The Power of Simplicity

The Power of Simplicity

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” Lao Tzu

This time of year, it’s far too easy to become caught up in the quest for more.

More gifts to be purchased for a never-ending list of relatives. More cleaning, cooking and baking to impress the guests. New obligations seem to be piling up each year — more visiting, more entertaining, more volunteering — yet there’s never more time for getting it all done.

In the midst of this chaos, there’s also no time left for what’s most important. Recharging. Reflecting on the true meaning of the season. Enjoying — truly enjoying, not hurriedly trying to make time for — the people who are most important in your life.

Even without the complications of the holiday season, life can become too complex if we don’t take the time to prioritize and simplify. Before we realize it, we can become so overwhelmed that even easy tasks become a burden.

The most important message of this season is this: Don’t get swept by our culture’s standards of wealth, power and prosperity. The things that are the most fulfilling in life are simple choices: family, love, joy and hope.

Will you truly receive joy from buying the latest expensive gadget for someone you love, only to worry about beating that gift next year? Or will you experience more joy by spending an afternoon together, whether that’s working on a project, baking or taking an extending walk on the beach? Can you invest the money you spent on an expensive gift into a mini-vacation instead?

Simplicity can be a solid guide for living your life all year long. Every challenge you encounter can be simplified into parts that are solvable — anything left is likely beyond your control and not worth dwelling over.

Celebrate the small victories — and know that adversity makes you stronger each time.

Next time you hear the Christmas bells ringing or the carolers singing, smile at those who are out there spreading the holiday cheer — and think of simple ways you, too, can do the same.