02 February 2012

Step 2: Simple Living As Men's Trait

A full list of the Simple Living Challenge steps can be found here.

A full list of the Simple Living Challenge steps can be found here. On the 2nd step of the Simple Living Challenge I would like to give credit where it's due. We wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for my husband. Through his patience and gentle encouragement our family set on the simplifying journey about 6 years ago.

My struggle with simplification
Truth be told, I didn't embrace simplification right away. I was coming from a busy European capital, where the outer meant way more than the inner. I was always in a hurry, stressed out, busy and way out of connection with my inner self. Of course I read books about self improvement and thought I was following their advice but that constant hum of the busy city wouldn't leave me alone. It wouldn't let me hear my genuine thoughts.

I had the latest gadget, a wardrobe overflowing with clothes in the latest fashion, I was eating out almost every evening and the two tiny weekend days of relative serenity passed like a short and indistinct clasp. Year after year I thought I was chasing my goals, I thought I was ambitious and lead a purposeful life while at the same time I was just following someone else's dreams.

I am telling you all this with the sole purpose of assuring you that I too haven't always been actively simplifying my life. And I want you to know that wherever you are in life you can start the process. There is no obstacle big enough to stop you and no reason can hold its ground once you decide that simple living is what you aim for.

Simple living as men's trait
Photo: Kanelstrand

Men are happier than women
Since it is my husband who I am able to observe each day, the more I think about it the more persuaded I get that simplifying is a man's business. That is why you rarely hear them talking about it - they just know what pure simplicity is and they flourish in it.

According to research men are happier than women. Do you know why? Because they spend more time doing what they love to do! Why not learn from them! I can feel your rage already and I know you have a whole list of reasons why men can and women can't but hey, we live in a modern world, don't we. Women already can do anything men can. Long gone are the years when women were forced into staying at home and out of schooling or work. Whatever we do now it's because we want it. Yes, I mean it. You are here today as a result of your past thoughts, dreams or nightmares. And as Carl Bard puts it:
Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
You are not obliged to take all responsibilities of the world. In fact, nobody wants that from you. Even without you the world will keep turning around. Only when you realize that, but I mean truly, deeply grasp the knowledge that things will go on the same way even without you - only then you will be free to continue with the Simple Living Challenge. I am serious. We, women need to let go sometimes.

You can do this!
I encourage you to observe the man close to you. It could be your husband, your father, your brother, your father-in-law, you choose. See him in a new light, from the eyes of a stranger and learn from him. There is at least one area of life you can learn to simplify just by watching him. If you are a man, look deep in yourself and find out how women have influenced your performance and attitude to life.

Share your experience: Tell us what you learned from men today. What aspect of men's attitude to life can you adapt with positive results? If you are a man, what can you do to simplify with better results?

See also:
Step 1: Embrace Your Imperfections
Step 3: The Rules of Simple Home Organization
Step 4: Simple Crafting for Happy People
Step 5: Simple Scheduling and Planning Routines
Step 6: Spend More Time With the People You Love 
Step 7: Spend More Time Alone
Step 8: Connect to Your Inner Self 
Step 9: How to De-Stress 
Step 10: Learn to Live With Less and Enjoy it
Step 11: Start a Debt-Free Life
Step 12: How to Overcome Consumerism 
Step 13: Declutter Your Life  
Step 14: Get Rid of Toxic Cosmetics and Reclaim Your Natural Self  
Step 15: Wean Off Plastic  
Step 16: Celebrate Your Story
The Final Step: Gratitude 

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