Monthly Archives: August 2011

No smartphones for me

I asked myself why I needed a smartphone in the first place. I already have my old non-smartphone (an Alcatel e101) with me and I’ve been able to function with or without it. It’s a handy tool when contacting my friends and family when they’re/I’m out, it’s a nice alarm clock, and calculator.

Although it would be beneficial to have a smartphone, I don’t see it as an essential tool for me. I can lose it and still be able to contact anyone in the phonebook via IM, eMail, landline, or face-to-face. I might not be able to take photos with it but I can bring my digicam with me if need be (plus it takes pictures way better than any smartphone). No need for a music player in my phone since I stopped listening to music while walking after I nearly got into an accident. Reading books while in transit makes me dizzy so no need for a mobile eBook reader. Playing games on my computer is still better than straining my eyes on a smartphone’s tiny screen. Following someone’s social network is better (and cheaper) on the computer.

Some might think I’m just an old curmudgeon wishing for days past and that’s alright. I’m sticking to my old phone until it breaks.

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Define simplicity then go for it

“Simplicity is a mindset,” she says. “It’s not so much about what you have and how much you have, but how you think about your life.”

Kristin van Ogtrop, managing editor of Time Inc.’s Real Simple magazine

I envy the couple in this story as they support each other in making life more simple. They seem to have the same thoughts on what simplicity is. Unfortunately not everyone can be as lucky as they are: there are some couples/families who have totally different ideas on how to simplify their lives.

The standard for living simply could be relative to how one thinks about their lives. This seems true despite how financially stable one is. There are some who live below the poverty line in my country who has a lot of useless stuff crammed in their homes and some who live wealthy in almost empty houses. It also goes beyond educational level: there are those who have never studied yet seem to know what they need over those who are well-educated and have overflowing books in their personal library.

Define what simplicity is to you (or each of you if you decide to include your loved ones) then go for it. Don’t worry about money as that is not a factor here. Most likely you’ll even earn money as you decide to sell off your old stuff. Don’t worry if you think you don’t know much about it, just think what you need in your daily life for the next 6 months and stick with those.

Making complicated things, effortless

This is a paradigm for non-action: the purest and most effective form of action. The game plays the game; the poem writes the poem; we can’t tell the dancer from the dance. It happens when we trust the intelligence of the universe in the same way that an athlete or a dancer trusts the superior intelligence of the body. -Lao Tzu-

Can we make something complicated into something effortless?

Walking can be considered as extremely simple by most humans. We walk around a lot, not even thinking of which feet we should start and end with. However, there was a time when walking was extremely hard for us: it was when we were just starting to learn how to do it. We would fall, then get up and try again. It would frustrate us most of the time, but we had an instinct to do it no matter what happened.

Come a few decades later, where we end up trying to learn how to do a task at work. At first it would seem to be nearly impossible, but nonetheless we were able to overcome it. Since then it simply has become part of the routine and we hardly even think about it.

If you think it’s worthwhile, just keep on doing it until it becomes effortless.