1. Simplicity means I will live in an empty home.
Oh, there are days when I wish this one were true! I have been divesting myself of excess possessions for a couple of years now, and I am nowhere near done. I doubt I ever will be because this process is ongoing. If something new comes into the house then something old must leave (generally). But an empty home? Not even close to the mark! The idea is not to empty your home and live in a glorified packing crate, but to retain those things in your home which add to the quality of your life. Anything else is nothing more than a distraction that needs to be eliminated.
2. Simplicity means I have to give up my dreams.
To the contrary pursuing simplicity enables one to pursue dreams. Think about it. If you are constantly dealing with stress inducing elements in your life, you are naturally going to concentrate on mitigating those elements. But what if those elements were eliminated instead of being mitigated? Would you not then have more freedom to pursue things which bring you joy? Joyful things could be any number of creative or contemplative activities. The important thing is that you would be able to pursue that which bring you joy, whatever it is.
3. Simplicity means giving up luxuries.
Okay, that one’s just wrong. What I see as a luxury is not necessarily the same as what you see as a luxury. That being said there is nothing wrong with luxuries per se. Simplicity does not mean living an ascetic life of deprivation and self-denial. Seriously, how does that ever get fun? Rather, simplicity means eliminating the junk-metaphorical and otherwise-from your life. Whatever is left over afterwards is basically the cream of the crop. Isn’t that what comprises a luxury, something that is definably better?
4. Simplicity means be frugal.
Simplicity is not about frugality. When it comes to money, simplicity is about spending consciously and setting priorities. It’s about recognizing the things you really value and spending your money only on those. It’s about giving up the need to buy something just because people around you feel you must have it. What and how much you spend your money on is not what matters, but what you get in return for that spending. The key is to analyze what motivates your spending. If it comes from within or satisfies a compelling and genuine need it is the correct decision. If it comes from the need to show or be seen, then it’s not.
5. Simplicity means thinking in absolutes.
“Absolutely” not true-wink wink, nudge nudge. Seriously, if you allow yourself to think only in absolute terms, your brain will rust up and stop working properly. There are very few things in this world that are only black and white, and I’m not talking about penguins and zebras. In the pursuit of simplicity, as with so much of life, the ability to observe, analyze, and act is more important than adhering to some arbitrary set of standards. In other words, you have a perfectly good brain so why would you let some outside-imposed standards stop you from using it?
Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.