be simple, easy, and minimalistic.
That’s what sells now. That’s what makes us happy.
Final Words – Take Three Aspects Of Your Life That You Are Going To Simplify
Now, I don’t want my readers to be people who read, but don’t take any action. So I want you to do this. When you are done with this article, sit down with a pen and a piece of paper. What are three areas in your life that you are going to simplify now?
Health, wealth, and happiness, perhaps?
Those are the three that matter the most to me. I have simplified all of these for me and it has resulted in a wealth of gain for me. What about you?
Please take the time to do this. Sit down and figure out three things you are going to do in order to make your life easier and simpler in the three of the most important areas to you. Whatever they might be.
And then, implement. There’s no point talking about or reading about simplifying, if you are going to go back to a complicated life after, with no regard for your health or future.
Come back to the simpler world with me.
Take the time to remove all complications from your life. Because really, simple works. It really does. Let’s all go back to simple relationships, simple health, simple money, and simple lifestyles. That’s the way into the 22nd century.