When Less Becomes So Much More

When Less Becomes So Much More

This is a journey quite personal, to me.

Having lived with more, done more, earned more, accumulated more — I gained what didn’t matter, and lost what I can never regain.

A few years ago, the proverbial rug (of life) was pulled out from under me, and I was forced to adjust to much, much less.

And the process was hard - yet through it I found a life I enjoyed living… so much more.

It’s different. And it’s better.
It’s simpler. And it’s fuller.

Sitting in quietness (with nothing “pressing” to do) is one of the hardest situations for most people to find themselves in. We grow up with so much noise - which serves to keep us distracted, moving from one activity to the next. And we even make up activities to “occupy our time” when things get too still and quiet.

As adults, we are conditioned to always have something going on, to get ready for, to plan or prepare for. Otherwise, the quietness serves to make us feel bored - when in actuality, it’s no different than the times in childhood when all of the toys, activities or entertainment were at a lull, and we hear the proclamation, “I’m bored!”

But the still, the quiet, the less — is something we could benefit (greatly) from getting adjusted to. Because it’s in the stillness, the no distractions environment, that we can truly listen to what God wants to say to us - in His word, and through the life that He has purposed for us.

Think about a great conversation you’re having with someone right in front of you, and sitting right next to you are 2 other people engaged in a conversation — it’s almost impossible to focus on what the person talking to you is saying, because your brain is distracted by the noise of the person next to you.

That’s where we find ourselves in any quiet that might approach. We fill it with what distracts us in the moment, so we can’t really hear what others are really saying - nor can we hear what God is speaking, to us. It could be our phones, music, tv, games, social media — the distractions are given priority over just being still, quiet, and in conversation (or solitude) with just that person, or with God.

It’s refreshing to see that there are others who recognize the “glorification of busy” in our culture, and are calling us out for what it is.

Choose a simpler lifestyle, over the distracted and drained life.

Choose different - not more.
The path is unique when what we pursue is not ”more" — because that’s what we are always taught.

It goes like this… If you attain something or achieve a level of income, then more is better. If we are to "improve and develop", we buy into the notion that it equals accumulation and bigger — to be better.

But different, can bring the more.

Adjusting our life to less attachment for inanimate things can be a process — but the end result is worth it.

Different could mean less home, less money, less obligations, less activities, less people around — yet the more is fully unleashed and experienced in the fullness of freedom. Being free from the things that entangle our thoughts, and hold captive our actions to the unnecessary activity and responsibility. 

Consider so many who start a venture, or a business - and when they experience a bit of success, quite naturally, they pursue more — which takes more out of them (more sacrifice), as well, to make it happen. In fact, the world encourages us to “go for more” - because more is better, right? And in a few short years, the business owns their life.

Children still grow up, but not with fully engaged and invested parents.
Friendships move on, because of neglect.
Health becomes compromised, due to poor eating habits — and stress. 

We appear to have more (and all the pleasure that comes with it) - but do we really? The more takes over virtually every aspect of our lives.

Often, at the time we finally realize this, it’s unfortunately long overdue, and relationships with loved ones are strained, or disintegrated, in the process.

How do we choose different?

What does that look like, and do we truly want it, if it means we have less?

Less demands.
Less debt.
Less maintenance.
Less rush.
Less stress.
Less complexity.

What can we do to lift the burdensome stress - of "more" - from our backs?
And the question begs to be answered, do we really want what different looks like? Because that might mean finding out more about ourselves, and investing our time into them - into the others in our life, rather than ourselves. And it could possibly mean more quiet time to converse with God, and really listen to what He is saying.

Because we are not here to have more of anything - except Him.
We are here to know Him, and experience His love… more - each day. 
The how is always in the why.

When we realize that more is not satisfying, because of all it entails to build it, and maintain it - the thoughts begin to creep in… “why am I doing this?" 

It's when we wake up (more often) to begrudging the days — and just making it through; going through the motions with no zeal, no purpose — and we question our lack of motivation.

Does it matter that much? Why?

And if the answer is ‘not really’ - then what does matter? 

Caution flag.
Should you love your busy, crazy and overstuffed life… be sure you can sustain the pace. Exhilaration can blind us to the exertion required to sustain and maintain the process of doing, and having, more.

Can that be done without compromising other life priorities? Should we feel a check in this area — then consider a contingency plan to pursue different. Sacrifice of time and energy is understandable, until it affects health, relationships, and people.  

Sometimes, an adjustment to less becomes so much more. 

Even our team, staff and employees want their time and energy to feel valued. Pushing to the brink may be a good tactic for the military to measure stamina and commitment — but it’s a tactic that will demoralize a team, no matter how lofty the cause. 

In order to share, give, serve, and enjoy, we must have a well within us to draw from. The well runs dry when more is demanded of us then we are capable of delivering. 

Finding the balance, when to pull back, and how to do things differently doesn’t come easily - but the outcome of less delivers so much more to...

A Life of real Value

I recently discovered the #wycwyc movement. Doing what you can — when you can.

Start adjusting to less, now. It’s a journey that will find you with fulfillment and true contentment, over time. Begin to do life, differently. Evaluate what’s not working, purge the stuff — and pursue your people.

Some call it a simpler life. And to me, it is that - and so much more.
Do you live it? Can you live it, and also love it? 

I’ve had what more is — and I’m living proof that less is better. For one reason.

Those who matter, the most.

“People will forget what you said, and what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel”.

If you love your life, and are passionately enthused about why you are doing, what you’re doing, and how you are doing it, then Bravo!

But, how do you make them feel? Is it worth it all?

Because with less things, and less obligations in our lives, we can focus more on others. We can actually tune into their needs, struggles, challenges — and be there for their triumphs. This is when life is truly meaningful. When we fulfill our purpose by focusing on others - more than ourselves. 

I’m convinced that many would never want it — but that’s only because their identity is in... 

The glorification of busy

If we are involved in countless obligations, always going from one to the next, pretty much all day, then we “feel” like life has value, and means something - by doing so much. It appears successful — and it’s an image we can portray easily, even when things are spiraling out of control. But, that lasts only for so long.

The busy revolving door of life can become a vacuum that sucks the very stuffing out of us. It’s all to easy to find ourselves gasping for air while the life treadmill goes faster — yet it's oh-so-difficult to get out of the whirlwind. In the midst of it all, we can feel as if it’s our “normal” and think that we are adjusted to it. Unfortunately, busyness and overcommitment serve only to burn us out, at some point. It’s just a countdown before the come-apart wreaks havoc on our health, relationships, and ultimately affects our business.

We are better off to see it coming, and do what we can to do things differently, before the fallout occurs.

Let us dare to be different - to pursue more of life - with less to restrain and entangle us.

Until next time...