Life as most people know it is the most complex system ever created, consisting of an infinite number of possibilities, responsibilities and outcomes. It’s no wonder that so many of us are daunted by life’s various obstacles and challenges. From working, paying bills and raising children to vacationing, learning and growing, life can easily become overwhelming. How then can we generalize a solution for remedying the complexity that is life? How can we take back control over the ares of our lives that we allowed to go by to wayside?

To begin with, we need to put things into perspective by opening our eyes and seeing the big picture, something so many of us struggle with. I don’t mean ‘big picture’ in terms of the world, rather, in terms of your world. Where do you see yourself in one, five, ten years? What kind of experiences do you want to have had? Who do you want to be? The old cliché ‘You can be anything!’ is absolutely true and here’s a little known secret, there’s no timeframe for this being your reality. Sure, professional football might be out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t coach. There’s always another approach, more than one way to skin a cat, as it were. No law or rule in existence states that you must settle and nowhere do they set an age limit for pursuing your dreams.

Still, life can be hard. There’s grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, driving, vehicle maintenance, house repairs, accidents, messes and in some cases sheer deprivation, not to mention negativity, hate, fear, pain, war and the news. How can we uncomplicate what sometimes seems impossibly complicated? The answer isn’t always easy and it’s unique for each individual, but in the end it’s about simplifying our lives and focusing on what truly matters first. Only then can we liberate ourselves from the complexities that life has to offer.

Simplifying our lives can in and of itself be a difficult chore. The beauty of this particular obstacle, however, is that as we do more it actually becomes easier because the whole point of simplification is to remove clutter and instead focus on the essentials, basics, principles and/or fundamentals. Of course, focusing on these things will result in them becoming more of an instinctive, reflexive habit than a thought-filled task, meaning they will eventually seem to happen naturally. Simplifying means ridding our minds and itineraries of anything that could be considered excess or hinders our ultimate growth or vision. We shouldn’t accept wasting time, it’s the most precious commodity in the entire world and the only one we all have the same amount of everyday. We have to search deep within ourselves to uncover what really matters to us and then we must use our time to pursue our journey based on these discoveries.

 “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

-Confucius

This isn’t a new idea, simplicity, on the contrary many over the course of history have spoken about the necessity of simplicity. Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Why is this so? Perhaps it’s because we’re too set in our ways to believe that another option exists, or maybe we just don’t believe that things can actually be simple because we believe that we’ve never experienced anything simple. No matter what the case may be, we have to get past any skepticism we have that life can be purely simple.

Talking about simplifying our lives is easy, actually taking the action necessary to accomplish our goals is another thing entirely. We have to be resilient to doubt and instead focus our attention on taking and maintaining action, one step at a time, one day at a time. We have to keep faith that our efforts will yield wondrous results of untold value. It’s tempting to take breaks because life is most definitely a tough gig sometimes, but trust me when I say that consistency is key. Earn a break by maintaining your drive and keep chiseling away at your pursuits a little everyday, even if you only make a small step, it’s a step nonetheless. This doesn’t mean you won’t fail or step backwards, it just means that a step backwards is better than no step at all. A step backwards means you learned something, no step at all means you’re just the same as you were.

To put it bluntly, simplification is necessary. The variety life has to offer is both wonderful and alluringly dangerous; it has the potential to open doors for you or drown you in its noise. So take a breath and listen to what your heart is telling you, remove the unnecessary dribble from your day to day and start living a life worth living, down a path worth traveling.