scribbles form into the script "simplify"

This past Tuesday, I made one of the worst decisions of my life.

I downloaded the game “Flappy Bird” onto my phone.

I opened the application and my life was forever changed for the worse. I woke up 6 days later surrounded by broken iPhones, my roommates pounding at my door and a plummeting GPA with a high score of 29 the only thing to show for it. I deleted the game after that because the stress of playing the game will probably cause my heart to fail and I’m not to the point where I’m willing to go out like that.

However, my 6-day Flappy Bird frenzy got me thinking about all the stresses we allow into our lives. As college students, we are constantly stretching ourselves thin as we try to juggle classes, work, extracurricular activities, homework and friends. Although all of these things are important to have in your life, if you find yourself being worn out or overwhelmed by all of these commitments, then it may be time to prioritize your life.

Easier said than done, right? However, one thing that I have learned over the years is that it can be done if you embrace the concept of simplicity.

Living a more simple life has different definitions for each person. I have always been inspired by the philosophy of my mom when it comes to simplicity. She is in the process of cleaning out the house and simplifying her lifestyle under the mantra: “If I have to pack up and move to Key West in a week, I would be able to do that.”

To you, simplifying could mean not committing to something that doesn’t have value to you, like being involved in a club only because it looks good on a resume or playing a stupid game like Flappy Bird.

No matter what you are trying to simplify in your life, the bottom line is that simplicity is getting rid of the clutter in your life so you are left with only that which is valuable to you (hobbies, friends, family, etc.).

Unfortunately, this is often harder to do than it sounds. But simplicity isn’t a one time event; it is a constant journey that has its ups and downs. However, if you are interested in adding some simplicity to your life, a blogger named Leo Babauta (I recommend giving his blog a look over) has a simple list to simplifying:

  1. Identify what is most important to you.
  2. Eliminate everything else.

This list shows the basic goal of simplification. Ok, so maybe it is a little extreme and impractical for those who don’t know how to apply it, so are 72 ways to work towards a simpler life. Don’t think you need to try them all, but pick the ones that you feel would help you the most and give them a shot.

You may be surprised how much smoother your life can run.

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Caleb Bednarski

Caleb graduated in 2015 with a BS in Elementary Education with a Spanish minor. He is a music fanatic who loves to run and play Ultimate Frisbee. He is originally from Milwaukee, WI.