A simple life is a life well lived. The importance of finding joy in the simple things in life is something you usually hear your grandparents say. Known for their wisdom they’ve gone through the highs and the lows of life, and they will tell you not to stress too much. Instead, find the little things that make the difference to your day and then stick to them.
I always thought that life has to be something grand and that you have to achieve big things in order to be happy and find joy.
But very early in my twenties I realised that this is some kind of a dream that they sell to you when you’re growing up. Our schooling system, the universities, the media, the whole society, they make you believe that you have to climb the career ladder in order to be happy. They all push you to the same direction.
This lifestyle definitely works for a lot of people but it also makes many others miserable. Not everyone can fit into the same box.
I’ve met a lot of people who find themselves unhappy during their time at University and they drop out to try to carve a different way for themselves. I’ve also met people who start their career, thinking that this is the right thing for them, and this is what they should be doing, but then they realise that it doesn’t fulfil them, it doesn’t bring them any joy, and they become bitter and unhappy.
This is especially difficult if you are a creative person. You might end up in a position where you don’t have the freedom to express your creativity, and it remains unlived. I feel like many of us lose our way when growing up.
At any stage of your life, no matter whether you are still finding yourself or have already found the right way, you can learn to find joy in the simple things in life.
What are the Simple Things in Life?
This has as many answers as there are people. It can be anything.
I find great find joy in cycling to work. That fresh air every morning that wakes me up. The green fields and the trees and the little river on the way to work.
At home, I practice minimalism. I decorate our little flat in a minimalistic and simplistic way but still make it cosy and comfortable. I carefully consider before buying new things, asking myself do I really need this item or is it going to be tucked away in a cupboard? Especially because our apartment is small and having too much clutter everywhere makes me feel exhausted.
A huge joy for me is planting and propagating plants and growing herbs and vegetables from seeds, even if it’s just on my little balcony.
Spending time with pets, it’s pure love.
Another activity that brings me much joy and calm is taking trips in nature, anywhere where there is plenty of beautiful landscapes. I don’t need to travel far, I can find joy in a park nearby, a little hill 20 minutes drive away, or a river canal with ducks and swans.
I could go on.
I realised that those things – the simple things in life – were what made all the difference to me. The quality of my life improved when I began consciously enjoying those small things, that someone might discard as trivial and silly.
When I started being more aware of the joy that a simple life brings, the levels of my gratitude skyrocketed too. And gratitude has been proven to have many benefits: emotional, social, health, personality and career.
This is What I’m Focusing on During My Career Break
My career break has been a great opportunity to reflect on life, my many adventures and my plans for the future. Because I finally have the time to sit down and think. Often it is the pace of our lives that doesn’t give much breathing space to slow down and gather your thoughts and feelings,
At the moment I am learning to live slowly and mindfully, taking time for myself, gathering my thoughts and writing them down, having a break from all the running around.
My values changed a lot in recent years. Hiking the mountains, swimming in lakes and in the sea, and sometimes just having some time off somewhere outside. Simply being there, slowly, not rushing anywhere.
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- A Year of Changes, Growth & Being Bold
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