Do less

Sometimes in life when you want things to pan out a certain way you end up putting in a grand effort hoping to increase your chances of an ideal outcome.

In some cases this might work but in other cases it doesn’t. And when things don’t work out you might find yourself frustrated wondering what you did wrong and what you should have done differently.

The answer is often much simpler than we anticipate. You don’t need to work yourself to the bone, having life turn out the way you want doesn’t require hard energy draining labour. Often all you need to do is set things up and allow them to fall into place.

Order status update

I recently placed an online order from a beauty retailer and one from a fashion retailer. Both orders were delayed and the companies handled things totally differently.

One company handled it by providing regular email updates on the status of my order, to apologise for their delay and assure me that I’d receive my parcel as soon as possible.

The other company did nothing, in fact I had to contact them to try and find out what the issue was.

Something as simple as an email was enough for me to feel like a company cared. It wasn’t personal but the choice to send an update gave the message that they value their customers enough to let them know what is going on.

I think sometimes we underestimate the impact that something simple can have. But you don’t always have to solve the problem, sometimes just acknowledging that there is one is more than enough.

The simple life

I recently came across a short story that got me thinking about the way that we live. The gist of the story was that other people will try to convince us that instead of living a simple life that we are happy with now, we should be working hard so that we can live a simple life that we are happy with later.

We’re told that we should chase money and success until we can chase no more then we should settle down and enjoy life, finally reaping the rewards of our hard work.

But what if you could enjoy life right now.

Many people want a simple life but they’re taught that it’s not enough, they’re told that they should want more. And so they they sacrifice internal happiness for external validation and then they end up on a path that they don’t truly want to be on. But they plough on and on with the hopes that one day they can break free and live life the way they always wanted to. Often that time is retirement when you’re no longer required to work.

But if all you want to do is live in a little house by the coast and grow food and flowers in your back garden, why wait until you retire. Why not do it now instead of later?

Feeling stuck

Do you ever have those days when you feel stuck and even though you know exactly what you need to do to get unstuck, you still do nothing?

And what you need to do could be incredibly simple. It could be as simple as watching your favoutite Key and Peele sketch on youtube, listening to your favourite pick me up song or maybe a breathwork mediation.

You might feel like doing something simple won’t help or maybe you feel like you don’t have the time. But it’s important to make the time because the feeling of being stuck won’t go away unless you do something about it.

Cheap, easy and accessible

Every once in a while I am reminded of the power of taking a walk in nature.

It is calming, refreshing, relaxing and simple.

If you haven’t done it for a while, I’d recommend it.

You’ll often find that some of the most helpful things are the cheapest, easiest and most accessible. But instead we end up looking to things that are expensive, difficult and challenging to obtain.

I think the reason for this is that we assume that big problems will require big solutions. Or if you’re not ready to work at something, you can use the excuse of the solution being out of reach, something you don’t have access to.

It can be difficult to comprehend that the very thing you need to help make things better, is something you can do right now.

What to do when it’s not working

If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. It really is that simple yet we often end up making things more complicated than they need to be.

We moan and complain about the way things are and daydream about the way we wish things could be. But we forget that actually things can change and things can be different if we choose another option. In moments it might seem like you’re stuck but there are always options available to you.

Choosing a different way may require patience and it might not be easy but trying something new is much better than sticking with what’s not working.

Simple pleasures

When what you can do becomes limited you start finding pleasure in the smaller things. It’s not necessarily that these things meant nothing to you before but when you get caught up in the flurry of life it can be easy to over look the little things.

However, sometimes the case is that you’re so focused on spending time doing something considered big that you don’t even make time for things like a stroll at sunset.

But right now, when we aren’t able to do the big things, the little things will have to do. The thing is though, when all you can do is the little things, you’re likely to find that they’re actually pretty great.

The little things are overlooked because they’re simple and easy to do and so we tell ourselves that we need more. But we don’t, at least not as much as we think we so.

You need to do better

Think of something that you’re currently working on and ask yourself with no judgement, can I do better?

When you’re not getting what you want out of life and things aren’t quite going your way, it’s easy to blame external things.

But sometimes the reason things aren’t working out is because you need to do better.

Maybe you’ve gotten lazy or maybe you weren’t aware of the effort required.

Once you’ve realised you need to do better, do better.

Yes, it really is that simple.

Playing games

Games are a great way to spend time with people and have fun. They’re even better when you can play them away from a screen.

To some board games may seem old fashioned but they’ve managed to stand the test of time. Some games have been around for over a hundred years.

We like them because they’re simple, they remind us of our childhood and most of all they’re fun.

It doesn’t matter that there’s an online version because that cannot compare to the worn out game board, mismatched dice and random counters contained within the box.

The difference between right and wrong

Right now there are a lot of discussions about what is right and wrong.

More often than not we consider it to be black and white. Of course in some cases it is that clear but there are also many cases where the waters are murky.

Robin Hood was known for stealing from the rich to give to the poor. stealing is considered wrong in society yet Robin Hood was never promoted as the bad guy becuase he had good intentions and was helping people.

I think a key part of figuring out right and wrong is looking at the intention behind the action. It also helps to put yourself in the other persons shoes.

Just because you don’t agree with a persons actions, doesn’t mean you have to bring out the pitchforks.