“Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!”: Apparently Henry David Thoreau said …

Apparently Henry David Thoreau said,

“Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify, simplify! … Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.”

It’s hard to believe that lives could be complicated in Thoreau’s time (1870s I believe?). His statement, however, is ripe for our times and I have a hunch that the mantra of “Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.” is going to be uttered by many over the next few years. It’s quite a paradox that simplifying one’s life isn’t always a simple thing. First, we’ve got to get rid of the material junk – all those toys, gadgets, and THINGS that we once thought were so essential and going to make us happy happy happy. But they just made us broke. And stressed. 

And then, once we ditch the physical crap we have to get rid of the beliefs, behaviours, relationships that really do not enhance our lives. As Mies Van De Rohe said, less is more. And Thoreau lets us in on a possible “more”: Purpose. When we clear away the crap, why we are here and what we are here to do begins to shine through.