The Secret to Increased Happiness: Simplify Your Personal and Professional Life

The Secret to Increased Happiness: Simplify Your Personal and Professional Life[EXTRACT] I haven’t done too much study into it -and frankly, I don’t want to- but it is totally baffling to me why the human race seems to have a tendency for making things more and more complicated.It affects all areas of life, personally, professionally, … Continue reading “The Secret to Increased Happiness: Simplify Your Personal and Professional Life”

The Secret to Increased Happiness: Simplify Your Personal and Professional Life[EXTRACT]
I haven’t done too much study into it -and frankly, I don’t want to- but it is totally baffling to me why the human race seems to have a tendency for making things more and more complicated.It affects all areas of life, personally, professionally, emotionally, mentally and physically.Some simple examples:
Forms to be filled out and other compliance documentation at offices, by both clients and by staff. The amount of paperwork is just insane. For instance, I conduct training for long-term unemployed; a normal training session lasts 4 hours. The last hour is spent with filling out compliance forms. These will then have to be processed by staff; at least another 30 minutes hour. Just to show that I did what I did, that people attended my training, so funds can be claimed from the government.
We are constantly bombarded by messages to eat more/less, exercise more/less, drink more/less, and take more/less pills and supplements in order to stay healthy. People are working themselves into stress in order to maintain their fitness and vitality.
Airport security: I haven’t seen any security measures being taken away at airports and other transport hubs. More and more regulations are added on instead.
Technology: more and more is possible, which leads to us being contactable and traceable 24/7. And with that comes an expectation of actually being contactable 24/7.
Emotional problems: we diagnose and label more and more behaviour as being symptomatic of some sort of disease, which then obviously needs complex treatment. Before you know it, your active, playful, can’t-sit-still run-around child is considered ADHD.
Doing business: there are stacks of extra rules and regulation businesses need to comply with the even be able to be in business. The amount of “boxes to tick off” is absolutely crazy.
And I could go on and on and on

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I am not saying that there is no need for all this at all. Obviously, some of the tougher restrictions have valid underpinning (for instance to safeguard us more effectively, or the make sure everyone gets a fair share of the pie). On the other hand, I do think we have become so obsessed with what needs to be avoided, with what needs to be taken into account, with what could go wrong, with what people could do, etc, that we have gone overboard in many ways.The simple answer to this? I wish I had it. I am well aware that changing things on a macro/global scale is a virtually impossible task; there are just too many moving parts to “just” bring about change.What we can do is bring about change on a micro-level. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.Combine this with a healthy dose of common sense, and you will be well on your way to leading an effective, unrestricted, and stress free(-ish) life.The best way to start this process off is to break every seeming issue or problem down into its most basic components. What is REALLY going on? What is the core issue at hand, without all the “extra bits”? Breaking your problem down to its core often is the first and only necessary step to its solution. When you take away all the add-ons, all the extra bits and pieces, oftentimes the problem isn’t actually that big. It’s just that it looked big. Fluff can add a lot of unnecessary stuff.Once you have found out what the real issue is, there may still be remaining “sub-issues” left. Regarding those ones, ask yourself: “whose problem is this?” Is the problem one that’s under your control, or is it something you cannot control at all (like the stock market, or the real estate market, or the weather). Scrap all thinking about issues that you cannot control. Thinking and fretting about them will NOT ever bring them under your control, so you might as well -as I say it- leave it up to the Universe.From the elements of the problem that ARE under your control, which one is the easiest to deal with to get you some instant results? Sometimes just ringing a person for help can be a major piece of the puzzle. Or putting all the paper work regarding the problem in a nicely organized folder. Or doing some quick research that could assist you with finding an answer. Stay away from thinking that you have to eat the elephant in one bite. Start at the tail or the trunk.

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Finally, give yourself enough time to get the job done. Too often we think we have to solve problems right here, right now. That is not always possible, and you shouldn’t want to either. Quick, band-aid type solutions may cover up the symptoms, but generally turn out very nasty underneath. Do what you can, and wait for the “paint to dry”, so to speak. After that it’s time for the next step, etc.With all the modern technology at our disposal, life has become faster. We are supposed to do more and more in the same time. On top of that, rules and regulations that have to be addressed to actually get things done are getting tougher and tougher. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of room for a common sense approach and practical “let’s solve the issue” applications. And trust me, from my time as a lawyer, I know that rules are oftentimes not strictly adhered to anyway, in favour of practicality.With that in mind, aim to simplify your own business and life as much as possible. There are elements you cannot control -that’s just how life is; make the ones you DO control as easy and practical as possible. This will make your life a whole lot easier, and easier to digest.