If you walk up to a stranger in the grocery store and ask them to define “simple,” as in “simple life,” they’ll probably say something like “having less stuff.” Or they might hit you with a frozen turkey. But probably they’ll associate simple with stuff.
The thing is that simple is not about how much or how little you have. You can have all the stuff you want and have a simple life. That’s the key, thoughthe stuff you want. Simple is about having more of what you want and less of the things that get in your way and trip you up.
If you continue questioning the guy with the turkey, he may hit you with it again, or he may spit out some more associations with the word “simple.” Those words might include “nature,” “inexpensive,” “boring,” “organized,” “miserly.” Those are words we think of when we think of simple living, but none of them has to be associated with simplicitycertainly not boring and miserly. Sure, if you want to live your simple life with nature, you can. If you want to get rid of most of your life and live on a shoestring, you can.
The key to simple living is to have, as much as possible, only what you want. Naturally you have to have things in your life that you don’t want, like traffic and Monday mornings. But your goal in reaching simplicity is to have more of the things you do want, like good books and doughnuts on Sunday morning, and maybe a good CD to listen to in the car while you’re in traffic on Monday morning.
Simple is really simple. It’s what you want, not what you don’t.