How To Simplify Your Life


It is well understood by good parents that
life should only ever get so exciting for a baby: after friends have come around and
brought presents and made animated faces, after there has been some cake and some cuddles,
after there have been a lot of bright lights and perhaps some songs too, enough is enough.
The baby will start to look stern and then burst into tears and the wise parent knows
that nothing is particularly wrong (though the baby may by now be wailing): it is just
time for a nap. The brain needs to process, digest and divide up the welter of experiences
that have been ingested, and so the curtains are drawn, baby is laid down next to the soft
toys and soon it is asleep and calm descends. Everyone knows that life is going to be a
lot more manageable again in an hour. Sadly, we exercise no such caution with ourselves.
We schedule a week in which we will see friends every night, in which we’ll do 12 meetings
(three of them requiring a lot of preparation), where we’ll make a quick overnight dash
to another country on the Wednesday, where we’ll watch three films, read 14 newspapers,
change six pairs of sheets, have five heavily meals after 8pm and drink 30 coffees – and
then we lament that our lives are not as calm as they might be and that we are close to
mental collapse. We refuse to take seriously how much of our
babyhood is left inside our adult selves – and therefore, how much care we have to take to
keep things simple and very very calm. What registers as anxiety is typically no freakish
phenomenon; it is the mind’s logical enraged plea not to be continuously and exhaustingly
overstimulated. What are some of the things we may need to
do to simplify our lives: Fewer People; fewer commitments It is theoretically a privilege to have a
lot of people to see and things to do. It is also – psychologically-speaking – exhausting
and ultimately rather dangerous. The manner of expression is a little dated
and brutal, and one might want to quibble over the exact timings, but this point from
Nietzsche remains acute: “Today as always, men fall into two groups:
slaves and free men. Whoever does not have two-thirds of his day for himself, is a slave,
whatever he may be: a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar.” We need to recognise that what is physically
possible for us to achieve in a day is not, for that matter, psychologically wise or plausible.
It may well be feasible to nip over to a foreign capital or two in a day and run a company
alongside managing a household but nor should we be surprised if such routines ultimately
contribute to a breakdown. Sleep Plenty of it of course; at least seven hours.
Or if we can’t manage it, we need at a minimum fully to recognise how much we are deprived,
so that we won’t aggravate our sorrows by searching for abstruse explanations for them.
We don’t necessarily have to get divorced, retrain in a completely different profession
or move country: we just need to get some more rest. Media What we’re taking in when we check our phones
is perhaps the single greatest contributor to our mental ill-health. For most of history,
it was inconceivable that there could ever be such a thing as ‘too much news’. Information
from political circles or foreign countries was rare, prized and expensive (it was as
unlikely that one could gorge oneself on it as one could on chocolate bars). But since
the middle of the twentieth century, news has been commodified and, in the process,
it has become a major – though still too little known – risk to our mental survival. Every minute of every day presents us with
untold options for filling our minds with the mania, exploits, disasters, furies, reversals,
ambitions, triumphs, insanity and cataclysms of strangers around our benighted planet.
Always, news organisations speak of our need to know – and to need to know right now. But
what they have left out is our equally great, and often even greater need not to know: because
we cannot change anything, because the stories are too violent, dispiriting and sad, because
our minds are fragile, because we have responsibilities closer to home, because we need to lead our
own lives rather than be torn apart by stories of the lives of others who are ultimately
as remote from and irrelevant to us as the inhabitants of the Egyptian court of King
Sneferu in late 2,613 BC. Thinking Insomnia and anxiety are the mind’s revenge
for all the thoughts we refuse to have consciously in the day. In order to be able to find rest,
we need to carve off chunks of time where we have nothing to do other than lie in bed
with a pad and paper in order to think. We need to consider three topics in particular:
– What is making me anxious? – Who has caused me pain and how?
– What is exciting me? We need to sift through the chaotic contents
of our minds. Every hour of living requires at least ten minutes of sifting.
Expectations Of course, it might be pleasant to be extraordinary,
famous and world-beating, but maybe it will be an even greater achievement to stay sane
and kind. We might opt not to conquer the world in favour of living a longer, and more
serene life. We are not backing away from a challenge, we’re simply shifting our sense
of what the real challenge might be – and more importantly where the real rewards may
lie. A quiet life isn’t necessarily one of resignation or flight, it may constitute
a supremely wise recognition that the truly satisfying things are available away from
the spotlight and the big cities, on modest salaries and as far as possible from the manic,
sleepless competition to ‘win’ the professional status race. As we’re discovering, excitement
is fun for a time; but it also kills. Simplicity is true wisdom; we need more naps. Do you need a detox from your devices? Our phone detox is designed to help give you a well-deserved break from your phone.

100 thoughts on “How To Simplify Your Life”

  1. Have you taken steps towards a simpler life? Or do you plan to do so in the future? Let us know in the comments below and make sure you do not miss any of our future films by subscribing to our channel and turning on notifications.

  2. This video reminded me of the great philosophy of Seneca: Retire into your study & do not envy the person most revered in the office, for such fame is won at the cost of life.

  3. I had to watch the video twice to allow my brain to really get the message because my brain is already cluttered with a lot of irrelevant stuff that doesn't allow space for something so meaningful like this. 🙂

  4. This is the first video I disagree with, and I am big fan of this channels philosophy, this video shows you how to live calm , but not great
    To be fullfilled with ignorance and happy with so little
    Could be fine with some people I agree
    But not a way to live passionately and connected to a higher purpose

  5. It would be easy on the viewers if the video had less animations, less graphical. It is not aiding in understanding what is being said. It is in fact distracting.

  6. Seemingly I simplified my life good enough in the last weeks and it’s still in process so I’m not gonna watch this video because I’m afraid it might interfier with my progress and make things complicated so… I just leave this comment here! 😛

    But thanks school of life! Im a “fan”!
    Have a nice day 🙂

  7. The company I work for in Western Australia has totally fucked me. I had a cardiac event last week now I am getting help.

  8. I work every day and night, I research I study, I practice. I am doing this out of fear, my past was like a nightmare and I don't want my past to repeat itself, That's why I work hard so that I can become powerful so that I can feel safe. I want to be calm I want to sleep but my brain doesn't stop working

  9. I know people who wake up, work jobs they don't like, and then go home to take care of kids until sleep. Repeat weekly. (The spouses always end up divorcing them.) No nap time, no free time. Is this your idea of being a parent?

  10. The truth is we are all programmed from an early age to live up to standards, goals set not by just ourselves but society as a whole. We strive constantly to be successful in life because we feel that is what we must do, but in theory, life really has no standards at all except to live, something a majority of us have not done in a while. We're constantly on the move throughout our lives. It starts with learning to crawl as a baby, then learning to walk and to run to places, finally how to drive. From then on, the non-stop race to the top begins. We push ourselves day and night to be better, to be richer, smarter, more sociable, etc. And when we feel like we haven't achieved our goals set in concrete, we despair. Our lives collapse before us as our minds cave in from the immense levels of stress we invoked. The truth is life has no goal other than to live. Instead of being caught in a no holds barred competition, we should relax, let our minds at ease. We should take time out of our daily commutes to enjoy the simpler things, the colors of the sky at sunset, the gentle ripples of light across the water, the sound of rain pattering against the roof, the sweet scent of a summer breeze, and the company of a dear companion. The more we neglect our lives, the more it passes us by, and the more we lament for those days never cherished, thus leading to more stress and dismay. I implore all of us to one day let go of our solid ambitions and simply live.

  11. I don’t quite know how well this scales across different personality-types. :/ Here’s my own take, anyway:

    Doing everything possible to work forward is what gives my life meaning. it’s payed, is paying, and doubt won’t continue to pay-off in the foreseeable future.

    I feel my happiest and most satisfied when I’m sleep deprived, just got back from a 5k at 12:30 AM and know I’ll be typing away at a distribution report ‘till 2:00. Conversely, I feel deprived of meaning and shame for letting-down this shadow of my forebears and the achievements held to their name.

    Looking at their photographs and portraits, listening to the music of the United States, German Empire, British Empire, Russian Empire, etc.—the organizations of peoples that represented the glory and honor in achievement for God and Country; that my family represented, lived and died for can drive me to tears while I work or exercise.

    I don’t believe an individual can claim to be worth any more than the value they provide, excluding what it takes for them to pull their own weight. In the eyes of others, one may be worth something, in the eyes of God, maybe something else—but the “you” is meaningless to yourself and only the opposite around others.

  12. Shameful to call the struggles of others just noise. Americans deserve to be and should be stressed about the news as long as our country is bombing 8 other countries in our names with our tax dollars. Perhaps our responsibilities at home should be to actually process the news and try and stop the next country we will leave 1 to 2 million dead in like Vietnam or Iraq for no clear reason.

  13. when i was younger, i imagined a life with the "big dogs", going from city to city on business, having a large house and a night life. Now after all the "noise", both at work and at home, all i want is a debt free life, a safe small home, a healthy diet and lifestyle, a non-toxic inner circle, and everything within walking distance. i just want to see the sun shine.

  14. People gotta escape the cities and put down their phones before they morph into completely different creatures. Our brains are meant to enter different states of mind but we are stuck in a hyperactive level with no real stimulus but the screen, its fucking up our sense of common reality and making people emotionally and socially unstable/retarded. (I mean that literally not as an insult)

  15. My problem is i'm the opposite. I sleep so much because even just thinking about all the work makes me exhausted 😂 I guess less sleep for me 😂

  16. I find it interesting that in 2019 you are still always harping on about news. Do you think many young people actually consume much news, if any at all? For my part I spend way more of my time consuming particular arbitrary commentators opinions on certain hobbies and interests of mine, as well as hobbies and interests I am developing an interest in. I don't consume any news except what people happen to tell me.

  17. I really needed this right now. I'm so stressed from all that is happening around me. I just need to take a break and some time for myself

  18. I just needed this. I am currently in a conference with a lot of my old colleagues celebrating their achievements although I know they hate their lives. And I am leading a much simpler rewarding life full of friendship and support, yet without academic achievement. Somehow I felt guilty. But this video encouraged me to maintain my path.

  19. 1 Restrict number of persons and commitments in your life
    2 Make sure you sleep enough
    3 Limit news intake
    4 Sift the chaotic content of your mind
    5 Manage your expectations

  20. This is the truth! Yes, I have simplified my life ruthlessly… I still feel pangs of guilt that I "should" be doing more, seeing more… but actually I have found a place of great serenity, beauty and freedom. I hope more people hear this important message! 🙏🏼❤️

  21. I'm a very simple person. I believe in "faster life takes you to the death sooner". Im a 32yo working (s/w engineer) mom of a 3yo boy. I work only 8 hrs a day and I try to keep it as productive as possible. Once I'm home I forget that I've a job. I know, that's hard for some people to do but I can. I don't answer calls or join meetings. Strict no! I don't think there is anything like emergency/urgency, unless u r a soldier protecting the country or a doctor ready to save lives, every thing else can wait. Let's not be too greedy to do everybody's job and grab everybody's salary. Ambition should have limits and we should realize that work/job is only to sustain a comfortable lifestyle and good personal life. If the core is broken, the money, fame, achievements, everything is a farce!. Stop spending too much on consumer goods like clothing, phones… instead spend it on leisure, take frequent breaks, have vacation with family and friends. Enjoy a good massage, nice slow dinner, dance with friends/children, run, do gardening, meditate everyday(no, this should not be like planning your day, but a blank, calm state of mind).
    Unless we're ready try to take action to fix the world's problems, we should avoid too much news reading just for the sake of knowledge. Too much knowing of stuff which is of no use is harmful.
    And remember, forgetting is a boon, so facilitate your mind getting rid of bad times in your life. It's ok, people cheat, lie, we face hard times, but once we're through, we should let go faster possible. Nobody and nothing is permanent, even we won't exist after a while. That's how I live and I'm a calm and happy person most of the times.

  22. Good points. However, I am half-hearted on the point regarding news. Yes it is commodified but I see it as a good thing. Because if we are just living in our own selfish bubbles, who will take responsibility for the world we live in?

  23. All I can say is 'PREACH IT! You are telling the truth' This is what I've been feeling and thinking in my mind but society keeps on saying more is better. Screw what they have to say, I'm going to start taking better care of my mental health and living life in a way that makes me feel saner and healthier. I would rather have my integrity that insane popularity and satisfaction than status. It's not my fault if 1000 people are dying half way around the world. Really, what do you want me to do about it??

  24. Funny how I’d been recommended this when I have realized how burned out i am after pulling 12 hours of work, meetings and socializing events daily. I should make the conscious choice and effort to give myself the me-time my mind and body has been asking for.

  25. I sleep 12 hours and almost do nothing except going to university and trust me there's no success here but there is a sense of satisfaction and again trust me satisfaction doesn't give you anything not in this world and not in hereafter

  26. I wonder if these remote people are really as remote as ancient egyptians. Because as individuals buying products we (speaking as a european citizen) are closely connected to the people in India making our clothes or the farmers in South Africa producing our fruits (to name an example). I think those 'remote' connections should be even more visible, maybe not only in the news, but also in the store or on the products. But those are things you can do something about yourself off course.

  27. Thank you for reaffirming that I have been living the correct way. No marriage and kids and plenty of video games, there simply is no other solution.

  28. I meditate every morning. Life has slowed down because of it. I'm finding a lot of joy in experiences because I'm not thinking about what is next

  29. I feel like this channel( and every other channel with similar content) is just manipulating depressed people, like when you're depressed you're always seeking comfort and guidance, you feel unmotivated and lost and these channels be like "I gotchu" and they get all the views and $$$ they want

  30. Im watching this like I have a difficult life like I didnt just wake up and bout to eat and might fall back asleep

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