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I've been going through a lot lately and have begun to wonder whether simplifying my life would help me keep my sanity.


I've been looking for literature on this very topic and haven't found much. I found a good article:




It makes good points, but I want more.


Do you guys feel there's a correlation between simplicity and quality of life?


Any other articles/books you could recommend would be great.
 

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Did you ever observe the simplicity of Japanese garden and house interior? It's almost perfect. It is not as perfect and precise as nature though. Observe a flower and look at its incredible precision, organized structure, perfection, and simplicity and beuaty, and then look at our society with all its complexities and problems. Disturbed, non-organized minds created this society and this society is sick. It's sick because of our way of thinking is sick. This is not fiction, it's a fact.

I have nothing and I am nothing and therefore I don't have problems but endless freedom. I think I am very healthty and I am also very satisfied. If you can accept what is right now through deep understanding and not through repression and cultivated discipline (it's not a flexible approach to a problem so it breaks very fast), then you have a healthy mind. When the mind is healthy, the body automatically follows, just make sure you exercise to keep it flexible. As soon as you want something or want to become something (adding things to your life that was already perfect), then it limits your life and reduces your freedom. So yes, there is a correlation to be found.

There is no book that tells you what is right. If there is such a thing, then you're just repeating what the book tells you and this pretty much makes you a second hand human being. So find out yourself and explore life without some guru telling you how to live your life.
 

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I'm simple in some things but complex in others. I don't feel the little at all unhealthy. For example I want my games to be complex like hell. Things I have no interest in I don't want to be complex at all (why the *beep* bother?).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You may want to look up an evolutionary perspective for happiness. i.e. imagine what our ancestors did to live a good life.
That I'll do. Thanks for the suggestion.

It's easy to see that as the world becomes more technologically advanced, it only becomes more difficult to keep our lives simple.
 

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That I'll do. Thanks for the suggestion.

It's easy to see that as the world becomes more technologically advanced, it only becomes more difficult to keep our lives simple.
Most people don't realize you can embrace technology to make your life simpler. Automatic bill pay removes the labor of paying for bills manually. With the internet, it's a lot easier to keep up with people. You can pretty much use technology to automate out the monotonous parts of life and allow you to live simpler if you choose so.
 

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I agree that living a simpler life leads to happiness, and give a healthier outlook. In this informational age, it really ages you a lot. I also come to realise that being on this forum actually damages a lot of aspect of my own personal life too. I do not know if other realises the actions they have on others also too. We can only sow what we reap. Reap simple things, life simple life.



Most people don't realize you can embrace technology to make your life simpler. Automatic bill pay removes the labor of paying for bills manually. With the internet, it's a lot easier to keep up with people. You can pretty much use technology to automate out the monotonous parts of life and allow you to live simpler if you choose so.
A lot of people indeed do realise this, but what the industry does not realise, or maybe they do not care any more, is because they churn out x number of gadgets and devices within a short space of time, and therefore the learning from individuals and uptake cannot occur. Even though in doing so keeps these companies alive and well and increases the economies. It actually affects the every day livelihood of the average person. There is also value in learning simple things which makes sense to people. Most gadgets are not "human friendly" or intuitives. Hence this big push now to make gadgets into this type as such.

But what a lot of advanced people realises or not realises is that, most people do not care for these things, cos they can do and use very simple things in every day life which they can achieve the same goal.
 

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A lot of people indeed do realise this, but what the industry does not realise, or maybe they do not care any more, is because they churn out x number of gadgets and devices within a short space of time, and therefore the learning from individuals and uptake cannot occur.
Or people could be like my buddy who has a flip phone. He had a smart phone for a while and was like, "Yeah this smart phone is cool and all but I don't want to be like everyone else and constantly be on it." He then eventually just got a flip phone where he can do basic calling and texting. I know when I initially move to Austin, I will get a cheap flip phone and the cheap talk\text plan. The ironic thing is I plan to develop apps for smart phones. Getting started out, I'll be using my iPod Touch and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 develop apps on. Eventually I might get a smart phone but data plans for them cost so much money. I mean people talk about paying $120 a month for their phones. When I first bought my car brand new, I took at $12,000 loan on it and my payments were $189 a month. Basically a brand new car had payments that weren't much more than what people pay for their cell phone plans.

Actually some of my app ideas will capitalize on conserving data plans or getting around having to have one in the first place.
 

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Or people could be like my buddy who has a flip phone. He had a smart phone for a while and was like, "Yeah this smart phone is cool and all but I don't want to be like everyone else and constantly be on it." He then eventually just got a flip phone where he can do basic calling and texting. I know when I initially move to Austin, I will get a cheap flip phone and the cheap talk\text plan. The ironic thing is I plan to develop apps for smart phones. Getting started out, I'll be using my iPod Touch and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 develop apps on. Eventually I might get a smart phone but data plans for them cost so much money. I mean people talk about paying $120 a month for their phones. When I first bought my car brand new, I took at $12,000 loan on it and my payments were $189 a month. Basically a brand new car had payments that weren't much more than what people pay for their cell phone plans.

Actually some of my app ideas will capitalize on conserving data plans or getting around having to have one in the first place.
Well, ask yourself this question, did you plan to start a business of your own, or did you wanted a phone that you can use to stay in touch with family and friends ? Do you realise how this simple gadget has now added another thing into your life and rechanged your priorities in life ?

I also wanted a simple phone with buttons to dial, so I got a blackberry, but then I realised that I do not talk to those family and friends as often as I liked too cos they are just as busy, but then I have to do something in order to reverse my life and make time for family.... now I want a phone that can give me skype. Cos I want to be as close to my family as I could. But I also realised that the spending does not equate and give me a solution which meets the objective truly.
 

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I've been going through a lot lately and have begun to wonder whether simplifying my life would help me keep my sanity.


I've been looking for literature on this very topic and haven't found much. I found a good article:





It makes good points, but I want more.


Do you guys feel there's a correlation between simplicity and quality of life?


Any other articles/books you could recommend would be great.

All I've found is that Simplicity leads to a boring life. In terms of it being good for physical and mental health, it's obvious that it would be since you got anxiety/worries, less stress etc... Say whats on your mind, think simple and be content. But again, really really boring.
 

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Well, ask yourself this question, did you plan to start a business of your own, or did you wanted a phone that you can use to stay in touch with family and friends ? Do you realise how this simple gadget has now added another thing into your life and rechanged your priorities in life ?
Well the main reason I'm getting a phone is to talk\text but it's also good to get information. The apps I want to make will make things easier when traveling and such. Basically make it a lot easier to travel and deal with the details of stuff so you don't have to worry as much and can focus more on enjoying your vacation versus stressing over the details. Also, this would apply to everyday life also. I guess I'm not specifically targeting just phones but things like tablets and computers.
 

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Do you guys feel there's a correlation between simplicity and quality of life?

It's easier to be less stressed when there are less things to overload you in your daily life, but a simpler routine or lifestyle can't guarantee anything. If your mind is not healthy, it will create conflict, stress and unhapiness no matter what.
I found this article (from the blog Zen Habits .net) where the author says:

"I’ve read about someone living in a log cabin in Alaska, with no electricity or running water or television or Internet. They chop wood from the forest outside to burn for heat and cooking. They use water from a nearby stream for drinking and bathing. They walk or bike to town to go to the library or to use the Internet. "

That's a pretty simple life, but when you picture this person in your mind, is he necessarily happy? He might be sad, longing for someone, depressed, etc. Or he can be pretty satisfied with his life and who he is. See?

You seem to already believe that a simple life makes people more happy, so why bother finding evidence of that correlation?
You can just invest on making your life more simple and see the results for yourself. Most articles talking about living some kind of life are not based on facts, they are just the insights of people who experienced this and that and want to share what they think that will be good for others too.

For me, the thing to pursuit is not a decluttered room or a spaced agenda. It's a clear mind.
Having a simple mind helps us enjoy more life and deal with the sad parts of it with less damage. Then, the simple or minimalist lifestyle comes naturally.




 

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Most people don't realize you can embrace technology to make your life simpler. Automatic bill pay removes the labor of paying for bills manually. With the internet, it's a lot easier to keep up with people. You can pretty much use technology to automate out the monotonous parts of life and allow you to live simpler if you choose so.
Technology only gives an illusion that it makes life "simpler" but I think it makes everything more complicated and gives too many extra things to think about that get in the way and add extra pressure that wouldn't exist otherwise. My family living far away thinks I don't like them all because I don't add them to Facebook ((even though I don't even have a Facebook)) and a friend I tried to reconnect with from my hometown wanted me to text her as communication instead of talking through other means ((but I can't text because I don't have a cell phone)). Today's communicative technology is growing at a rapid pace and it's hard to always keep up with it, so I gave up on trying. There is also huge swathes of information hitting you every second with modern communication technology and causes information overload really easily and become overwhelmed with things that complicate life even further. You may be confusing "simpler" life with "easier" life since new technology can make you stop worrying about things you previously spent a lot of anguished time over, but the communication technology of today just replaces old stressers with new ones. Suddenly people are super demanding of attention because hey it's "easier" to keep in touch now, so what excuse can a person possibly have for not talking? Oh, they must not like you anymore. And there is so much pure ADDICTION to just about anything involving modern technology. People feel obligated to do things that aren't actually important, like collecting Facebook friends and visiting a set of websites every single day that aren't even important. People in my generation will tell me they "can't live" without their gadgets and internet and crap, which I find very sad, especially when electronics can cause so much STRESS for people. Any commercial for cell phones makes owning one look stressful.

Modern society puts a lot of emphasis on always having the latest gadget and it's stressful for anyone who isn't interested in technology. Then with technology growth, everything gets more complicated the more tasks a piece of technology does. Solving a problem means going to a specialist instead of doing it yourself.

And then more problems arise when people rely too heavily on technology. I find it extremely sad people rely on GPS instead of learning to navigate themselves. People can't even find their way home without a GPS anymore, even in THEIR OWN TOWN. There is also the airline crash in San Francisco earlier this year where the cause of the crash was the pilot relying too much on computers to land the plane instead of knowing how to land it properly himself. Modern electronics technology doesn't do much besides teach people they don't actually need to learn functional skills anymore. Simplicity in life comes from knowing how to do things; not from having other things do all the work for you because there is a lot more peace of mind.

I probably sound like a hypocrite since I'm on the internet and using a computer, but my computer is 8 years old and when it dies, I don't plan to replace it. I remember life before having a computer and internet being so happy and free, while the internet feels like a prison a lot oft he time. I was more addicted to it when I was younger, but looking back, I feel stupid for ever buying into the internet world and ever since I've cut back my internet activity to two sites ((this one and an artist community)), I've felt like life has gotten less stressful. I imagine that once I give it all up for good, I'll feel even better.

"I’ve read about someone living in a log cabin in Alaska, with no electricity or running water or television or Internet. They chop wood from the forest outside to burn for heat and cooking. They use water from a nearby stream for drinking and bathing. They walk or bike to town to go to the library or to use the Internet. "
That actually sounds more like my ideal life. I often feel like I was born 300 years too late and I should have been a nomadic trapper/trader in the Pacific Northwest, camping out every night with a home base somewhere ((a cabin, I guess)) and being the master of my own life.
 

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Do you guys feel there's a correlation between simplicity and quality of life?

It's easier to be less stressed when there are less things to overload you in your daily life, but a simpler routine or lifestyle can't guarantee anything. If your mind is not healthy, it will create conflict, stress and unhapiness no matter what.
I found this article (from the blog Zen Habits .net) where the author says:

"I’ve read about someone living in a log cabin in Alaska, with no electricity or running water or television or Internet. They chop wood from the forest outside to burn for heat and cooking. They use water from a nearby stream for drinking and bathing. They walk or bike to town to go to the library or to use the Internet. "

That's a pretty simple life, but when you picture this person in your mind, is he necessarily happy? He might be sad, longing for someone, depressed, etc. Or he can be pretty satisfied with his life and who he is. See?

You seem to already believe that a simple life makes people more happy, so why bother finding evidence of that correlation?
You can just invest on making your life more simple and see the results for yourself. Most articles talking about living some kind of life are not based on facts, they are just the insights of people who experienced this and that and want to share what they think that will be good for others too.

For me, the thing to pursuit is not a decluttered room or a spaced agenda. It's a clear mind.
Having a simple mind helps us enjoy more life and deal with the sad parts of it with less damage. Then, the simple or minimalist lifestyle comes naturally.

There is joy in value and in automation which adds value. What is the use of a "tablet" or a tv when really, it removes the child from bonding with another human being ? The guy living in a log cabin can be so used to his lifestyle as well and he has much peace, but he is also of no use to society, cos he is too far removed from human interactions. If a woman cries in front of him, does he even know the relational skills to console her, or know what the right words to say ?

Where we spend the time is where we sow the seeds. If we spend time with gadgets, then we know how gadgets work. If we spend time with humans, then we know how humans work.

If I spend time learning how a gadget works and less time in spending talking to my mother. Then I get frustrated at losing my time with her, cos there is only so much time in a single day. I also spend time worrying if the gadget fails me and I lose connection, and I worry about her feelings and if she thinks I abandoned her etc. It is so simple...

The average person does not care for one another any more. The average person now knows how to "fix it", but they do not know how to care. The average person knows how to use words to describe things, or people, but they do not know how to be with another person and to care for their well-being. The average person is preoccupied with things, patterns, and seeing ideas and theories, but the average person does not know how that relates to people, their loved ones, and how it impact others.

The average person also know how to post on a forum, and get too self absorbed, but they forget to bond with their own families, or to create new bonds with others and add value to their own life. The average person can hide away from the difficult things, rather than to tackle the difficult things which comes their way in life and feel a sense of achievements. The average person learns how to stay distant and not disturb another person, rather than to check to see how their fellow friend is doing and if they need help with anything.
 

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Technology only gives an illusion that it makes life "simpler" but I think it makes everything more complicated and gives too many extra things to think about that get in the way and add extra pressure that wouldn't exist otherwise.
This pretty much explains it: Jevons paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

People need to be able to consciously draw a line. Too many people keep getting drawn more and more into it and don't draw a line so they ultimately end up more consumed by it as opposed to using it to liberate themselves.
 

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This pretty much explains it: Jevons paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

People need to be able to consciously draw a line. Too many people keep getting drawn more and more into it and don't draw a line so they ultimately end up more consumed by it as opposed to using it to liberate themselves.
This is called "addiction".
As with anything really. Addicted to things, addiction to exercises, and loses time with people, too addicted to people and forget to deal with their lives etc. Addicted to arguing but there is no substance behind their words as they have not lived through that in life. Too addicted to knowledge and has no understanding or ideas on how to apply it to their own lives. Too addicted to theories and it removes them from their own immediate environments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I know the more stuff I purge in anticipation of my cross-country move, it seems the less clutter helps bring down stress levels. It seems like clutter also sucks a lot of energy also.
I've noticed the same.

Not just clutter but complicating matters in general seems to make me anxious. There's nothing like keeping it simple!
 

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Yes absolutely. I keep my phone on silent, mostly use cash, don't own a car, and cover my eyes when I sleep with a piece of cloth so I get real darkness.

I could simplify more, I probably spend too much time on forums.

Modern life overtaxes the nervous system, and people run themselves ragged just so they can have expensive things, at the expense of their mental health, their families, and the environment.

The U.S. is imbalanced towards masculine energy and vata or cold, dry energy which leads to being high strung or nervous.

By masculine energy I mean going, doing, competing, aggression, acquisition...before someone gets mad.

Every thing in balance.
 
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