First published on Huffington Post – 23 February 2016
Do you remember when you were a child, and your parents tried to get you to eat things that you hadn’t tried before?
Usually, the immediate reaction was to say ‘Yuck – I don’t like that!’ and you would fight tooth and nail to be allowed to stick to the food you were comfortable with and you knew was ‘safe’.
I remember roaming the countryside and reveling in all that nature offered – walking the dog or horse-riding along bush trails or at the beach – and breathing in the fresh air. I also remember playing as a child – where make believe and imagination were the only ingredients necessary for a good time. Freedom reigned and laughter and sunshine shone through our days.
Then we got older, and our social conditioning taught us that our simple way of life was no longer enough. We were taught that make-believe and imagination were no longer appropriate. We were told it was time to ‘grow up’ and ‘take life more seriously’. We joined the migration and drive to success and we forgot that laughter makes the world go around. We became serious about our lives, our world and our futures. We pushed ourselves beyond our limits in our quest for success – and we told ourselves it was so we would be set up for our future.
But at what cost?
When do we know we have enough? When can we stop and relax and no longer have to slog our way through our lives? What is the point of a future if we are too sick to enjoy it?
There is no formal definition of success – yet we are all driven to achieve it, be it, obtain it, own it. If we don’t know what it is, then how can we ever reach it?
Our lives have become complicated and complex in our desperate scramble to achieve. We start to live in a world where we always need more. Our desperate need for more triggers our brains to believe there isn’t enough. If there isn’t enough then that means we are in competition with everyone around us for the limited amount that is available.
Therefore, life becomes about ‘me against you’.
We can never win whilst our lives are set up in this fashion. There is always a loser in this scenario.
I believe it’s time to reverse the trend. It’s time to stop, breathe and acknowledge that right here, right now, we have everything we need and we are okay. Let’s simplify our lives and bring back the fun, laughter and imagination. It is these things that will drive our lives forward and truly connect us to happiness.
In every situation, in every part of our lives, we have the choice to feel better or feel worse. Our greatest challenge is to find the space in our everyday activities to stop and consciously make this choice. My challenge to you is to choose the things you want in your life – the things you love. Let’s have more love and laughter and less stress and desperation.
There are loads of tips and tricks on how to think and live differently in ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from my website or call me on +61 438 624 868 to discuss how I can help you to implement simple, small steps to simplify your life.