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I’m an avid movie-watcher. I like pretty much any genre with a slight exception for horror (I’m not big on the jumpiness). Over the past decade I’ve enjoyed the resurgence in superhero flicks as many big-name franchises have received the reboot to great effect.

Recently, while watching “Man of Steel”, I was particularly struck by one of the flashback scenes. A young Clark Kent is having trouble controlling his powers at school and runs in a hurry to a nearby janitor’s closet for some solitude. Sitting there, quietly shaking in desperation, his mother comes to the door. While Clark can hear his peers discussing what a freak he is, the warm voice of his mother brings him back to reality.

Clark protests to his mother that the world is simply too big. She calmly asks him to make it small. She asks him to imagine her voice to be an island and for him to just swim toward it.

This scene stuck out for me as I have often searched over the years for the best way to live my life. I think the answer is as simple as depicted in the scene above. The key is to shrink the scope of life down to a manageable size. So much of the discontent that people experience in the world has to do with trying to take on too much at once in the pursuit of impressing others.

Without keeping life in check, social media and the endless barrage of inane news “stories” will see to it that we lose our sense of self. We have allowed ourselves to be seduced by large corporations into believing we need so much to just get by when really life doesn’t need to be complicated. We sadly twist things up by inviting the superfluous to distract us.

Prioritize

With so much competing for a sliver of our consciousness, it is important to not lose one’s ability to prioritize. You are the captain of the ship that is your life. As captain, there is no substitute for intentionally deciding what deserves a place in your life. To make things easy, only allow that which adds value to your life to actually be in it. Anything that doesn’t provide a positive can safely be discarded.

Each of our hearts only has so many beats in it and each one spent on something that doesn’t actually matter is a precious tick of the clock you cannot get back.

What Is Rich?

We spend a lot of time on this website discussing investments and different ideas that contribute to a rich life. What we continually find in our quest for the Philosopher’s Stone is that richness has less to do with money and more with how we relate to life in general. Someone with a million dollars who wants to spend two million has an insatiable thirst they cannot quench and will remain poor. They have allowed the world to get too big for them. Someone who lives comfortably with what they have no matter what they have has the potential – the seedling – of a life that could be rich.

By controlling the scope of your life and consciously deciding what matters to you and what does not, you put yourself in the driver’s seat of life. Whether you need a designer tag on every piece of clothing you own or not, the decision is always yours. There’s a trade-off that is always taking place when you make a purchase. Every dollar you spend on frivolities tacks on a bit more time that you may remain in financial bondage. Every dollar you allocate toward investments brings you that much closer to financial freedom.

Conclusion

Life is as simple as you’d like to make it. A dog doesn’t ask how much you spent on their collar or the food they eat. They simply go about their day trying to be as happy as possible. There’s something to be said for being content with what we have in life.

Be wary of anything that tries to find a place in your life. Permit only that which adds value and err on the side of simplicity.

Ryan

Do you lead a simple life? How do you keep things uncomplicated?

Note: I was inspired to put this post together by a TEDx Talk and, of course, by watching superhero movies.

Pictures courtesy of pixabay.com

5 thoughts on “Make Life Easy

  1. Karen says:

    I like to think I lead a relatively simple life when it comes to my finances. I’m not really into the fancy/flashy things and tend to think twice/multiple times before I purchase something. My only achilles heel is travelling, but I try to save for it in advance.

    Sometimes I feel I’m making my life more complicated by contemplating the thought of possibly going through a career change when I already have a secure, steady job. But as you know already, I just want to be happy with my job, which in turn I believe will make me more happy overall. It can so simple for people, yet at the the same time it can be really difficult for otherstrying to reach that state.

    I’m more of an avid reader, but the last couple of movies I saw I really enjoyed: The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game. Both interesting movies about geniuses.
    Karen recently posted…I Replaced Myself With a Robot at WorkMy Profile

    1. Karen,

      Both excellent movies that you mention… for some it often comes so “easily” to realize what their passion is in life. In other cases it is simply hyper-dramatized for a Hollywood production. For less, the “passion” is less defined and easy to act on.

      I believe the main thing is for people to work at something they believe in and be consistent about it. Too many people become discouraged at the first sign of trouble. There’s a quote that goes something like this, “Obstacles are what you see when you take your mind off of your goals”, and I believe that’s true.

      When you singularly focus on what you really want, life actually simplifies itself. With a clearly defined target, all of life boils down to things that contribute to the attainment of the goal versus things that do not.

      As for your career change, it’s a touchy subject that only you, in the pit of your stomach, know the correct answer to. The going-advice would be to at least figure out “what’s next” before taking the plunge and stepping out of a relatively safe career path, despite your serial-job-changing path you’ve already taken.

      I’m confident you’ll make the right choice,
      – Ryan

  2. Allan says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Totally true! Life can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it (in most part). We have a lot more control over our life than what most people think.

    And when something from “the big world” comes into our life to complicate things out, we still have a lot of control on what we’ll do about it.

    Great inspiring post!
    Allan recently posted…Falling back into my old bad habits of listening the spending devil inside of meMy Profile

    1. Thanks for stopping in, Allan.

      I think that’s what it comes down to… we all have a lot more “say” in what we do with life than we give ourselves credit for. It’s all-too-easy to abdicate responsibility for one’s life and complain about working conditions or pay, but the buck really stops with the choices we make.

      Take care!
      – Ryan

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