I was listening to an episode of Public Radio International’s, To the Best of our Knowledge, as I was driving today. The topic was Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. The host, Jim Fleming, read the following from the book, “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand… We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.”
The little voice, that always seems to have opinions, said, “That’s nice, but that’ just not realistic”. I know that Thoreau is right, and I have great familiarity with the logic of the voice. I realized that the challenge, for me, is feeling that I have to make a leap to absolute simplicity in one jump. I know it’s a journey and the more I simplify, the more I learn about simplicity.
So, I invite you to join me, if only for one day, in taking one step towards simplicity. What I did, as I was writing this, was to consider something in my life that seemed very complicated. The first thing that came up was that I have so many unfinished manuscripts. I have written here that I have started many books. These incomplete works grab my attention from time to time. I know the distraction of having a life filled with many incompletions.
So, what I did was to put all of them, save one, away. I will only put my attention on that one until it is either complete or I choose to walk away from it. Tomorrow, I will ask myself again this question, “What in my life seems complicated?” I will then look at the strongest answer I received with an eye for simplification.
I’m already feeling lighter. Let go of complexity. Let simplicity be your guide.