May 3, 2018
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
I had lunch with one of my favorite friends yesterday. She has been the CEO both of a major business and some high profile not-for-profits. She is a humanitarian, entrepreneur, educator, published author and more.
Some would question if so many endeavors detract from her overall success and they would be wrong. You see I know few who are more successful at being who they are. My friend is an inspiration for she continues as the years have gone by to do what inspires her. Her heart and skill have produced hundreds if not thousands of folks who are living better lives because of what she has done.
She is thriving now in part because she has simplified her life. We each can benefit by doing the same. Here is an abridged piece written by Henrik Edberg offering simplification tips.
Use a very simple workspace. My workspace is just a laptop and a larger screen on a desk made out of wood. I use a comfy chair and there is room for my glass of water beside the computer. That’s it.
Cook more food than you’ll eat. We usually make 4-10 servings of what we are about to eat. This cuts down on time that you spend on cooking and you’ll have to do less washing up in general. Plus, you’ll have lunch for the day after. And sometimes a couple of portions to put in the freezer.
Write shorter emails.
Be 10 or 5 minutes early for meetings and appointments. This will help you to make your time of travel into a sort of break and a time of relaxation.
Spend only 20% of your time on dwelling on a problem. And 80% of your time focusing on a solution. Instead of the other way around.
Stop trying to do things perfectly. Go for good enough instead and when you are there you are done. Perfectionism makes it pretty impossible to find or maintain high self-esteem.
Stop trying to please everyone.
Eat slower. Make your lunch time a time of relaxation rather than a time to just add to the stress of your day.
Enjoy the simple pleasures. A pear. Fresh and clean bed sheets. A hug and a kiss. Holding hands. A laugh with friends. The sun and blossoming nature after a long and cold winter.
Give each item a home. Then you’ll know where to put the item when you have used it and easily find it again when you need it.
Write everything down. Pretty much everyone’s memory is leaky. So help yourself. Write down what you need to do or shop for today. Write down your ideas before they fly away.
Avoid making mountains out of molehills. When stressed about something ask yourself: will this matter 5 years from now? Or even 5 weeks from now?
Breathe. When you are lost in overwhelm, a problem or the past or future in your mind breathe with your belly for a minute or two and just focus on the air going in and out of your nostrils. This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment again.
Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.
The teacher asked Johnnie, “Johnnie if I gave you two rabbits and then two more rabbits and then two more rabbits, how many would you have?”
Johnnie replied, “Seven rabbits, Teacher.”
The teacher asked again, “Listen Johnnie, If I gave you two rabbits, plus two more rabbits, plus two more rabbits… How many rabbits would you have altogether?”
Johnnie smiled, “That’s easy, Teacher, I would have seven.”
“Ok Johnnie,” the teacher said. “Let’s try it a different way. If I gave you two cans of pop, plus two more cans of pop, plus two more cans of pop. How many cans of pop would you have?”
“Six cans.” Johnnie said.
“OK,” said the teacher. “Now think of that with this question. “If I gave you two rabbits, then two more rabbits, then two more rabbits how many would you have?”
“Seven, Teacher.” Johnnie said.
“Why seven?” the teacher asked, exasperated.
Johnnie replied, “Because I already have one rabbit at home!”
SHE SAID: Say you love me! Say you love me!
HE SAID : You love me…
A preacher was completing a temperance sermon: with great expression he said, “If I had all the beer in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.” With even greater emphasis he said, “And if I had all the wine in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.”
And then finally, he said, “And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.”
He sat down. The song leader then stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, “For our closing song, let us sing Hymn # 365: “Shall We Gather at the River.”
“I have enough money to last me the rest of my life unless I buy something.”
Jewish lady’s grandson is playing in the water, she is standing on the beach not wanting to get her feet wet, when all of a sudden, a huge wave appears from nowhere and crashes directly over the spot where the boy is wading. The water recedes and the boy is no longer there. He simply vanished.
She holds her hands to the sky, screams and cries, “Lord, how could you? Have I not been a wonderful mother and grandmother? Have I not given to B’nai Brith and Haddasah? Have I not tried my very best to live a life that you would be proud of?”
A few minutes later another huge wave appears out of nowhere and crashes on the beach. As the water recedes, the boy is standing there, smiling, splashing around as if nothing had ever happened. A loud voice booms from the sky, “Okay, okay, I have returned your grandson. Are you satisfied?”
She responds, “He had a hat.”
You know you’re getting on in years when the girls at the office start confiding in you.
A university creative writing class was asked to write a short essay containing these four elements:
The prize-winning essay read: “My God,” said the Queen. “I’m pregnant. I wonder who did it?”
Keep it simple. Let’s do the obvious thing -the common thing- but let’s do it uncommonly well.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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