Life’s a Breeze When You Work As Hard at Simplifying It As You Do at Complicating It

Yes, life is tough. But life can be a lot easier when we keep things simple. Surprisingly, you would think that human beings would work at simplifying their lives, but the opposite is true. Given a choice between a simple way and a complicated way of doing things, most people will choose the complicated. Preposterous as it may seem, some of us will even spend time inventing a complex way when none is immediately available.

No question, we do not need to make our lives more difficult. Given the opportunity, plenty of other individuals in this world will gladly do this for us. Life’s unexpected events will also put our creativity to the ultimate test without our having to create our own special difficulties.

The words you, are least likely to hear from anyone in American society today are “My life is way too simple.” Fact is, most individuals make their lives way too complicated and wonder why they have so many big headaches and major problems.

Why people make their lives unnecessarily complicated is a mystery to philosophers and psychiatrists alike. I am just as amazed at how far out of their way most people will go to find a myriad of methods to complicate their personal and business lives. They waste a lot of money, time, and energy on pursuing things that bring them nothing in return. They may also hang around people who will do them absolutely no good.

All of us, to some extent or another, practice the philosophy of my good friend Todd Lorentz, who stated, “Just living in this world is a psychotic pursuit.” At some point in our lives we all have the tendency to make our lives unbelievably complex and depressing. We manage to do this with our material possessions, work-related activities, relationships, family affairs, thoughts, and emotions. As is to be expected, we are unable to achieve as much as we would like because we invite too many physical and mental distractions into our lives.

Yet life’s a  breeze  when we work  as  hard  at simplifying  it as we do  at complicating it. If you are the type of person who can’t leave home without four-fifths of your personal possessions, it’s time to lighten up a little on your journey through life. Without delay, get rid of the burdens that have become a drain on your time, space, money, and energy. Do something today to make your life less complicated.

To enjoy life to the fullest, you must periodically identify the things that complicate your existence. This applies to both the personal and career aspects of your life. Make a list of the things that no longer serve a worthwhile purpose in your world. Ask your friends to add to this with suggestions as to how you can simplify things. Your friends may see much opportunity where you may see none.

Sure, you didn’t invent complexity. You do your absolute best to perfect it at times, however, don’t you? Keep in mind that making the simple complex doesn’t take ingenuity. Making the complex simple –    now, that’s ingenuity!

Apply common sense and you won’t have much difficulty in simplifying your existence. This is about getting the excess baggage out of your life. “No man can swim ashore,” observed the Roman philosopher and dramatist Seneca, “and take his baggage with him.” To be sure, life is much easier if you don’t carry excess baggage.

Whatever your destination, you can’t afford to carry excess baggage for too long. On trains and airlines, it will cost you extra money. On the trip called life, it will cost you much more than money. At best, you won’t succeed in achieving your goals as quickly as you otherwise would. At worst, you will never succeed in attaining your goals. Not only will this deprive you of satisfaction and happiness, but it could cost you your sanity in the end.

101 – Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting  – Ernie J. Zelinski


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Change Your Mind

A reporter once asked Mother Teresa about her response to one of his questions. “Several months ago,” he stated, “you said ‘such and such’ and now you are saying something completely different. How do you explain the change in your position?” The saintly woman looked kindly at the man, smiled, and said simply, “I changed my mind. I did not know then what I know now.”

What a simple concept! How many of us carry around beliefs and opinions that no longer fit with who we are, simply because we have always believed them? How many times have you held onto a limiting belief, saying, “That’s the way I have always felt”? We have been taught that being consistent and unchanging is a positive characteristic, whereas changing our mind is a shortcoming. We have all heard someone who is “stable or rock solid” described with respect, while someone who changes her opinions gets called “wishy- washy.” I am challenging this concept. Sure, consistency is worth developing in certain aspects of our lives. Trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, and dependability are all attributes worth striving for; however, it makes absolutely no sense to hold on to beliefs and opinions that do not serve us in the present just because they were true for us in the   past.

Give yourself permission to change your mind.


We are allowed to change our minds! As a matter of fact, if we do not change them, we  are in for a real struggle. Perhaps one of the leading causes of frustration is the fact that, while we are led to believe that it is good to be consistent, the world we live in is in a state of constant change. Every part of our lives, our planet, and our bodies, for that matter, are  in a constant state of flux, while human beings, by nature, tend to resist  change.

Herein lies the problem! We resist change in an ever-changing world. Resisting change in the face of a constantly changing environment has to be the height of insanity. Considering the pace at which the world is changing, it is important to learn to embrace change in our own lives. Give yourself permission to change. Reevaluate your beliefs and opinions and see if they are still true for you in this period in your growth.

Remember the old adage: “When one door closes, another one opens.” If you look back, I’m sure you will find this has been true throughout your life.

Handbook to a Happier Life—A Simple Guide to Creating the Life You’ve Always Wanted – Jim Donovan
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Criticize with Kindness

Two people who deeply love each other over a lifetime will encounter many situations where criticism is appropriate. However, no  matter how well-meaning the criticism, it is always best to express your point of view kindly, with the goal of not hurting your partner’s feelings. “Kindness,” wrote Mark Twain, “is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” When we are gentle, our partner senses our intention to help.


If we have an opinion about a course of action, any advice we offer may give the appearance of arrogance or insensitivity that can turn off the person on the receiving end. It is judicious to present your sound judgment in a loving manner. We can never be too kind when we are being honest. The wiser the advice, the greater the need to convey it in a generous, warmhearted way.

The more we practice the habit of speaking kindly, the better we can be understood. Remember also Benjamin Franklin’s wise advice: “They that will not be counseled, cannot be helped.”

It is best not to be a fault-finder with petty, nagging criticism. Some people are disposed to finding fault and they carp, complain, and quibble. Whenever two lovers get in the habit of beginning their criticism “you never” or “you always,” it is not a good beginning.

It is wise not to cause unnecessary tension by picking at minor mistakes. If something is frustrating you—cat food in the kitchen sink or a toilet seat left up, wait until you are calm and centered to mention it. Think of all the compliments you have for your lover before you make a critical suggestion.

Happiness for Two –  Alexandra Stoddard


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Optimism or Delusion?

You’ve had a perfectly miserable day at work. Your hours have been cut back. There’s no more over­ time. The new boss has suddenly decided to give all her attention to reorganizing your  department (which basically means finding fault with everything you’ve done), regardless of the fact that you’ve been doing things for umpteen years exactly the way you were told to by your recently terminated old boss. Then your car broke down on the way home. You spent a miserable two hours waiting for the tow truck. When you finally get through the door and recount your tale of woe to your loving husband, what does he blithely say? “Oh, don’t worry, dear, everything will turn out just fine.”

You could scream. What the heck does that mean? “Everything will turn out just fine”? Everything is awful! Disastrous! Didn’t he hear a word you just said? Maybe not. You give your husband the benefit of  the  doubt. You recount  the  whole story all over again, he listens sympathetically; then says, “It’ll be all right. You just have to be more positive. Everything’s going to turn out just fine.” Sure, you think. And Santa Claus is real. Off you go to drown your sorrows in whatever’s handy.

Well, actually, your husband’s words hold a grain of truth. Adopting a positive attitude is indeed the key. Unfortunately; when a positive attitude isn’t backed up with a positive approach and an action plan, that key won’t open any doors to  solutions. This is why “being positive” or “optimism” has acquired such a bad rap. Merely using positive words or having an optimistic vocabulary isn’t effective. Transforming a negative situation into a positive one requires a change in approach  and action. Everything turns out fine when you have the courage to deliberately go about making it turn out fine. True positivity takes guts.

In your work situation, for example, drop your preconceptions about how things “should” be done, quit defending how you did them, and focus on learning your new boss’ preferences. Become her most willing student and you will absolutely benefit.

As for your car, schedule regular mainte­ nance visits. Shop around for a service center and/or a towing service that meets your cur­ rent needs, not those you had fifteen years ago. Use your new-found positive attitude to figure out appropriate approaches and actions that will bring you the positive results you want.

Words alone don’t cut it. If you’re diag­nosed with a dreadful disease, saying, ”Well, things always turn out for the best,” and leav­ing it at that isn’t optimism; it’s delusion. Things turn out for the best when you pur­posefully look for ways to make them turn out for the best and then pursue those avenues.

Bear in mind that “the best” may be different things to different people. For one person with a dreadful disease, “the best” is seeing an opportunity to totally revamp their habits and lifestyle. For another it may be the opportunity to clean up old emotional business. The particular benefit you find within the negative situation is itself unimportant; it’s the ability to find a positive, and to go after it with gusto, that is essential.

The Power of Appreciation in Everyday Life – Dr. Noelle C. Nelson



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Learn to Think on Your Feet

Being able to think on your feet is the result of training and discipline. You can’t sprint unless you have built up the strength to do so. Building the stamina is up to you. If you don’t work at it,  it’s not going to happen by wishful thinking. You have to dedicate yourself to it every day. In other words, set a goal and work toward it. Athletes know that no one else can do the training for them, and business people should have the same discipline. You have to be self-reliant.

Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish I’d thought of that!”? I’ve heard people say that when they come across something very clever or something fantastic. One way to learn to think on your feet is to ask yourself what you should be thinking of this very moment. Do it right now, and then see other people saying,“I wish I’d thought of that—what a great idea!” You’d be surprised how many good ideas you might have if you’d give yourself the opportunity to think about them.Thinking takes time. It’s the preparation for being able to think on your feet. First things first: First we walk, then we run, then we sprint.

You can accomplish a lot by applying your brainpower and then moving forward with it.Thought without action won’t amount to much in the long run. Those great ideas you have will remain great ideas unless you actively do something with them.

Don’t wait for dire circumstances to test your quick-thinking ability. Test yourself daily. Be on alert at all times.As Napoleon said, “A leader has the right to be beaten, but never the right to be surprised.” See yourself as a leader—starting right now. It will mean you are self-reliant, responsible, and not apt to being unnecessarily surprised by the vicissitudes of life, whether you are in business or not. Being prepared cannot be overestimated, and if you want to hit the big time running, you’d better be able to think on those feet of yours.

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If you are able to feel hurt, you are also able to heal that hurt. When someone has angered you, or frustrated you, annoyed you, offended you or made you feel hurt in some other way, you too have been an active participant in that hurt. That’s not to say that what they did was right or that it is excusable. It wasn’t and it isn’t.


Still, your best strategy is to get past it. The hurt you feel is all yours to the extent that you’ve chosen to experience it. So make the choice to stop experiencing it.

Forgiveness is far more beneficial for you than for the person you are forgiving. So by all means practice it! The longer you delay your forgiveness, the more  you are victimized by the original transgression.

No matter how ill intentioned are the actions of another toward you, your forgiveness signals that you are not willing to participate in your own victimization. It’s a powerful strategy. Forgive, and make your life more positive, productive, joyful and fulfilling.

 — Ralph Marston
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Always Look Toward Solutions

When it comes to relationships, you have look toward solutions that move them forward – and not the problems that keep them stagnant

Too often we focus on the problems of a relationship, such  as  people’s  past transgressions that  hurt  us, or workplace pettiness. Always focusing on the problems we have with people can make us stuck, sometimes so much that we can appear  bitter.


You have to get past this if you want your  relationships to  grow and become what you envision them to be. Of course, life   will give you lots of practice because ever-changing situations and circumstances throw us curve balls all the time, and that keeps our relationships  in  motion.

The goal is to look for solutions that move your relationships  in the right direction, in a way that deepens respect, trust, and camaraderie.

151 Quick Ideas to Improve Your People Skills – Robert Dittmer
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