simplicity

365 Challenge: Day 206 – Embrace

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Embrace: (a) accept or support [a belief, theory, or change] willingly and enthusiastically, or (b) hold closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection

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Life is about embracing as much as you can while you have the chance. It is short, even if you live an entire century with little to no health issues. It may not seem so, but with so many choices and opportunities surrounding us, we will never accomplish everything on our infamous lists. Since returning from vacation less than two days ago, I realized how much time I spend doing things because I just do them as part of a daily task, rather than because I want to do them. When I was on vacation, other than prearranged tours or transportation, there wasn’t a single thing I ‘had‘ to do other than enjoy my time. I like that life. And while I recognize it cannot always be that way, and not everyone has the freedom to embrace it, I believe strongly in finding a way to make that the predominant approach to my remaining years. Two things are forcing me to realize it since my return:

I met a very cool blogger earlier this year who helped push me to submit my own work to agencies and publishers. As I grew to know Melanie Mole a little more, I learned she was also a writer who had her own books available for purchase. I chose her newest one, ‘Simply Does It‘ and began reading it the night I returned from my trip. Click the link to read more about it on the Goodreads book page, but give me another two days and I’ll have a review posted all about it. It is the exact perfect reminder we all need to help us realize our priorities and attune our focus towards our goals. As I read the pages while laying in bed each night, I kept wondering how to get myself closer and closer to the ideals of how I want to live my life. I believe this book may help me realize a few of those paths. Embrace the simplicity of everything around us, not the things that we feel forced to do.

But there was also something quite horrific this week, something happening all too frequently, that hit a little more close to home than it ever has before. What happened in Las Vegas was an absolute tragedy and there aren’t enough words to express how any of us feel. When I heard the news, I knew my cousin had been in Las Vegas but thought he had left the night before. He didn’t. He and his girlfriend were there onsite in the venue when the shooting started. They were actually in a row right next to someone who was shot. He’s about 14 years younger than I am, but we were very close as children and young adults. I babysat him when our parents would go out for dinners on their own or to other activities. I cannot imagine what it’s like for the families and friends of victims to lose someone like this. I’m grateful and lucky it didn’t happen this time to my family this time, but ultimately, it could at any point in the future. This reminder, way too close to home, helps you re-set your own priorities. You can see him and his girlfriend’s account of how they escaped in the news audio clips in this link.

Life is short. We should always do whatever is in our power to enjoy each day, focused on our goals, helping one another and finding paths that make us happy. Not working 24/7, constantly waiting for some device to tell us what to do, or wishing for something different. Get out there and make it happen for yourself. Learn how to find the simplicity and the happiness we all crave. Embrace what you deserve.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 46 – Simple

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Simple: easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty; composed of a single element; straightforward

Simple is usually a good thing, when it’s applied to things or actions. You can accomplish more and feel less restricted when something is simple to do. When it’s applied to people, it can more often mean something negative as well as something positive, even at the same time.

I consider myself simple, when it comes to keeping myself entertained or interested in others. I tend to follow that ole familiar saying: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), meaning don’t over-complicate whatever it is you are trying to do. Ensure everyone can understand, then you make a bigger impression with whatever is the goal.

For me, I apply the simple approach for most things right out of the gate, increasing the intensity or complexity depending on whatever I’m trying to accomplish. I’m not focusing on work-related items, as that’s similar but in a different manner. I’m referring to how I keep myself focused during the day. Examples:

  • I don’t need to be entertained 24/7. I’m perfectly comfortable reading, watching TV, wandering around the house… not needing a lot of conversation or interaction with others. Of course, I couldn’t do that all the time, but generally, that’s a simple approach.

  • I attempt to limit any and all stress in my life by keeping my days simple. Certain things get me worked up, but generally, I’m not going to get upset when I don’t need to.  It’s all a matter of perspective and analysis, understanding what the real item at hand is.
  • If I have multiple paths to complete something, I tend to look for the easiest one that will accomplish the most. “Biggest bang for the buck.”

I certainly don’t take those tendencies overboard… but it’s a fair balance to be able to do more with less. I’d rather not spend hours trying to design something until it’s perfect, when I can find a good/solid approach and be comfortable knowing there might be something better and I didn’t get there or do that. I don’t see this as not being a perfectionist, which I’ve already confessed I am. A perfectionist needs things to be perfect, but simple can also be perfect.

When things are simple, you have less expectations. When things are simple, you can observe the beauty of something in its natural state or its innocence. When things are simple, you have a moment to breathe and enjoy it.

Things we should all try to find simplicity in:

  • Don’t get caught up in “what should we do” today… enjoy the time together, even if it’s just sitting in a quiet room and doing nothing for an hour.
  • Find a picturesque landscape and reflect on different aspects of its beauty. Think about your five senses: see, hear, smell, touch and taste.
  • Don’t over-analyze why the other person did something that made you upset / confused. Ask them… or let it go… or choose to accept the simplest answer (I’m talking about the little things!)
  • Don’t get angry about things (again, minor items) and be sure to find a way not to let it impact you.
  • Don’t over-plan such that you can’t sit back and let something happen naturally.

Having a simple approach can make your day and your life a whole lot better. That said, I am not always simple. A few points I need to improve on as the way I work below can be stressful and the opposite of simple:

  1. If I have company, the apartment needs to be spotless. I always clean.
  2. If I’m cooking a meal, it is usually not simple. Must have 20 ingredients.
  3. If I’m doing anything financial (bills, projections, investments), it is never simple. I obsess over pennies, and we’ve talked about that part of me before.

Just be careful you don’t become uncaring or lackadaisical about things. Sometimes it is important to be more focused. You also don’t want to give off an impression that you are non-committal or too removed from a situation.

How do you ensure more simplicity in your life? I’m asking for a friend… who is me… so I can keep on improving every day. Give me 20 ways please, it’s on my mind all the time… and I must improve. LOL

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.