A “Simple” Quote That Can Change Your Life

4 May

Life is complicated.  As you get older and take on more responsibilities, there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done, which causes stress.

Well, what if all that complexity, stress, and strain was NOT mandatory?  What if most… if not all… of life’s difficulties are actually self-imposed?  What if there was a simple way to shed all the frustration and finally live a much more satisfying and rewarding life? If that’s something you are interested in, then you will love this quote…

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours…. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.”

That quote is by Henry David Thoreau, a man whom you may remember from your high school days for living in a small, self-built house in the woods located on Walden Pond for two years. Why did Thoreau spend two years living in the woods?  Here is the reason he gave…

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.  I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.  I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”

What does this have to do with you?  Should you go live in the woods? Probably not.  But there are many life lessons that can be learned from Thoreau’s experiences and writings, and the most powerful might be: SIMPLIFICATION.

We all tend to make life much more complicated than it actually is.  We worry about things we do not have to worry about, and we make a big deal out of things that we either cannot change or just don’t matter. Why do we do this?  We do it because everyone else does, which is why so many of us believe it is the only way.

Getting and staying healthy is the same.  We are led to believe that achieving a healthy weight and maintaining an active lifestyle is a complex process.  In fact, for the vast majority, getting and staying healthy is quite simple:  eat simple (avoid processed foods and eat more fruits and veggies, for example); do basic, simple exercise; and simplify other parts of your life to reduce stress and strain.

Practicing simplification is one of the most powerful things you can ever do.

Dr. Binder

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