15 Illuminating Quotes on the Art of Simple Living
Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. ~John Maeda
What do you think of when you hear the term simple living? How about extreme frugality … or maybe monks living the austere life in a mountainside monastery?
Okay, so I’m exaggerating … but I’ll bet one of your first thoughts was it means having to give up all your stuff.
It is true that for many people minimizing possessions and living a more frugal lifestyle are key elements, but I have a little different interpretation that I’d like to share with you.
Try thinking of simple living as clearing out the cluttered spaces of your life so that those things that are your dreams and goals are ensured a place. It means living intentionally and not getting caught up in the infamous tyranny of the urgent but learning to keep your eyes focused on your highest life priorities.
It means making the time to figure out what those priorities are!
Since we all have different priorities, simple living will naturally look different for each one of us. Yes, we all have the same basic priorities…food, water, shelter, clothing; but beyond those, our priorities are very different, and that’s okay.
If you choose to, you can learn to live in such a way that, whatever your priorities, they are always adequately provided for. It may mean making changes, even sacrificing some of those items and commitments in the middle so that the ones on top have more space to survive and grow.
Simplifying your life doesn’t have to mean boring or dull. In fact quite the opposite, it means embracing a life full of satisfaction, joy and more memorable moments.
Following are 15 illuminating quotes to inspire you to simplify your life …
- A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar. ~Victoria Moran
- To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter … to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring … these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs
- Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power, vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art. ~Richard Holloway
- Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, now that’s creativity. ~Charles Mingus
- Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius
- Life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. Each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals … a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered. ~Nicholas Sparks
- Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify. ~Henry David Thoreau
- In the West we have a tendency to be profit-oriented, where everything is measured according to the results and we get caught up in being more and more active to generate results. In the East — especially in India — I find that people are more content to just be, to just sit around under a banyan tree for half a day chatting to each other. We Westerners would probably call that wasting time. But there is value to it. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches us about love. The success of love is in the loving — it is not in the result of loving. ~Mother Teresa
- I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all encumbrances and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run. ~Henry David Thoreau
- The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go. ~Steve Maraboli
- People who pride themselves on their “complexity” and deride others for being “simplistic” should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth. ~Thomas Sowell
- Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus. ~Ann Voskamp
- I am not a genius, I am just curious. I ask many questions. And when the answer is simple, then God is answering. ~Albert Einstein
- Things are never as complicated as they seem. It is only our arrogance that prompts us to find unnecessarily complicated answers to simple problems. ~Muhammad Yunua
- Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. ~Robert Brault
If you have a favorite simple living quote, or an experience you’d like to share please consider contributing to the conversation by leaving a comment below.
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