Live Simply


2da0f4b0d74fce438143119e5145c7a6Henry David Thoreau

“I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day;…so simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real.”

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

 


“Out of all virtues simplicity is my most favorite virtue. So much so that I tend to believe that simplicity can solve most of the problems, personal as well as the world problems. If the life approach is simple one need not lie so frequently, nor quarrel nor steal, nor envy, anger, abuse, kill. Everyone will have enough and plenty so need not hoard, speculate, gamle, hate. When character is beautiful, you are beautiful. That is the beauty of simplicity.”

― Ela Bhatt

 


“If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital.”

― Dalai Lama

 


The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word….
Where is the life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

― T.S. Eliot


“On a day when the wind is perfect, the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty. Today is such a day.”

― Rumi

 


“Perfection is Achieved Not When There Is Nothing More to Add, But When There Is Nothing Left to Take Away”


“Live simply. Dream big. Be grateful. Give love. Laugh lots.”

― Paulo Coelho

 


“Make it simple, but significant.”

― Don Draper

 


“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”

― Leonardo da Vinci

 


“Listening to the siren song of more, we are deaf to the still small voice waiting in our soul to whisper, ‘You’re enough.'”

― Julia Cameron, in The Artist’s Way

 


Check out other collections of quotes by theme: donndurante.com/category/media/quotes

Essentialism During The Lenten Season


Essentialism /əˈsen(t)SHəˌlizəm/ (as defined by Greg McKeown)
The disciplined pursuit of less


Even though I specifically wrote down at the beginning that I would curb my smoking this past weekend, I didn’t. I think I actually smoked more than I usually do. I often blame stress as one of the main reasons I smoke. It helps take off the edge I say to myself. So when I work, I smoke due to the stress at work. You would think, then, that I would smoke less when I’m off work. For me that hasn’t been the case. At home, I smoke due to a different kind of stress. Being a parent can be stressful. When the children test your patience, or you feel non-stop busy running the kids around to their various activities, or just daily chores you feel obligated to attend to. Of course, it all depends on what you focus on, and your attitude towards it. When I find myself overly concerned with the things that I want to do, then everything else is a distraction, but when I catch myself doing that, I can often course-correct and start focusing on what I can do for my family since I’m home. This is my way of transforming the stress to joy.

Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season. Growing up, I was always under the impression that we had to give something up during that time. That’s how my Dad stopped smoking. He gave it up for Lent one year and then never went back. In the last few years, I haven’t taken the tradition very seriously. This year, I had no real intention to give anything up, but then yesterday Sofia asked me what I was giving up for Lent. She noticed that I went out to the backyard to smoke and had already done it only about an hour before. She cautiously mentioned that she knew something good that I could give up for Lent. Smart cookie that one. Very subtle and sincere without leaving me feeling picked on. I didn’t feel angry like my knee-jerk reaction would have it. I felt guilty because I could see Sofia really cared and she said it with that childlike innocence that you just can’t get mad at. Normally I would get annoyed, whether it be at Caro or Mom, because I simply get bothered when the topic comes up. Everyone means well so I try very hard to keep my knee-jerk reaction in check.

Anyway, I was thinking about it again this morning. Giving up something aligns with the whole “Essentialism” philosophy I’ve been drawn to after reading Greg McKeown. I’ve learned from earlier attempts that promising to stop smoking would just lead to disappointment for everyone. What could I give up that was doable and be a good thing to let go of so I could focus on better things? It would have to be something challenging but that I would be confident enough to pull off. As I did a cursory mental review of how I spend my time, I thought of just the thing…watching TV. That would include Netflix and Redbox which I gravitate towards when I need an escape or comfort from the daily stressors.

This I can do. Even if the only side-benefit is to give me more time to sleep, that would be worth missing a night of Gotham or waiting a little longer to watch “The Martian” recently released on Redbox. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe if I can get a smaller win this Lenten Season, I’ll go for the bigger challenge of a smoke cessation program.

Although I prefer the whole abundance mentality thing, daily life can definitely feel like a series of trade-offs. Trying to do it all and have it all leaves most of us burnt out and still not satisfied. As pointed out in “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown, when deciding how to spend your limited time, it really helps to let go of the trivial many for the vital few. “Less but better.” In other words, find the discipline to do less of the unimportant so you have time to focus on what really makes a difference. Funny how we often choose otherwise.

So when it comes to Lent this year, I’m not giving something up for the sake of sacrifice. I’m exercising my ability to better choose how I spend my free time.  Watching TV is now on my “to don’t” list, at least until the Lenten season is over.

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