The Simple Life
Lockdown has really shone a mirror on life recently! So many people are talking about how things have been simpler in the last few weeks and months and how they would like to stay that way when, hopefully, we get through the current pandemic.
I am no different, however this is not a new concept to me. I have always loved the simple things in life. A bit before my time, but I loved the idea of living like Tom and Barbara in the UK TV programme, “The Good Life”. As a teenager, I was often told I looked like Felicity Kendall – not the greatest compliment when I am 30 years younger! But it did make me think about how they stepped out of the “norm” to focus on happiness. Okay, it was a bumpy ride for them, but no one can dispute they were happy.
We thought we might have a simple life…
My mum (the same age as Felicity Kendall and just as gorgeous!) loves to tell me how in the 60/70s, computers started to appear. Back then they took up whole rooms and could only process basic information. At the time it was thought computers would make life easier. Enabling 4-day weeks and giving us more free time to enjoy life. Today, of course, we have devices that fit in our pockets and we can sit on a train and talk to the entire world. Yet, more and more people feel we have far less free time. To quote the organisation I used to work for, we are in “An All Communicating World” and as a result it feels we have less time, not more!
Contrary to the dream of lots of free time, we are at the beck and call of the world 24 hrs a day. It’s fantastic to stay in touch with loved ones that are geographically far away, but it can also be challenging in a work capacity.
Staying in touch ALL the time!
I remember in my HR days, calling a manager to discuss an issue. He answered the phone and was very short with me. He promptly told me off for contacting him whilst he was enjoying a round of golf on holiday! I might point out, I did not know he was on leave, otherwise I would not have called! But why on earth had he taken his phone with him (I thought phones were banned on golf courses!), let alone answer the damn thing?
Somehow, we have become conditioned to be available all the time. Do we feel we fail if we are not available? Do we think we are missing out on something if we do not answer? Are we worried something bad might happen if we do not answer? My situation with the manager arose 10 years ago. Now phones have become even more integral to our lives, it seems an even bigger problem.
By being available ALL the time, we are working against ourselves. That manager had taken a holiday. Everyone needs to step away from the hustle and bustle, just as we all need to sleep at night. We have voicemail that can take a message, meaning we can deal with situations at a time when we are better prepared to do whatever is being asked of us. We do not need to answer the phone EVERY time!
Numerous labour-saving devices have been invented over the years, but instead of using them to our advantage, we seem to fight against them and create more complexity, filling the time it saves us.
I am not a competitive person. I love working with others and take great pleasure helping people excel. But I do confess I can get caught up in the competitive nature of human beings! However, striving to beat each other inevitable leads to a feeling of not good enough or worse… Overwhelm.
Last year, I made it my mission to simplify my life. That old saying, we laughed at in Corporate World… “Keep it Simple Stupid” … although to keep the positive self-talk, I did change the end word to “Sam”!
I was so inspired when I learned that Barak Obama had a set of suites and ties all identica;. He did not waste energy deciding what to wear in the morning. Making that element of his routine simple… let’s face it, when you are leader of one of the biggest countries in the world, choosing what to wear in the morning, should not be a priority! Now, as I am not a world leader (yet!) and a woman, I have not gone that far, but my wardrobe is a lot more simplified than it was!
My transition to a simpler life (I am still a work in progress and even Tom and Barbara had complexities!), has not been a big event. Instead it is an ongoing philosophy. Like the marginal gains that athletes implement, several little adjustments over a continuing period. My changes have made a significant impact though.
As I sit in my conservatory writing these words with my trusty pencil and pad of paper, the kids playing happily and hubby reading the news on his pc… no newspapers in this house, he gets news from all around the world in one place, I am not completely against technology, I just want it to work for us, not against us! I take a deep breath and enjoy the happiness that surrounds me.
The recent lockdown due to Covid-19 has helped speed up the review of making life simpler, but it has also made me realise how far we have come already.
Simplicity will be different for everyone, but I urge you to give it a try. As humans we seem to be in a rush to get to the end of the journey and then end up regretting not spending more time enjoying it and each other.
Think… What would make life simpler for you.
What would it mean if you could take more time for yourself? This is not selfish; this is about making the most of life. You only have one, make the most of it!
As someone who has set up their own business, I have no doubt you did it because you wanted more out of life, but reality can often have the opposite effect. Running a business can make life more complicated.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
By ensuring whatever you do, you do with simplicity in mind, you can create both a successful business AND have an amazing life. You could be sat sharing your wisdom whilst your family are with you, contented in life, despite all the chaos in the world.
So, I encourage you, every day, consider how you can create a more simply life and if something just seems too hard, too difficult, or overwhelming, step back. Ask yourself how to do I make this simpler?
Do what you love. Enjoy the life you have. Not everyone gets as long on this Earth, so make the most of it.
If you would like to learn more about creating a successful business and living the life you dream of, get in touch with me. Or join my free Mastermind on Facebook. www.facebook.com/groups/thefemalebusinessownersmastermind
Wishing you love, health, and happiness