Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Simple vs Complex Lifestyle?

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Apr 3, 2015 7:19 PM

Recently, I blogged about simplicity being a matter of interpretation. It struck me, later, that, sometimes, we chose a more complex life because it is more meaningful. Now, I don't mean the kind of complexity which comes along through no choice of our own, as when illness strikes or finances change. I mean people who are well off financially, for example, who choose to work, do elaborate volunteer work, start foundations, work on ecological projects, study languages, take courses, run nonprofit organizations and more. People who don't have means, also, complicate their lives on purpose by doing volunteer work, taking on extra jobs to make ends meet or get ahead (even if they don't have to do so to survive), and learn informally or through formal education to advance themselves.

So, while one person lives to watch TV, eat meals, play cards, and lie in the sun, another enjoys meeting new and interesting people, seeking out cultural opportunities, world travel, and helping people. To each their own. No judgement. Of course, when there's a couple and one craves simplicity and the other craves meaning, they make compromises usually to keep things happy and vital in the relationship. The person who likes to keep things simple needs avoids some activities but participates in others and the one who wants to do everything learns to relax and vege out more.

Then, there are many people who find balance between simplicity and meaning in their lives by combining the approaches. For example, they may choose one or two meaningful activities, such as volunteering at church or joining a charitable organization and singing in a choir, and mostly keep their lives simple in terms of how many possessions they maintain and how relaxed their daily schedules are.

Next time you think about whether your life is satisfactory, consider whether you want simplicity, meaning or balance of the two.

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  • lukashik img 2016-05-05 13:10

    As the quickening pace of life, the idea of a simple lifestyle, like the idea of developing a quiet mind, were very popular.

    Any extreme creates the desire for its opposite. But complexity is a fact of life, but simplicity does not necessarily entail relief or relaxation. Scott and Helen nearing's – the authors of the book "to Live a good life", has demonstrated that a simple life requires efforts of different types – immersion of attention in the present moment, to everyday detail, requiring, in one case at a time. Showbox

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