Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
I ran into a recent article over at OrganizeIT: “There Is No Growth To Be Found In Simplifying?”. I took a bit of issue to the article, because it approaches simplification as an end rather than a means to an end.
Simplifying life doesn’t mean that you give up everything and spend your days breathing and contemplating your navel. It isn’t about checking out of life and giving up on your responsibilities and joys. It is about clearing out things that are not important to you to make room for things that are.
We have to cut out low-value things from our lives. But perhaps the definition of low-value is different between myself and the author of the article. Low-value to me is something which does not add value or joy to my life. It doesn’t necessarily mean it is fun or even interesting. Doing laundry adds value to my life. Alphabetizing my CDs does not.
Simplifying begins with removing the low-value elements. You may not have an idea what will come to fill their spots; perhaps nothing will. Some people are so complicated that it takes a great deal of removal before they can start to breathe easier again. That doesn’t mean they are not growing. It simply means they are getting off the hamster wheel.
Simplification is not about stagnation. It is about shifting things around, and making room for things. Like a snake shedding its skin, simplification allows us to move on to the next phase of our lives unencumbered by unnecessary activity and things.
Simplification doesn’t have anything to do with growth, or the lack of growth. It is just a way of creating space.
OK, I think I’m done ranting now. Anyone else want to weigh in?
Photo by BONGURI