Lived Simplicity

Yes, there is a part of the shore NOT populated by "those who shall not be named"

Down the shore, reading a book

To break up the flow of longer posts before cranking out part 2 of my analysis of Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 in juxtaposition with the Jewish High Holiday’s (see part 1 here), I thought I’d direct some attention to a sweet post of somebody else’s that I recently discovered about the concept of lived simplicity.

For a long time, I’ve valued elegance in multiple forms–in music, in mathematics, in interior design, in dancing, in physical accouterments, in self defense, and most pointedly of late, in my work life. So, I’m always on the lookout for helpful ways to distill the things I’m doing towards greater simplicity. This has really paid off when it comes to my workout routine, which I have boiled down to three days a week of high intensity interval training cardio coupled with three days a week following the regimine. I never spend more than 35 minutes a day working out (unless the yen for something like a longer, just-for-fun bike ride strikes), I often spend only 10 minutes a day working out, and I have both shed unnecessary weight and gained muscle plus agility better than any other single method of exercise I have ever tried.

I learned about this approach to physical fitness by scouring the web to see what worked for other folks with limited time, and that also lead to me this great post at the blog, “Marc and Angel Hack Life,” noting 60 very basic things one can do to substantially simplify one’s life. I was pretty psyched to learn that I had already implemented several of these suggestions, like no.20’s “Relocate closer to your place of employment,” no.29’s “Learn to cook, and cook,” and no.60’s, “Make mistakes, learn from them, laugh about them, and move along.” Nevertheless, there are lots good recommendations in this article that never occurred to me before, and there are still others that I’ve certainly heard in the past but could still greatly benefit from more intentionally weaving into my daily life. Here are a couple I plan to focus on over the upcoming month or two:

  • No.5 – “Get enough sleep every night.  An exhausted mind is rarely productive.”
  • No.11 – “Get rid of stuff you don’t use.”
  • No.23 – “Say “I love you” to your loved ones as often as possible.”
  • No.24 – “Single-task.  Do one thing at a time and give it all you got.”
  • No.54 – “Take it slow and add up all your small victories.”
How about you? What are some things you’ve done or, alternatively, some things you’ve cut out of your routine that have really helped to simplify your life in a substantially beneficial way? Are there any book, blogs, films, or passages of scripture that have really helped this way of life to sink in for you? I’d love to hear about it, and I’m curious what suggestions from the aforementioned article resonated the most for you. To wrap up this post, here are just a couple of my favorite verses on prioritization and simplicity upon which I’m meditating these days:
  • Psalm 37:16 – “Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.”
  • Proverbs 16:32 – Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
  • Proverbs 15:16 – “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.”
  • Ecclesiastes 2:24 – “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.”
  • Proverbs 8:11 – Wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.”
  • Ecclesiastes 4:6 – Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.
May your life be blessed with greater simplicity.