By Sam Spurlin of The Simpler Life
I had read the book, before I read Sam’s bio and realized how young he was! I enjoy reading how he is living example of the principles taught in the book.
The main concept of the book is of course “simplifying your life” a theme I have been reading and putting into practice in my own life this last year.
I feel like Sam has been reading my mind when it comes to many of the concepts he writes about. The idea that “simplicity” is as unique as a grain of sand on a beach is what draws me to Sam and his book.
Sam write about the “8 Simplicity Essentials”
- Accurate Self-Knowledge
- Purging the Unnecessary
- The Willingness to Say “No”
- A Focus on Conscious Consumption
- Cultivating Patience
- A Desire For Less
- An Attitude of Gratitude
Accurate Self-Knowledge – “Knowing yourself, or self-knowledge, is the simplicity essential that will guide you through this journey.” – To me this is always the place to start unless we have a clear understanding of our personal values, motivations and passions we can not make decisions that will create a more satisfying and complete life for ourselves.
Purging the Unnecessary – “Simplification is the process of expelling everything that isn’t central to your values in favor of what is.” – This is where you get physical, really do you need all that stuff? All those clothes, all those books, all those knickknacks?
The Willingness to Say “No” – ” Every choice represents a trade-off and the more you add to your schedule and responsibilities the more trade-offs between quality and time you will face.” – Projects, commitments, responsibilities, why do you feel the need to do everything? Where do you draw that line between quantity and quality? Does everything you are doing align with your personal values, if not why are you doing them? We have choices!
A Focus on Conscious Consumption – ” When we weigh our decisions against our values, we begin to live a more fulfilling life.” Amen brother! To me simplicity is not at all about making this huge sacrifice, it is about making appropriate decisions. Why are we making this decisions to buy? and then are we buying items that align with our values? too many times we are not even thinking when we buy we are acting on impulse or habit, change can be as simple as thinking about a purchase for 24 hours before making a decision.
Cultivating Patience – “Patience manifests itself through increased focus and a calm, measured approach to life.” In this amazing time of modern advances we can easily be caught up in the speed of technology. Learning and practicing patience and a calm mind can be a difficult task, you first need to recognize things can be done differently, then you must train your mind to focus nothing. I believe this is learning that should take a lifetime.
Mindfulness – ” Mindfulness, by my definition, is the ability to be fully aware in all you do by ignoring the past and future and focusing on the present. This abstract skill is paramount to living a simpler life at all levels.” As a beginning runner I was awe struck this first time that I realized I was “in the flow” of running. It was only a few minutes but the only thing I knew was the sound of my feet hitting the ground and the ease in which it came. This is the experience I look for every time I run now. This can be true of MANY activities find the one that creates your mindfulness!
A Desire For Less – “For me, a life of simplicity is a life of richness. Replacing quantity with quality can be applied to almost every aspect of your life, not just possessions.” Use everything we have to the fullest, choosing quality over quantity and realizing that “things and stuff” is not what will make you happy.
An Attitude of Gratitude – “I describe gratitude as having an attitude of thankfulness and appreciation. I think the key component of this definition is the word “attitude.” I think that often we in North America forget just how awesome we have it. And we do have the power to change things for others once we feeling in our hearts the “attitude of gratitude” will we see how we can easily help others.
“Simplifying your life can be a scary endeavor. Stripping physical and mental complexity uncovers the true person underneath. You’ll be worried that you aren’t motivated enough, smart enough, tough enough, or unique enough to possibly live a life of simplicity. When that true person is revealed and there is no longer any crutch on which to rely, excuses no longer exist.”
An old soul speaking through a rising star, Sam writes with insight that can speak directly to your heart. I am grateful to share this journey with you!