I’ve shared a lot on this blog about simplifying your life, but here’s the problem when it comes to trying to keep things simple: It’s really hard!
It seems life tends to move towards complexity. It keeps handing us more and more stuff to worry about. More responsibility. More complications. More balls to juggle. And unfortunately our fast-paced, “always-on-always-connected” culture isn’t helping.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
The good news is that we can change. That even though we live in a world that is growing ever more complex, it is still quite possible, and actually not as difficult as we might think, to keep things simple in 2012. Here’s how:
Learning to filter starts by giving up the fiction that you have to be on top of everything. Many “good” things may come your way in 2012, but filtering is about about choosing the best over the good. This means you have to learn to say “No”. It means learning to protect your time, and being intentional in how you choose to spend that precious time. It’s about setting your priorities, and putting first things first.
Forgetting is about giving yourself downtime to rest and recover. It’s about daring to slow down in a world that is speeding up. It’s about making a conscious choice to stop caring about certain things: Like everyone else’s opinion of you, or the things you have no control over. It’s also about giving yourself permission to let go of, or eliminate, those things in your life that ultimately are not helping you get where you’re going.
At this time of year people often talk about New Year’s Resolutions – those things you are going to do in 2012. But my question for you is rather, “What are you NOT going to do this year?” What are you going to forget?
Focusing is about knowing where you want to be, or rather who you want to be. It’s about having a plan and a vision for your life and setting your eyes to that plan. It’s about starting with the end in mind, and understanding that which matters most.
Now, in my opinion, the thing that matters most is Jesus.
In fact, I believe that if we truly want to simplify in 2012, then we must turn our focus to the person of Jesus. The man who modeled divine simplicity in everything He did and said. Who placed value not in temporary things, but in ultimate things. Things like people, and relationships, and family, and friendships, and kindness, and compassion, and justice, and peace. These were the things that mattered to Jesus, and He never lost sight of it.