A simple botanical cactus plan with two new flowers sits on a table against a simple whit background.

The Simplicity Difference

“I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

What Is The Simplicity Difference?

By defining Simple Living and Minimalism as solutions to problems and complexity, many such approaches merely give you relief from those issues, not real and lasting results.

Say you want to ride a bicycle but can’t yet, and you see that as a problem to solve. A simplistic “solution” would be to add training wheels.

That’s the simplicity on this side of complexity.

A more effective approach would be to take lessons, then practice riding in a safe setting. When you feel ready, ride in low traffic areas until you master your riding skills. As your competence and confidence grows, cycling becomes a simple and graceful pastime—in almost any situation.

That’s the simplicity on the other side of complexity.

From Clearing Clutter To Creating A Hospitable Home

A client came to me after trying to declutter her house three times in five years. She told me she’d get rid of all the clutter and excess, but it had always come back. Slowly, as she accumulated more stuff, with no real plan to organize it, it became clutter. She was frustrated ready to give up.

“It starts in the spare bedroom and just kinda spreads,” she said.

Using the Life Design Framework described in Simplicity and Success, I helped her envision the house, and each room, in ways that supported her highest aspirations and goals.

She wanted a warm, inviting, comfortable home that supported interactions with family and friends, and was easy to keep casually neat and tidy.

From Vision To Reality

First, she created a small Buddhist shrine in one corner of the spare bedroom, and made it the focal point of the room. She not only kept the shrine ordered and clutter free, she found it easy to keep the whole room that way.

Then she organized the family room in a way that supported her values around family, friends and meaningful conversations. She cleaned out her clutter-catching, no-longer-used fireplace, and converted it one with gas heated logs. She hid the TV in an Ikea console, then arranged the furniture so it faced the fireplace.

With each room in her house, she crafted a vision of what she wanted it to look like. She grounded in current reality, i.e. the current state of that result. Then took step-by-step action to bring her vision into reality.

As she made progress on her “Organized and Livable House” project, the rest of the family got on board, even her teenage son. It wasn’t long before they co-created a tidy, well organize house that enhanced well being and encouraged interaction. Five years later, it was still clutter-free. And keeping it that way was easy.

“My friends love to visit,” she told me, in a follow-up note, “because our home is warm, inviting and so nicely yet casually ordered.

That’s the simplicity on the other side of complexity.

Graphic depicting a parchment with Leonardo da Vinci's words, Simplicity Is the Ultimate Sophistication

Transcending Problems; Creating What Matters Most

This slightly different simplicity approach is not just a tool for creating a tidy, hospitable house. The Life Design organizing framework can be applied to most challenging situations in life, work, relationships … whatever.

It’s power lies in embracing and transcending problems in favour of creating desired results.

So, instead of focusing on what you don’t like and don’t want—and trying to rid of or relief from it—it’s more effective and enjoyable to focus on what you truly DO want, and then take action to make it a reality.

In Simplicity and Success, I show you how to use the organizing framework to create what matter most— starting with whatever you have to work with.

Applying the framework helps you:

  • Clarify and envision desired results, and ground them in current reality
  • Integrate rational and intuitive thinking, and open to synchronicity
  • Take effective action, learn from experience, and improve your actions
  • Move from a “freedom from…” stance to “freedom to…” stance, opening you to all of life’s opportunities and possiblities
  • Create a rich and rewarding path—a path with heart—step by step, as you go.

Life Design For Simplicity And Minimalism

“Simplicity, clarity, singleness: these are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy.”

Richard Halloway

With its Life Design approach, Simplicity And Success can help you embrace life’s messiness, appreciate its richness, and then move through the complexity to the deep, rich and fulfilling simplicity on the other side of the complex mess.

When you focus on clear, compelling visions of what you truly want, problems seem dissolve, fade away.

Psychologist C.J. Jung remarked that his patients’ “insoluble problems” were not solved logically, but lost their urgency and faded away when faced with a stronger life urge.

Like the urge to create what matters most to you in life, work, relationships … whatever.

Simplicity and Success can help you find that stronger urge, and then organize your life so it’s elegantly and richly simple—and leads to freedom, engagement, and a sense of being fully alive.

And so you live more in harmony with the ecological systems on which all health, wealth and well being depend.

It’s Not Always Easy Living Simply, But It’s Worth It

Creating What Matters Most – Step By Step

By using the Life Design organizing and creating framework, the lawyer in the video gradually worked her way out of law.

At the same time, she created an adventure/challenge program that helps women-in-need build personal competence and authentic confidence.

When the program was up and running, she left the law and worked on her challenge program full time. Her life became simpler, richer, and more rewarding.

“Until I contacted you, I felt doomed forever to do work I didn’t care for. With your help and the organizing framework, I’m now doing what I love.

J.H.G., New Jersey, USA

Order your signed copy of Simplicity AND Success here.

Books by Bruce Elkin

Five books istting on a reflective surface, by author Bruce Elkin.
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