210: 10 Simple Things We Unnecessarily Complicate

~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #210 ~Subscribe to The Simple Sophisticate: iTunes | Stitcher | iHeartRadio | YouTube “It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.” – Amelia Barr You react in anger when a moment of frustration arises only to have to take more time (once you realize you shouldn’t have reacted in such a way) to apologize and rebuild a […] Listen now or continue reading below.
~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #210
~Subscribe to The Simple SophisticateiTunes | Stitcher | iHeartRadio | YouTube

“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.” – Amelia Barr

You react in anger when a moment of frustration arises only to have to take more time (once you realize you shouldn’t have reacted in such a way) to apologize and rebuild a relationship. The best decision, the simple decision, would have been to say nothing at all in the moment, step away from the situation, and decide what, if any, response was necessary.

In a hurry to clear your inbox, you scan through emails too quickly, miss important details and end up having to respond twice or three times to correct the initial response.

In an attempt to create a relationship, you cling or hang on to someone who doesn’t fully welcome you into their lives. The simple truth regarding relationships is if people want you in their lives, they will make room for you and not create guessing games, just as you have opened your life to them.

There are many ways we can complicate our lives when it is absolutely unnecessary to do so. While we often hear that we must struggle in order to reach the goals we desire, while there is much truth to the duration, there are many details along the way that do not have to be complicated. In fact, to complicate them, discourages our journey toward success.

I was reminded that even those who value simplicity in order to elevate our lives (me!) can make the mistake of creating complication where they need not be. Over the past month I have been putting off a task that I knew in my good conscience needed to be tended to do. The delaying only built up more stress and fear that would have been assuaged or negated had I simply took action, discovered what the solution was and put my energy toward reaching the solution rather than putting my energy toward stressing out about the unknown.

Often we complicate because we don’t want one more thing to fill our plate. Ironically, we are putting more than one more thing on our plate; we are at least putting two: the task that needs to be tended to and the worry that we expend wondering. In other words, we accrue interest, and in this case, not the good kind.

Today I’d like to take a look at 1o simple ways we unnecessarily complicate lives with the goal of avoiding these mistakes. Because once we recognize our mistake, we can simply correct our course.

1. Small, regular steps, to reach great success

When we see our goal at the end of the long journey, there is a natural assumption that a grand step must be made. And while, yes, the distance is long, the journey is simple. So long as you are clear about what needs to be done and break it down into mini tasks, then all you have to do is the daily tasks each day on a regular basis. Whether it comes to improving your health, saving for your dream trip or earning the degree, be clear about your plan and then let go of the longview and trust that your daily habits will carry you to where you wish to arrive.

2. Contentment is in our control

“It’s only when you add the infinite battles of yesterday and tomorrow that life gets overly complicatd.”—Getting Back to Happy, Marc & Angel Chernoff

Much of the world would have us believe that contentment lies outside of us. Described as happiness, in a semantic sense, I would agree – happiness does lie outside of us, but contentment is entirely within our control. And it is through understanding how to cultivate contentment that we are more available to appreciate moments of happiness. But because we focus on what is outside of us – what must happen that involves others, what they should do, who should be in our lives, etc. we give our power away. Simply, our power for contentment, everything we need, is in our control because it is a matter of the mind. Ahd when our mindset is in order, we become at peace with ourselves and more engaging and charismatic with the world, drawing to us what we most love and appreciate.

3. Sleep Well, Live Well

When I think about going to bed each night, I smile. I smile because my bed is soft, comfortable, and a true luxury to slip into after each day. Sleep is good. In fact, sleep is vital to living well. From how well our brain functions, to improving our health as the toxins are flushed from our bodies, to improving our mood, sleep even supercedes exercise. So protect your 7-8 hours of sleep each night and see the quality of your days improve.

4. When we complain, we aren’t problem solving

It is easy to complain and it is very tempting. And while we do need to vent because often we don’t know what we are truly upset about until we release the frustration either verbally or on paper, complaining is a waste of energy as it takes away the precious time and brain power that is needed to either solve the problem or move on to something that better uses our time.

5. Learn to say no – focus your attention 

For nearly ten years, my focus has been my passion that is shared every week here on this blog. I continue to follow my intuition, trust that it knows what I cannot see at that moment and keep striving forward to inspire readers to have the confidence to reach their full potential, to shed the limiting views and societal confinements that would hold us back when what the world needs is what we each can uniquely give if only we could unearth it and share it with the world.

In so doing my life has taken on its own construct: my daily and weekend schedules are full but much enjoyed, the sights of the world I have had the opportunity to see fill me with inspiration and I continue to arrive closer at understanding how living well, the art of living well, actually works.

Because I know precisely why I am continuing to pursue my goal, saying no is quite simple. Whatever you are passionate about, whatever you discover gives you purpose, a deep, driving purpose, once you hone in on it, saying no is simple and the complications that arise from saying “yes” much more than necessary lifts.

6. Feeling loved, begins with loving yourself 

The love stories depicted in cliched rom-coms or traditional fairy tales would have us accept the love we seek resides outside of ourselves. The truth is actually the reverse. As we flip this notion on its head, it sounds too simple, too on the nose to be true, but the truth is you have had the love you have been seeking all along.

We cannot truly find someone to love us well if we do not know how to love ourselves. And in order to love ourselves we must get to know ourselves, and when we show the world the self-respect we have for ourselves and thus the world, we attract to us those who appreciate who we are and thus opportunities for quality and lasting, loving relationship.

For many, the complicated part lies in understanding how to love ourselves because doing so has been conveyed as being selfish. Once we see someone around us who exhibits self-love, we come to understand that self-love is a form of self-respect and when we respect ourselves we protect ourselves and strike a balance between what we can give to others and what we need to keep to give to ourselves whether it is our time, our energy, or our patience.

7. Reduce excess decision making

From the clothes you wear each day (create a capsule wardrobe), to the flavor/varietal of tea/coffee you drink to start your day, once you know what works for you and if it a foundational decision that needs to be stable so that the other tasks you go about doing throughout your day will be successful, stick with it.

During my work week, I drink black tea or green tea. There are many amazing teas to drink, but to ensure the foundation of the start of my day is sturdy I drink tea I know I will enjoy. It’s not that I won’t try different teas when I travel, enjoy brunch on the weekend, etc.. All it means is that too often we choose coffee to try something new (as a tea drinker) on a work day that needs are focus. And if the coffee does not sit well with us, we just complicated our day unnecesarily.

8. When we worry, we waste our days away

Worry is a depletion of two precious commodities – our energy and our time. As I shared a few years ago, there are many benefits to be had when we banish worry (20 to be exact). And one priceless benefit is a return to a simpler way of living and thus improving of our everyday lives.

As I shared as the #1 of the linked post, often it is the “how” to banish worry that is hard. So let me share with you a four-step process you can follow to just that – banish unnecessary worry –  (1) write down exactly what you are worried about, (2) write down what you can do about it (3) decide the best course of action (4) start immediately to fulfill the course of action you’ve decided upon.

In other words, action is the choice you want to take when you don’t know what the outcome will be, rather than worrying.

9. Tell the truth (about what happened and who you truly are)

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
— found in Mark Twain’s notebook, 1894

On a surface level, as Twain points out, when we tell the truth, we don’t have to remember which story to whom, but on a much deeper level, when we tell the truth about who we are and reveal to the world who we actually are, we do not draw to ourselves those who think we are someone else. In other words, not everyone will be drawn to us in our authentic state, but those who are are individuals with whom we have a far greater chance of connecting in such a way that has the opportunity to last, deepen and lift each party involved to their fullest potential.

10. Respond rather than react

As I shared in the introduction in one of the examples of unnecessary complication, when we react, our emotions have us by the throat, but when we respond (while it may take more time), we are being thoughtful and inviting logic to join the conversation so to eliminate having to make apologies later.

The key to living simply throughout our everydays is to make sure where we can simplify, we are. Because when we reduce the complications that need not be in our lives, we open up vast, beautiful windows for the opportunities we seek to introduce themselves.

~SIMILAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:

~Why Not . . . Uncomplicate Your Life?

~Mastering the Complexity of Simplicity

~13 Benefits of Seeking Out Quality, episode #174

~The “How” of Tailored Simplicity 

Petit Plaisir:

~Getting Back to Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality and Turn Your Trials into Triumph by Marc & Angel Chernoff

~SPONSORS of Today’s Episode:

  • Troos skincare & apothecary – www.troosskin.com
    • promo code: SIMPLE for 30% off your purchase



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9 thoughts on “210: 10 Simple Things We Unnecessarily Complicate

  1. Oh, yes! Friends laugh at me when I say “I don’t do complicated”, but it’s true. I don’t get sucked into other people’s dramas or need for attention, I don’t indulge in my own residual need for drama or attention (I’ve gotten rid of 99% of both but it pops up now & again), I keep things simple & straight-forward. My “rules”: Tell the truth, don’t gossip, be kind, don’t delude yourself, take care of things right away, don’t make everything about yourself, don’t speak unless you’ve got something helpful or positive to say, stand up to bullies & for what’s right, not everything needs an answer, don’t feel obliged to explain, say no when you want to, apologize sincerely when you have to but don’t apologize for being you or taking care of yourself or not being/doing what someone else wants to make THEM happy. My mantra (once or 100 times a day): “keep it simple, be true, be brave”. It works!

  2. Really enjoyed this podcas Shannon.Lots of great advice. Couldn’t agree more.I have been on this journey of simplifying my life and having a routine and being a little selfish on my part has helped me to focus on what is important for an uncomplicated life. I am reaping the benefits now.Although I am still working on #8. Work in progress.
    I can feel your excitement for the 13th. On my calendar to pre-order. Looking forward to getting a copy. Have a great week😊

  3. Thanks so much for this podcast. I am balancing full time work with part time masters study, and it is often a struggle to get everything done along with keeping my house clean. Thanks so much for your excellent advice. It was exactly what I needed.

  4. Thank you so much Shannon for inspiring my life each time you share with us your thoughts and reflections.
    And a special “thank you” to Suzanne for her tips which make sense to me….
    Please apologize my mistakes, if any, when I write in English : I am a French woman living in France (in Angers where you studied, Shannon!!!) and so glad to enrich my philosophy of life thanks to TSLL community

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