Here are 5 tips to live a simpler life in a complex world.
Story: Gary Collins
Millennials have been coined “the burnout generation.” Culture observers attribute the burnout to work, social, financial and technological pressures that can leave a young adult overwhelmed and their coping mechanisms frazzled.
With so much life yet to live, what can millennials do to reverse or avoid burnout? Further, how can subsequent generations handle the pressures that consume millennials? The answer comes down to simplifying their lives.
Burnout is an undeniable fact among many millennials. They’re feeling the effects of complicated living. It’s no secret today that we’re bombarded by outside stressors that are unfamiliar to earlier generations of humans, and we’re struggling to deal with them.
Decluttering is a popular concept today in terms of organizing your closet, garage and so on, but it’s also an effective mindset for simplifying your life. It’s about removing the unnecessary internal and external stressors in order to live the life you want.
Here are five principles for decluttering your life—or living a simple life from the outset of adulthood:
Knowledge is power
People tend to seek the quick fix in today’s fast-moving world, but it takes time to acquire the correct, in-depth information that helps someone make lasting, positive changes. New habits are most effective when you know why you’re doing them. Otherwise, you’re likely to be swayed by the next fad product that promotes the easy life but does not work for the long term.
People can be drawn to selling pitches such as, “Make millions in just a few hours per week,” but extreme claims rarely pan out. A slow-and-steady approach with a well-thought-out plan that is followed day after day delivers true change for the positive.
Keep it simple
As a culture, we’ve turned the concept of living a healthy, happy life into a confusing and overwhelming selection of products and gimmicks. But less is more. We love to overthink everything and make living the life we want far more complicated than it needs to be. Once you cut out the noise and clutter, everything comes into focus.
Something is better than nothing
While overhauling an entire lifestyle can seem daunting, little changes and choices can add up. Examples are analyzing spending habits when short on money each month or developing skills to find a job you enjoy rather than staying in a job you don’t like. When it comes to doing nothing versus doing at least something, something is always the right choice. Think of it like dropping a dollar into a piggy bank every hour of the day for years and years. Eventually, you’ll have a nice nest egg.
Take action every day
America is full of people who want to live a better and more fulfilling life, but in reality, very few ever take action to accomplish this. Happy, successful people take action—today and every day. Maybe that means getting up earlier to get to the gym, writing that novel you’ve talked about for the last 10 years or selling that sports car you can’t afford and getting something more practical.
You must ingrain and practice positive habits to achieve positive outcomes. Life gets hard, and making better choices is sometimes inconvenient, but today’s choices are under your control. Once it’s a habit, it gets easier.
About the writer → Gary Collins is the author of “The Simple Life Guide to Decluttering Your Life” (thesimplelifenow.com). He has worked in military intelligence, served as a special agent for the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service, and worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.