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Secrets Of Simplicity
Photo: Maxim Amelin
Do you dread dealing with the chaotic contents of your closet, your checkbook or your appointment calendar? Have you often found yourself asking, Why does my life have to be so complicated?

In her new book 100 Ways to Simplify your Life author Joyce Meyer lists among her chapter titles such subjects as: "Establish Boundaries", "Choose Your Battles" and "Cultivate Solitude". She also gives practical insights into the following topics:

Cut The Clutter. One of the fastest growing enterprises in the United States is the storage business. We seem to be a nation that just continues to collect “stuff.” If clutter is taking over your life, set yourself a goal of cleaning out one room per week (or one per month if you have serious clutter) using the three-trash-bag system. Bring three large bags into your room and start sorting: one bag for giving away, one for throwing away and one for recycling. Cleaning out the physical clutter of our lives is a powerful and important step towards living simply.

Ditch The Joneses. The pernicious philosophy of “keeping up with the Joneses” has produced a tortuous chokehold of debt on innumerable people. Contrary to popular opinion, having the best and latest of everything will NOT make you happy. Once you’ve corralled your clutter, determine to allow into your home only those things you truly need, or (occasionally) truly want. Before you set foot in the mall remind yourself that most items are purchased for emotional reasons, which can result in the accumulation of a painful debt lasting months or even years after the pleasure of the items is gone.

Just Say No! Most people don’t like it when you say “No” to their requests. On the other hand, if you answer “Yes” they’re pleased and appreciative. It’s natural to want to be helpful and feel appreciated. However, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of being a people pleaser and ending up drowning in a sea of over-commitment. Some people are actually addicted to taking on more than they can handle. Yet trying to “please all the people all the time” will cost a hefty price. Over time, multiple unfinished projects will weigh you down physically, emotionally and spiritually. You can simplify your life by choosing wisely those things which are really important to you, and politely declining the rest.

Once you have established the habits of living simply they will reward you with renewed energy, freedom and enduring tranquility. The quiet beauty of simple living might even become your most cherished possession.

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By Brenda Forbes Dickerson. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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