Simplicity as an idea is a basic tenet of faith, and its practice can add dimensions to our lives. More prominently, simplicity is embraced by Chinese and Japanese culture as Zen philosophy, which finds its expression in Zen art, design & architecture. This simplicity not only has aesthetic value, but also celebrates the individuality of the object in its entirety. Minimalism is the contemporary version of the concept and worth imbibing in our daily lives.
Simplicity can lead to a number of benefits, however we have uncanny ability to put layers in multitude till we lose the meaning. I have hugely benefited from the concept and hope that the readers are also find value.
Here are my 5 points…
1. Zero Wastage
I maintain a rule in my house that if I have anything, it should have been used once in a month. Be it your running shoes, cufflinks, or a pen, if the object doesn’t meet the criteria, it should be out of the house/work place. According to Vastushastra, our Indian architecture energy and flow methodology, any object that hasn’t been used in the house, breeds negative energy. The point has been a matter of discord with Priya, my wife, however I still stick to my rules. I keep few things that I can use, starting with my clothes to apps in my phone.
2. Zero Multitasking
Multitasking is a misnomer. May be it is a gender thing, however I’m not good at multitasking. I fail terribly and post my realization, I have ensured that I do one thing at a time with 100 per cent of my focus. This doesn’t come easily. The other day, when I went to a restaurant, I saw a family where each member was on a device. A family of 4, came out to have a nice time, but with their device. Before the food comes on the table, they were taking pictures to put it on social etc. Sharing before enjoying the aroma and presence of the family. Social and devices are not bad, but getting consumed by them is. This is the most difficult rule to implement with our daughter Dhriti, who needs an iPad on the table. We are to be blamed, because we used it when she was little, to distract her. Now, Priya and I have made a rule on the table, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner, it would be free of device. As a family we don’t look at any device during that 30 minute. This reminds of my days in my grandfather’s house, where the most exciting moment meeting my cousins over the big table; I would accommodate 10 persons and the whole place used to be full of noise. We would wait for the food to be served one by one, and be consumed by enjoying it over jokes, laughs and chatter.
It is said that one of the best ways to know about the person it to look at how organized are his drawers or cabinets. Organization brings about harmony and good flow of energy. It helps me to fix place for a certain object, so that I can find it easily. It also means I’m able to identify objects which I don’t use. One of the best ways that I have found to keep this to reorganize one of your storage device every week. It could start from your electronic files in your laptop to cleaning your cupboard. When you do so, you would feel the need to order and tranquility, every possible time.
One of the simplest ways to stop spending on unnecessary items is through budgeting. I’m a big fan of Mr. Dave Ramsey’s methodology, where you would list your expenses in terms of order of priority (starting with food, which is basic). You would also set priority for goals such as retirement or buying a house and then you need to track the expenses everyday. I realized that I would spend my time and money on items which are not necessary. It helped me save, be generous, and also spend when I wanted to. The clear definition of goals and spends will simplify your life to very large extent.
You must give yourself at least an hour, without the device, where you are completely soaked in the moment. If you make this a practice, you will find yourself present every minute of the day, which is the most powerful state of existence. My morning hours of meditation and exercise (running without a gadget) helps me achieve this. Not that I have become 100% good at it, but I’m improving. I’m consciously trying to be present every minute of my day.
As again, I would ask you to pick one and try it for the next 66 days, till you become reasonably comfortable at it. Literally, less is more.