“Less is more” is one of those phrases that I feel I need a map to. Let’s focus instead on when more is more. When more is better. When words mean what they actually mean. I’m going to hand this over to Mike Burns from The Other Side Of Complexity now because it’s getting confusing:
So, does less=more or not? It depends on who you ask and what you mean. Some people get borderline angry when they hear that phrase. To them, it feels unrealistic, naive, and just plain untrue. I can relate. Unrealistic idealism can be frustrating. I, personally, like the phrase. But that’s because of how I define it. You can read my thoughts on What We Mean When We Say “Less is More” here.
In general, I’m a “Less is more” fan. But I would quickly admit that less isn’t alwaysmore. There are times when it doesn’t apply. That’s not hypocrisy. It just represents a different way of looking at it. It’s not a consistent goal to attain. Rather, it’s a tool to be used to accomplish a purpose. And, at times, LESS isn’t the best tool.
Here are a few things we need MORE of:
The feelings and the actions. The emotion and the proof. There isn’t enough. Less isn’t more in this area. Let’s nurture our hearts and cultivate a more loving environment wherever we go.
More pursuit of passions.
We don’t always get to spend our time doing exactly what we want to do. But life is too short to surrender to misery. We need to figure out what we love and start going for it, with whatever time and resources we have available to us.
More time with friends & family.
Play games, watch movies, read books, prepare meals, write letters, dance, sing, make videos, talk, go for a walk, listen to music, drink coffee, Skype. Relationships are what will matter to us over the long haul.
We don’t always get it right. We want second chances when we don’t. So let’s give that same opportunity to others. We are all evolving and learning. We have to understand that. The people around you aren’t “stupid”. They’re just focusing on different areas than you. Chill out. When you’re tempted to get frustrated with someone else, remind yourself of the things that you are still working on.
Our opinion is not the only opinion. We need to be more careful about how we criticize and demonize people “on the other side” of whatever issue we’re discussing. Really listen to them. Hear what they’re saying. Try to understand their heart on the issue. If we could have more respect for each other, we might actually make progress on the issues instead of just fighting.
Make something. You can do it. Paint or build or sew or draw or record or film or capture or write or do something where you express yourself. Make something out of nothing. Make something out of something else. We need more art.
We get stale when we just repeat the same information month after month and year after year. Life is more exciting when we are pursuing new information and learning. It’s tough when we lose our awe and wonder at all that’s around us. Read a book, surf YouTube, etc.
Our resources are limited. We sometimes get so busy driving that we don’t take time to pull over for gas. That never works out well. It can be hard sometimes. If you’re motivated to do things, you may find yourself having to push the reset button in this area often. When those times come, push it! We have to have “down time” so we can recharge.
More physical things that you need.
Sometimes we actually DO need more stuff. Having the right tools can make all the difference in the world. I’m no carpenter or handyman, but I’ve done my share of projects around the house. Sometimes, the difference between a quick, painless project and an all-day, frustrating bout of misery is just a simple tool. In those moments, buy it. The RIGHT stuff actually makes things easier and helps you have free time for your passions.
I understand that we’re just playing with words right now. “More rest” could have been stated “Do less”. It’s not the terminology that’s important. It’s what it means to us.
For me, the point is to “Live Well”. I want to eliminate the unnecessary so I can focus on what’s most important. I don’t want to be a snob.
Let’s get rid of clutter in our lives so we can have MORE of what we love and want to do.
Mike Burns blogs about living well and focusing on what’s most important at theothersideofcomplexity.com. He has also written books about decluttering. You can connect with him on Twitter (@mikemikeburns) and Facebook (facebook.com/theothersideofcomplexity).
When Less Isn’t More | The Other Side Of Complexity