The Law Of Least Effort
“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” — Isaac Newton
In a period of information overload, there’s never been a better time to simplify life. The raging struggle of modern existence can lead to inner turmoil if we’re unaware. Therefore, the key to living an inspired life is to simplify it. To gain clarity on what’s important requires letting go of unnecessary conditions and tune into what you value most. Most people chase material possessions believing they’ll be happy, only to realise it makes matters worse. The more clutter in your life, the less you know what is important to you, since unimportant issues can distract you. You are inclined to react to what is taking place before you instead of what is essential.
Tending to your health, relationships, and family may be central to your life. For others, it may be other aspects. The key is to concentrate on what is primarily important to you and pursue it with vigour. That which brings you joy and happiness requires the least effort. The American philosopher Henry David Thoreau said: “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” Does this idea resonate with you? That is, what brings you the most joy and fulfilment is often found in the smallest details?
For instance, the Law of Least Effort functions according to the principle of simplicity. Given we are biological creatures subject to the laws of nature, it makes sense to allow simplicity to be your driving force. The following principle are ways in which to simplify your life. They are a starting point and I encourage you to adopt them slowly, without being discouraged if results don’t appear immediately. It requires patience and persistence for something of value to yield results. Akin to a plant, the initial stages begin with the seed sprouting beneath the soil, invisible to the naked eye. Yet with nurturing and time, it grows into a healthy plant and so too will your habits.
“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.” — Edwin Way Teale
1. Surround Yourself With Amazing People
These include friends, family, romantic partners, co-workers and those who offer you support and encouragement. Significant people are people who encourage your personal growth. They are your humble ambassadors in times of need and don’t desert you through crisis. The company of such people leads to simplified living because your needs are met through close connections. Great people inspire and strengthen you, not drain your energy. Energy vampires rob you of your vital force, so be wary of them. They want to gain something and are unwilling to offer anything in return. Steer away from them, since they will deprive you of your long-term happiness.
2. Let Go Of What No Longer Serves You
Letting go of what no longer serves you is essential to simplifying life because you free yourself from what consumes your energy. This includes people, things, places, relationships, travel, behaviours or habits. If it doesn’t bring you joy, remove it from your life or distance yourself from it. However, don’t fill the void with something else. Simply allow it time to recede, so you have less to focus on. In doing so, you free up mental and emotional resources for more important matters. In other words, create space for something wonderful to appear and trust it will take its place, since nature abhors a vacuum.
3. Focus On Experiences, Not Things
There’s a misconception that happiness comes from accumulating material possessions. Sure, it might offer happiness for a short while, though once it wears off, you yearn for something more. Newspapers are filled with stories of people who inherited millions of dollars, only to find themselves more miserable than before. This is not because of money per se, rather the stress associated with managing sizeable sums of money. Accumulating material objects amplifies insecurities already present in a person. Therefore, focus on experiences and surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones. Travel more, perform random acts of kindness, do charity work if that appeals to you. The key is to find fulfilling experiences that embody who you are. For example, I enjoy creative hobbies and feel lively when engaged in these endeavours. Find time for these activities and you’ll be happy and content.
4. Get In Tune With Your Nature
When you’re in tune with your true nature, you connect to the creative source of intelligence. I’m not talking about religion or spirituality, yet something greater. You are the expression of Mother Nature in all her glory. Everything from your thoughts to your body reflects the infinite powers of universal intelligence. Stay connected to your source and you’ll feel the aliveness of the universe permeate through you. How do you stay in tune with your nature? Here are steps to consider:
- Be kind and compassionate with yourself and others
- Think empowering thoughts
- Live a healthy life
- Eat food close to its original state
- Balance your giving and receiving
- Create fulfilling relationships
- Be of value in your community
- Respect Mother Nature
- Be of service to others
- Be at peace with yourself
- Think globally, act locally
I believe we’re on the verge of a new way of life, uniting spirit and matter to become conscious creators of our destiny. The old paradigm is gradually falling away to make way for the new. This isn’t about a new world order, it’s much simpler than that. It’s an expanding of consciousness and fading away of primitive thinking, once dictated by our primal urges. The changes herald a new way of perceiving the world. People who harness their intuition to make sense of the world are happier, healthier and lead fulfilling lives. Be willing to upgrade your model of reality to coincide with the change. Remove preconceived ideas of how life should play out, since these concepts keep you trapped in the past.
Simplifying life brings immense joy because we need little to make us happy. Economic studies in the UK suggest households on an income of £30,000 per annum are no happier at this threshold. In the US, the figure is $75,000, which confirms we needn’t accumulate vast amounts of wealth to be happy. Mother Nature is more intelligent than we give her credit for. She provides us with the wisdom to make sense of our lives, yet our impulses control us instead of focusing on what’s meaningful. Don’t succumb to the out-there model that suggests your needs originate from circumstances outside of you. Make a vow to simplify life and reduce your impact on the environment. Reduce your waste and non-renewable resources. Strive to live a clean and uncluttered existence. The reward is a conscious life imbued with simplicity, instead of what you believe will make you happy.