12 Tips for Living A Simple Life

7 Aug 2020 Lagos, Nigeria

Smiling woman with gap teeth and orange headwrap
A simple life is easy to achieve. Easier than we think actually. Human beings are typically just complicated and that's why we make everything seem complicated too.

I know I might be exaggerating when I say there is a way to live simple but I'm not. I really am not, lol.
The aim of this post is to share my tips with you so I'll just go right ahead and not keep you in suspense any longer.

The one and only secret to a simple life is Knowing that it all depends on you. No one else, just YOU.

Over the years I've evolved into the kind of person who doesn't like drama, likes minimal living, loves the simple things of life and doesn't get affected by worry. Even anger or annoyance doesn't faze me but I'm yet to get a hang of irritation though. Altogether, there are some steps I've taken over time that has helped me develop these traits further and even finetune them.
  1. Pray: it took a long time for me to get to this point and understand it, but when I finally did, it made the most sense in the world. When I pray immediately I wake up, there is like a calmness that comes over me. A reassurance that come what may, my day will be great.
  2. Let it go: I don't hold on to unnecessary feelings - anger, hurt, pain, disappointment and so on. I can refer back to them at a later time, but I don't keep them. I let them wash over me and let them flow away after a couple of minutes. This way, there is no hindrance to the next emotion or feeling. 
  3. I'm peaceful: someone once said to me, "Barbara, you are the only one who dictates what makes you feel less than who you are.". We were having a conversation about work and when he said that, it totally made sense. I was feeling disrespected, spoken down at and overall, feeling upset. But the moment he said it and I mulled over it in my head for 2 minutes, all those feelings disappeared. 
  4. Count OR Close your eyes: this is what helps me keep my self-control (apart from the HOLY SPIRIT as self-control is a fruit of the SPIRIT. But y'all knew that already). There are times I feel a well of something, but I physically or mentally close my eyes for a few seconds and I'm good. Some people swear by the counting method but I've never tried it. Try either one and adopt whichever one works for you.
  5. Speak it out: if you want something ask, if you have an idea tell someone if there's no one, have a conversation with yourself. I've discovered that saying things out loud makes them clearer sort of. It's kind of like praying out and not 'in your mind'. If you need the people around you to make adjustments to accommodate what you need to simplify your life, let them know.
  6. The pressure isn't yours: I had to learn this one the hard way. It is not your responsibility to figure out how the other person will welcome what it is you have to say. They can accept it or they can reject it, the important thing is you have said it and the pressure is no longer on you. Permit them to deal with it the best way they know how to.
  7. Permit yourself: to not live according to the expectations of others. 
  8. Be prudent: trust me, there is nothing like knowing you were able to restrain yourself. There is a certain sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing you said NO. No is such a strong word that a lot of people feel overwhelmed by it. Learn to use it on yourself and on others when necessary.
  9. Remember your conscience: I have a motto I set a long time ago. I have gone against it a lot of times, but I'm happy to say I'm getting back on track. It goes like this anything that makes me hush my conscience isn't worth the trouble.
  10. Live minimally: if you don't need it, let it go. Being a photographer gives me the license to collect 'stuff' but when it comes to the things I really need, I hesitate and pause. Decluttering and seeing everything individually indirectly helps to declutter my mind too.
  11. Never regret: own your choices, mistakes, decisions. That way, you never look back with regret or a wish to 'do it again'. There is no do-over, it's done. Learn from it and move forward. 
  12. Dream, Wish, Do, Think. Don't hold yourself back in any way, find the courage you need when you need it. Otherwise, you'll look back with regret.
I have a feeling I'm forgetting some of the tips I use but these are the most important for me.

Let me know which ones work best for you.
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