embracing voluntary simplicity

embracing voluntary simplicity

“If you scale back your possessions and commitments to just what you really need, you will have more time and energy for those things that truly bring you joy and enrich your life.”

― Rachel Jonat, Do Less

Contrary to what most of us think, it is possible to live a rich life with less stuff. In order to do so, we can embrace voluntary simplicity, which basically translates to choosing the way we want to live our lives. It can help us in getting rid of the clutter that surrounds us so that we spend our time, money and energy on things that we really love. The main purpose of voluntary simplicity can be summed up in these words: Using the simplest and fewest things to create the maximum effect possible.

We can always make decisions that align with our values and priorities. We are constantly bombarded with information and options and an overabundance of choices. Due to these distractions, we end up participating in micro decisions throughout the day. Too many choices are paralyzing and deplete our willpower. The mental gymnastics throughout the day eventually causes us to experience decision fatigue. It’s true that our willpower is like a muscle that we can strengthen and we can create strategies to enhance it. But the fact that it is a finite resource still remains. Voluntary simplicity can help us minimize these constant distractions and disturbances. With deliberate and intentional planning, we can create routines, cultivate habits and automate mundane things. As we build up discipline and do things habitually, we don’t fatigue the reserves of our willpower. Limiting decisions and not second-guessing them and building potent routines can truly be a game changer. In other words, the secret of our wellness lies in living a simple and disciplined life.

If you enjoyed this essay and agree with the notion of “voluntary simplicity,” I’d encourage you to read my book Daily Minimalism (The Daily Learner, Book 4). The condensed timeless knowledge in the daily meditations will help you navigate through the complexities that come with modern living and guide you in your quest to living a happy and meaningful life.