Inspiring simplicity

2015 is the year I return to the core of what makes our world so attractive. I’m embracing simplicity, and using it for inspiration.

In a similar vein to jumping off a social media carousel, this is about getting back to basics. Life is an interesting journey that slows down and speeds up at its own discretion. If you spend oodles and oodles of time going deeper, analysing every layer, pulling apart every detail, and suffocating every breath out of something, you’ll likely miss the simple fun to be had up here on the surface.

Inspiring simplicity is easy enough to preach, but is it hard to do? Absolutely not. The smallest pleasures in life are RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE. That extra 5 minutes under the blanket every morning after the alarm goes off, feeling the first chilly breath of fresh air slap you in the face when you step outside, or hearing a giggle from your significant other, even if it’s at your own expense!

With that I give you my ever-evolving list of simple-do’s. Give them a try, and let me know how you go.

  • That gorgeous park you drive past on the way to work every day? This weekend, go and sit in the middle of it.
  • Take a photo of something gorgeous in your backyard. Like this:

photo-4

  • Keep expectations reasonable. If you watch a movie or television series, appreciate it for what it is. Don’t analyse every scene and every last quote for hidden meanings or deeper symbolism. That moment when you expected to find something meaningful after watching Godzilla… that was when you could have used this blog.
  • That jog you’re going for later today? Just this once, don’t measure distance, calories, heart rate, steps, stride length, wind resistance, road surface, gradient, mood, number of dogs barking at you, or cars you managed to dodge. Just run. Feel your heart accelerate, and breathe the fresh air straight into those appreciative lungs of yours. I know, those measurements above do have a purpose, but don’t forget why you’re jogging & exercising in the first place.
  • Long commute to work? Great! Listen to a new album, or find an interesting podcast. Use the time to unwind from work or school. Reflect on the positive things that made your day.
  • When’s the last time you smiled at a stranger in the street and said ‘good morning’?
  • What do you call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho Cheese….

Did you:
a) have a good chuckle, or
b) roll your eyes and let out a sarcastic “oh geez”

Find a cheesy joke and tell it to the next five people you see.

  • Delete 7 of the 8 photo editing apps you have on your phone, and see whether you miss them.
  • Wake up early one day a week. Go outside, stand on the grass, and watch the sunrise. Sappy? Yep, but that doesn’t make it any less applicable.

None of this is ground breaking, nor is it meant to be. These are simple things to do, and most of them can be done every day. Anything that makes you smile, feel good, and appreciate life can be added to this list.

I urge you to share this post with your family and friends, and see what other simple-do’s you can come up with!

54 thoughts on “Inspiring simplicity

  1. Living in the now, appreciating the moment. I’m with you! What do you call a cat in the desert? Sandy Claws 🙂 About simplicity, – I find it’s also about getting rid of surplus Stuff. We really don’t need much in the way of things, – and the reduced clutter gives space to breathe. If it’s not useful or beautiful or both, – I’m chucking it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I love it. I could tell those sorts of jokes for days, despite not getting a lot of laughter from anyone but myself :p And yeah, getting rid of clutter. I made a reference to phone apps but it applies to physical things, even moreso. Cleaning a house isn’t the most enjoyable task but it does feel good when you look around and the clutter and any other rubbish has disappeared!

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  2. I don’t drink coffee…. I KNOW!!!! how do I survive you are probably wondering, but I am addicted to chai which I’m told I make a very good one. (Shhhh it’s the pinch of tumeric that makes the difference). However, I am into simplicity in a big way. One of my things is to only buy what I need and give away what I don’t. It keeps my space at home very zen. Great looking blog. All the best with it. Mx (Blogging 101)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your philosophy. I also believe that reminders to take time for simple pleasures can be a wake up call. Like the splash of golden light that spurs me to grab a jacket and go meet the sunrise…. or the sheer pleasure of seeing a sky full of stars after weeks of cloudy skies.
    Soon I will be in Big Bend National Park where even cell phone connectivity is scarce. Time to reconnect. Looking forward to feeling the warmth of sunshine on bare legs!

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  4. So I am speaking to my friend and I tell him I jog in the evening. He asks – how many miles, what’s your average speed? I tell him – I walk for about an hour or more. He insists – but how many miles? I tell him – bugger off.

    This miles question has been asked by so many of my friends. I no longer tell people I jog. How do you stay so thin they ask me. I just smile.

    I think in our quest to find meaning and make our lives more substantiate we try and complicate things just to derive home the sense that we are doing something worth-while. And then we wonder why we burn out and cannot enjoy ourselves. Quite silly all of this is,

    Is there a way to photo-comment?

    Anyway do check out these pictures
    1. http://static4.quoteswave.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/The-best-things-in-life-are-free.jpg
    2. http://clairediazortiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Screen-shot-2011-11-08-at-8.25.17-PM.png

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been guilty of feeling like I need to measure everything I do fitness-wise, or else it didn’t “count” which in hindsight is ridiculous…. That was part of what led to me writing this post. I’d forgotten why I was running in the first place and focused too much on everything else! It’s a shame you don’t tell your friends that you jog anymore – they might eventually realise that they can stop and smell the roses every once in a while 😉

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    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate you sharing it with other people 🙂 And those images you sent before were great – they really summed up some great points – we do tend to overcomplicate a lot of things in life!

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  5. Like you, I’m trying to get off the social media carousel and what a relief it is!! I wish i had done it sooner, yet in my age group that is the “cool” thing to do so I was caught up in the moment. Without social media I am noticing more to life and I don’t feel the need to constantly compare myself to others. Great post! Challenge accepted! Haha

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post. The Power of now!. It’s so easy to overlook the simple thing’s in life. But I agree it’s the little thing’s that can add to the big picture. Living in the moment and taking everything in as we go and embracing the simple things in life. Sometimes I like to watch trees blow when it’s windy outside. It’s quite the site if you really just stop and look. This was refreshing to read. thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a really lovely post! It’s hard sometimes to take a step back and appreciate the little things in life. you gave some great tips for it though, so thanks! i for sure want to try some of these things!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a beautiful post, Mike! I really believe that at the heart of simplicity lies the decision to be fully present in the moment (easier said than done, of course), which means not thinking about tomorrow, or yesterday, or the bills to be paid, or the laundry to be done. Being present means to embrace what’s happening right now, at this moment. And this moment, to be fair, is all that any one of us really has. Thank for you the kind reminder and taking the time to write and share this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s my pleasure! Especially with wonderful comments like yours 🙂 You’re absolutely right, it’s about living in the moment and appreciating the wonderful things that are already right there, rather than always striving to find something that’s further away or deeper down.

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  9. Very inspirational writing. Loved this. Brought a smile to my face. 😉 Now if it wasn’t so cold outside I would slip out to see the sun rise in the morning or take some great pictures in my backyard! That morning run left when the temperature dropped! Oh my, I’m going to have to get out of this slump and pay attention to the world around me again. It can be done! Thanks for a great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. It’s something I personally often forget – the power of living in the moment. This was a wonderful post to remind us all of the simplicity that’s there, being taken for granted. You do me a great service with this gentle nudge, and I hope someday I can return the favour 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mike, you certainly nailed it. The simple things… also known as the blasted obvious; cost nothing, mean most and always often overlooked.
    Can I add another? Watching dust shimmer in a beam of sunlight in a darkened room, timeless and ethereal…
    I grabbed that extra five minutes in bed this morning, wonderful!
    Thanks.
    Dookes

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You have a moral opposition in your blog, by that of course I mean when you say that we should enjoy that extra 5 minutes under the covers and also get out of bed early to watch the sunrise. As I am not a morning person I will take the 5 extra minutes in the morning, or maybe 15, and I will youtube a sunrise at a healthy 9:15 am! =) Another wonderful blog full of whimsy and excellent writing. As ever, I am jealous, and one happy reader!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mike, I read your blog this morning, right before a run. Then I accidentally (or was it by accident???) forgot my running watch. And so did my running partner! We had the best, most enjoyable run in weeks, talking and enjoying the morning instead of being a slave to the watch. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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