Posts tagged simplicity
How to Rescue Your Creative Mind

As human beings, I believe that ingrained within us all, is a natural instinct to create. You can argue that you don't have a single creative bone in your body but I call bull. Having been made in the likeness of the Creator of the Universe, I think that we're built for creation. For making something that didn't exist before. Writing a sentence. Composing a song. Cooking a meal. Choreographing a dance. Developing a business strategy. Building a sand castle. It doesn't require complexity or years of skill and experience. It only requires that you bring something with meaning into existence that didn't exist before.

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A Practical Guide to Simplifying Your Space

Space is a beautiful thing. Yet it's often seen as something to be filled rather than something to be left alone. All that inhabits the space we live in, work in, play in - it's all visual stimuli. We're engineered to be visual people and as such, are easily distracted and consumed with the visual stimuli around us. Though we may not think something catches our attention, it does. If only for a split second, our mind is filtering through dozens of things before it can rest on the task at hand. Knick-knacks, keep sakes, gifts, crafts, junk, trash, long-forgotten memos... over time, little things begin to build up. Simplifying the space that we live in is an important step toward enjoying that space.

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Spotting the Fool’s Gold in Your Life

The mineral Pyrite is an iron sulfide with a pale yellow hue and metallic luster that gives it the appearance of gold earning it the nickname “Fool’s Gold.” So while, on the surface, it has the appearance of value, in reality, it’s just another rock. I feel like life can present you with a lot of Fool’s Gold that looks really wonderful at first glance. But on further inspection, you realize you’ve been given a dud.

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If you had a chance to pivot your life, would you?

Due to the flood, I’ve been thinking a lot about the families who lost so many material things. Feelings of empathy and sadness dance with feelings of hope and silver linings. Because on one hand, I see the mountains of things that are the physical embodiment of people’s history. And that can be tough to part with. But on the other hand I see a city wide liberation and a chance to craft a new life. One free from the weight of things that steal our attention from what matters.

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10 Ways Creating Space Can Change Your Life

When we purchase a new pair of shoes or a new set of tools, we're not purchasing them with the intent of cluttering up our lives. We purchase them because—at least in the moment—we believe that they'll bring us joy, comfort, convenience or utility. All of these things are inherently good so, at first glance, why shouldn't we add them to our lives?

The problem doesn't become clear until weeks, months or years down the road when we look up and realize our lives have been overrun with clutter from our closet to our schedule. Minimalism gives us the tools we need to preemptively shut down the clutter that wants to enter our lives or get rid of clutter that's already there in an effort to provide more room.

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Sacrificing "Good" at the Altar of "Great"

A few years ago, I may have encouraged you to "not give up" and "you can do it all if you really want it bad enough." Today, I know better. Today, I realize that a life of more doesn't necessarily equal a life of fulfillment and joy. Rather, some things — even some good things — have to be sacrificed so that the best things can be gained.

Don't take my word for it, take the word of a man who has built an empire — simplicity facilitates success.

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Simplifying the Dormant Clutter

Two things happened in the past week that reminded me of the weight of dormant responsibilities. The first was that I filed my taxes and, rather than file only my W2 from my employer, I had to file for the minimal amount of freelance income through my photography/design business I started 3 years ago. The second was that I got a notice in the mail that my business account had been overdrawn for seven days and I owed the bank $4.34. I had mostly emptied my business account and it has lain dormant for nearly a year now since I've started at the creative agency but rather than shut it down, I had left it open, accumulating small fees here and there that slowly eaten away at the few remaining dollars that I had left in the account.

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How I am Preparing for Next Year

Preparing for the New Year can seem daunting but it doesn't have to be. In fact, it's rather fun. Here's a rundown of what I'm going through during these last two weeks of this year to get ready for the new year. You can follow along or do your own thing. I'd love hear what you're doing in the comments below!

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You can choose to put yourself in the way of beauty

Beauty is everywhere; it's our choice whether or not we see it. Sometimes this takes practice... in fact, I'm still practicing. I'm practicing because I choose to see and appreciate the simple things. I choose to put myself in the way of beauty.

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5 Simple Essays to Prime Yourself for the Holidays

No time to write a full post - I'm busy enjoying a large plate of turkey and about a dozen different pies. But if you're itching for some good reading, I've got you covered. Here are five good reads to put the holidays into perspective.

Be mindful. Embrace simplicity. Serve others. Live well.

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At the end of the day, did it matter?

Well, did it?

When you went to sleep last night, did you consider your day successful? If so, by what standard? You see, we can spend our days agonizing over emails, talking for hours with a feisty client, running errands around town or updating our Facebook profile - all of which may need to get done - but were you able to do something that matters to you?

Measure your day against your metric for a successful day and see what you come up with.

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The best organizational strategy

Stuff... it's everywhere. We're unsure what to do with an item so we place it on the ironing board that never got put up. We were in a rush one day and couldn't fold our clothes so we left them in a pile on our couch... and lived out of that pile for two weeks. We get a piece of paper that we're sure might come in handy sometime in the future so we place it in the stack of other paper that might come in handy sometime in the future. Our bike pops a tire but we don't have time to fix it, but we might later, so we stash it in the garage alongside the wheelbarrow that also has a flat tire, the deflated basketball and the shovel with a broken handle.

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I Love Complexity (no, it's not opposite day)

For a while, I believed everything would be better if it were simplified down to its most basic form. I mean, I even created a course called "Simplify" to help you minimize clutter and maximizing value. Simplicity is good right?

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6 Inspirational Manifestos for Simple, Impactful Living

Manifestos are the rallying cry of a greater purpose. It's the "why" for a movement, an organization or an individual. It reaches past the mind and into the heart, to surface beliefs, values and purpose that drive the way we live.

To both motivate and embolden you, here are six manifestos that inspire a simple, yet impactful life.

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15 Awesome Tools Organized People Use To Get Their Lives In Order

Successful people are often organized people. It's no secret - they achieve incredible productivity and fulfillment through intentional action, a balanced routine, and a decluttered lifestyle. Here are a few incredible, low-budget tools and proven practices that they use to maintain control of their life.

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Simplify (Part VII): Cut the Crap

I began writing Part VII on simplifying your possessions. It's a topic that is not only relevant but also incredibly fun to talk about because of its controversial nature. But as I wrote, I began to think a little more about the deeper implications of getting rid of so much stuff and concluded that it isn't your collection of things that needs to be simplified... it's your wants. After purging your home of unnecessary items, you'll find yourself right back where you started in a year if you never learned to quell the incessant desires of a 21st Century mind.

What's beautiful about starting with simplifying your wants is that you'll find yourself purging the valueless and unnecessary things from your life as a natural - almost physical - response to your contentment and gratitude. It approaches the problem rather than the symptoms.

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Simplify (Part VI): simplifying your space

Space is a beautiful thing. Yet it's often seen as something to be filled rather than something to be left alone. All that inhabits the space we live in, work in, play in - it's all visual stimuli. We're engineered to be visual people and as such, are easily distracted and consumed with the visual stimuli around us. Though we may not think something catches our attention, it does. If only for a split second, our mind is filtering through dozens of things before it can rest on the task at hand. Knick-knacks, keep sakes, gifts, crafts, junk, trash, long-forgotten memos... over time, little things begin to build up. Simplifying the space that we live in is an important step toward enjoying that space.

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Simplify (Part III): a brief guide to becoming less busy.

Our time is the most precious non-renewable resource we have and yet I find myself spending a great deal of it on things that offer little meaningful return or value. At the same time, I envy those who have painted masterpieces or written novels by the time they were my age. The lopsided nature of what we wish we had time to do and what we spend the time we do have doing is quite befuddling considering the access and opportunity that we are privileged to have these days.

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You’re seeing the wrong “little things”.

Anyone who has ever traveled by airplane can understand the frustration that can come with it.  The woman ahead of you in the check-in line can’t find her ID.  You’re randomly chosen for a pat-down by the friendly TSA officers.  As you’re rushing to your gate, it seems like everyone in front of you is taking a Sunday stroll.

“Why is it that people turn into gawking idiots in airports when I’m in a hurry?!” indignant, you think to yourself as you weave through the terminal.  Your blood pressure is rising as you arrive at the gate to find your flight is delayed.  For ten minutes more.  Excuses.  It’s delayed an hour now.  Looks like you’re going to have to really rush to catch your connecting flight.  Naturally, you don’t get the window seat you wanted, and you’re sitting next to Mr. Important-Laptop-Using-Businessman-Armrest-Hog (side note: don’t be that guy).

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Simplicity is the New Currency for Attention

Simplicity, I think, is often associated with simple-mindedness. And wrongfully so. Much of our lives are riddled with complexities (often unnecessary, ammaright?) because the fact of the matter is - life’s complex. When you consider the constant exchange of money, words, ideas, products… life is an endless network with every neuron (you and I) firing 16 hours out of the day. It’s a rather dwarfing concept to consider. Now imagine trying to make light of specific interactions and reduce them down to a bare-bones, easy-to-understand process. It’s a daunting task, which is why I’ve come to believe wholeheartedly that if one could simplify their exchanges with the world, they would live more joyful, fulfilled lives.

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