Part 3: Happiness is simplicity

Last time, I shared some thoughts on where love fits into happiness. This time, I talk about something that I’ve been relating to a lot over the last two years: simplicity.

We live in a world where we are taught to get more. Get more what?


Buy more things, make more money, have bigger houses etc etc. The list could go on for ages. But is more always better? It’s a dangerous mindset and it’s a mindset that will run our society to the ground (in my opinion). We cannot have more of everything in a world that is finite in its capacity.

In HK, going for a photowalk by myself to relax

In HK, going for a photowalk by myself to relax

The time I spent traveling was a fairly focused time for me. There were fun times, adventures and sights to see, but it was a time of simplicity. The simplicities around traveling is probably one of the reasons why people love traveling. People love the fact that their lives are simplified to the basics and they can focus on other things. For many, their focus becomes the thrill of traveling. For that time, they remember to live in the moment. People often forget that until they travel. We plan and plan our lives and we forget how to live outside those plans.

I think people have forgotten the happiness that simplicity brings. I really do. We don’t stop to ask why. We do things because we think they are things we *want*, but we don’t ask the question: what do we actually want? We don’t take the time to reflect and simplify our lives. And the more you fill your life with “stuff”, the more other things become clouded.

People watching around the KLCC

People watching around the KLCC

How do you find more simplicity? I think taking time for yourself is important. And equally important is taking time to reflect and look ahead. I favour the simple things to help me think; Things like going for a walk or sitting in a park people watching. Taking this time will make you more thankful for what you have. Taking this time will make you have a deeper appreciation. And realizing you can do more with what you have, rather than obtaining more is, in my opinion, a step towards greater happiness.

Another way to simplify your life is to give more of yourself. Your gift to the world is yourself. You can ALWAYS be a better you. There is no such thing as perfection but there can always be improvement. Not only will others benefit, but I can confidently say you will feel different too. Moreover, seeing improvement in yourself gives you more energy. I feel like I have far more energy than I did 5-8 years ago. I think life is supposed to be that way. Unless you’re 70 years old, your life energy has far from peaked.

Here are some questions to think about

  • When was the last time you were spontaneous?
  • When was the last time you gave someone your time?
  • When was the last time you spent time an hour alone (no cell phone checking, no talking to other people)?
  • When was the last time you reflected and looked ahead?
  • When was the last time you cleaned your place and gave away things you don’t need?
  • When was the last time you totally lived in the moment?
  • When was the last time you went to the mall/other shopping complex?
  • When was the last time you said “I want…”?

If the answers aren’t what you want, it’s a great reason to start simplifying an aspect of your life.

My life has become far simpler in the last few years. I know this has been the biggest factor in my happiness.

I don’t think about the next widget I think I need to buy. I have regular “me time”. I spend more time working on myself. I live in the moment.

It’s all very simple.


Share your thoughts