“Be as simple as you can be; you will be astonished to see how uncomplicated anD HAPPY YOUR LIFE CAN BECOME.”PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA
In a world where complexity is often celebrated and our lives are regularly filled with noise and chaos, the quote from the revered spiritual leader, Paramahansa Yogananda, beckons us towards a counterintuitive path. It invites us to walk down the road less taken, to embrace the beauty of simplicity and the transformative potential it holds for our lives.
Our contemporary world, with its rapid-fire pace and relentless insistence on progress, can feel overwhelming. Often, we are pushed to over-extend ourselves, to fill every moment with activity, every silence with sound. Our lives can become a complex tapestry of tasks and obligations, and our happiness can feel conditional, dependent on the successful completion of an endless to-do list.
However, as Yogananda’s words encourage us, there is a different way to approach life, one that values simplicity and unpretentiousness. By consciously opting for simplicity, we stand to reclaim our time, our minds, and most importantly, our happiness. We are not suggesting a complete renunciation of modern life and its conveniences. Instead, we are exploring a philosophical perspective that endorses simplicity as a guiding principle.
Simplicity starts within. It begins by disentangling our hearts from the web of unending wants, by quietening the constant chatter in our minds. It involves understanding that happiness does not rely on the accumulation of material possessions or achievements but rather, it blossoms from a sense of inner peace and satisfaction. Simplicity urges us to find joy in the ordinary, to appreciate life’s small gifts, and to revel in the richness of everyday experiences. It reminds us that we are enough as we are, and we do not need excess to feel complete.
When we adopt simplicity, we start seeing the world through a different lens. We recognize that many of the things we once thought were necessities were merely wants, that our quest for more was actually leading us away from our happiness, not towards it. We begin to acknowledge that every additional commitment, every extra material possession, does not necessarily equate to increased joy but often leads to increased stress.
Embracing simplicity also means establishing healthier boundaries with our technology and information consumption. It means identifying the value in silence, solitude, and stillness—those quiet moments where we can reconnect with our inner selves and the world around us. By doing so, we can disentangle ourselves from the ceaseless demands of our digitized lives, creating space for reflection, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
The simple life does not mean a life devoid of ambition or purpose. On the contrary, it allows us to focus more on what truly matters, directing our energies towards the pursuits that truly enrich our lives. By shedding the extraneous, we can align ourselves more closely with our authentic selves, live more mindfully, and cultivate deeper relationships with those around us.
As we embark on this journey of simplicity, we find that life becomes less of a race and more of a dance. We move with grace rather than haste, experiencing the rhythm and melody of life in its fullness. We become less preoccupied with keeping up with the world and more focused on keeping peace with ourselves. The weight of unnecessary burdens lifts, and we are free to soar in the expansive skies of joy and contentment.
The simplicity that Paramahansa Yogananda (above right) extols is a conscious choice, a deliberate approach to life that can yield immense rewards. It is a gentle nudge to return to our roots, to value the essence rather than the form, the experience rather than the possession. Embracing this can lead to an astonishing transformation, where happiness is not a distant goal but a constant companion. As we simplify, we come to understand that life, in its core, is not a puzzle to solve, but a mystery to be lived, savored, and celebrated.