Yesterday was the first day of Fall and just like that, a new season is upon us. Cooler weather, costumes, corn mazes, and pumpkin spice everything. When the air grows colder and we start to shift from one season to another, I can’t help but reflect on what season I’m in in my life and the paradigm shift that has been happening around the world for the past ten years or so.
Gone are the days of overindulgence, material goods, and more, more, more. It’s no longer about how much you have, but how much you do. It’s not about how much you can get, but how much you can give. In this day and age, less actually is more.
Simplicity is the new sexy.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have nice things and to have the means to have your needs taken care of and to provide for your family. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about when you’ve established a baseline of financial success (whatever that means to you), taking pleasure in the little things – apple picking with your kids or date night with your wife – is what it is all about.
This really goes beyond money. I’m talking about everything from your every day life to your career to your business. Stop and think for a minute about how you might be overcomplicating your life. Are you trying to build three businesses, get in the best shape of your life, plan a wedding, take care of your parents, host a weekly poker night, and be home from the office every night by 6pm? Sounds pretty damn complicated (and unrealistic) to me. What can you stop doing? What can you say no to? What (or who) can you eliminate from your life to scale back and slow down, so that you can actually move forward faster?
A big part of simplicity is saying no. It’s about saying no to all the demands on your time and energy so you can yes to the one or two things that actually matter. This is just as true in business as it is in your personal life. You know that so many of the things you say yes to are stressing you out way more than they should because they are making your life too complicated. Slim it down and scale it back. Drop the second car, the boat that you only use two times a year, the nine outfits that you put on your credit card but that you never wear, the seven birthday parties you have to buy gifts for when your family just really wants to go on a hike. You can say no to all of those pressures and obligations. I’m giving you permission, right now. Just keep it simple and you will be able to enjoy life more. I promise!
I’m in a season of simplicity in my life and it has given me more focus, more clarity, and more success than ever before. I’m gearing up to move towards the end of the year and it is actually a pretty smooth process for me and my family (yes, even with three kids!). Why? Because we don’t have a lot of stuff to move! For us, moving into a new home is an adventure. On the business end of things, several years ago, I had eight companies. I have since shifted and focused and now have five thriving organizations, each with a clear mission and vision. The old adage – keep it simple, stupid, couldn’t be more true. But don’t confuse simple with easy. Keeping it simple can be damn hard. Simple simply means uncomplicated and comprised of a single element. Simple means you have a singular focus. Simple means you are not distracted by shiny objects, greener pastures, and keeping up with the Joneses. Simplicity is sexy because it means you are living your truth.
This next generation and the next several decades will not be characterized by mega-mansions, a garage-full of cars, or a closet full of designer shoes. We are seeing people down-sizing their homes (even hopping from one Airbnb to the next), consolidating or selling off their worldly possessions, and packing up their family to live abroad, travel, experience life, and learn. Technology is enabling us to live a more mobile life. The definition of establishing your roots is shifting. Roots are not about a place, but about experiences and relationships. Having fewer things holding you down allows you the freedom to roam and live. Simplicity equals freedom. And what is more sexy than that?
Do you live the simple life? How could creating more simplicity in your life create more freedom?