Simplify your life

This is a time of extraordinary change. Change is always with us, but this is spectacular. Among the highlights, China is in the ascendant, and the USA in decline. There is exponential growth in world population, which is aging fast. There are environmental battles, public finances out of control, dysfunctional governments. There are computers everywhere you turn and the information age overshadows everything we do. Islam is on the move again.

Change makes for complexity, and we, the pawns, are in the middle of it all.

There is social /lifestyle upheaval. Old values are changing. And like it or not, none of us can go back.

These must be exceptional times.

Coping with all this without a sense of control is stressful, if we can’t get our bearings straight.

New Villains on the block

Continuous change has always been with us. That said things have moved on and entirely new villains have appeared on stage in the last 25 years – there is a raft of new”stuff” on the agenda for most of us.

Topping the list is the information explosion. After 2 million years our race is swamped by the Information age, including a daily tsunami of details to surf through, sign off or ignore, creating a “lifestyle” that takes us away from our biological origin. Our memory becomes flooded with stuff – mostly useless.

Solutions

To deal with all this there is a need for a code to live by, values which mean something, and a way to manage time effectively.

Unfortunately life never came with an instruction book. In most cases the family can’t help, nor can religion. Here are a few suggestions.

Develop your philosophy

For a start by try reading Ecclesiastes, Buddha, Aurelius and other sages and what they have to say about the simple life.

· Not for you?! Seriously, getting a perspective is important! Try researching practical systems, not religious dogma

· And then bring things up to date with the advances in the last 300 years. Because if there is one thing for sure, we do now know a heck of a lot more than these “gurus” ever did about the real world, everything in it, and outside it. Face it – the old beliefs were all guesswork when it comes to medicine, astronomy, etc, we have immeasurably more knowledge now.

We suggest finding out what works for you. Start “Finding Your Own Light”.

Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time (Theodore Roosevelt)

Philosophy is well and good, even vital, but time is what we have to manage in daily life.

Managing our time is so much easier said than done, but few would doubt that it is one of modern life’s biggest challenges in the “advanced” countries. Simplifying and improving the way we spend time will be one of the most important skills needed to navigate through the 2020’s
· Observe your perception of time passing because time plays tricks on your mind

· Balance time and goals. Focus is the key – we all have the same number of hours per day, even the president of the USA. It’s a matter of developing skills in prioritising our efforts, combined with a sense of what really matters

· Use the time. “If you can make the unforgiving minute count… ” Kipling was right. But the problem is that we are not computers, not machines. Part of the trick is to allocate block times and objectives within; then stand back a little in order to achieve a kind of “relaxed intensity”. Set up a series of small goals and get that feeling of success as you knock them off

· Time and stress. Meaningless deadlines, meaningless data and information, meaningless peer pressure, it’s enough to make you run for a cave and meditate. Pushback is a good concept. Try applying it to the workplace first.

· Time wasters. There are so many it’s difficult to know where to start the list, or end. Prime culprits though do include commercial timewasting products, governnment bureaucracy and technology – emails, updates to this and that, unwanted calls.  A liberal use of a psychological “delete” button is perhaps a good start, though it comes at a price. Perhaps a better start is to cut the noise off at source – eliminate all unwanted newsletters, mailing lists and whatnot out from your life and put polite ends to go-nowhere email trails.

Conclusion

Here are six pointers to achieving balance, wealth, and health without crumpling:

1. Put your philosophy on steroids – understand the world and our place in it

2. Dont sweat the small stuff – and it’s all small stuff

3. Strengthen your body

4. Put relationships in their place

5. Study business and particularly marketing. Get yourself a residual cash flow