If you want better balance in your life, simplify. If you simplify your life, you can more easily prioritize what’s important to you and be present while you are doing it.

Simplifying your life doesn’t mean getting rid of everything. It means getting rid of everything that is a physical, mental or spiritual that is an energy drain and does not bring you joy.

“A simple man will have only what he needs, and he will know the difference between what he needs and what he wants. We feel that whatever we want, we desperately need. But before we possess the world, to our wide surprise we see that the world has already possessed us.” – Sri Chinmoy

Chinmoy was a spiritual teacher in New York in the sixties; showing Westerners how, by removing distractions and negative influences from your life, you’ll be better able to appreciate what you have, and have achieved, without feeling the pressure to have and achieve even more. The focus on my book, The Business of Wanting More, is all about knowing what you need rather than what you want, and how that is the key to finding balance in your life (and work).

If you want to find better balance in your life, start to simplify in these three areas:

  • Too much stuff – Having too much stuff, your material possessions, can complicate your life in ways you never imagined. It can drain your bank account, your energy, and your focus on other, more important, aspects of your life. The need to acquire stuff can separate you from the people you love, and from living a life based on your values. It is way too easy to get enslaved by money and stuff – accumulate consciously.
  • Too little time – If you’re like most of us, your schedule is filled with commitments that suck time from yourself: work, home, kid’s activities, community events, even hobbies; the list seems almost endless. A balanced life will require you to say “no” a lot – to kids’ programs, social events, board positions – get very selective, enforce strong boundaries.
  • Too many aspirations – Goal setting is important, but your goals can own you – instead of the other way around. Simply by reducing the number of goals that you are trying to reach to one or two, you’ll improve your focus – and your success rate. Instead, compose a short-list of the things that you want to accomplish in your life and pick the two that are most important to you. My current big goal is to stay present, that’s hard to do when you have a long list of goals.

You do not need to reduce your existence to that of a monk to live a balanced life. If you simplify the things you own, do, and seek, you may create room for joy and peace to emerge from the space between.