South Brent

A lot has been written about simplicity. My favourite author is John Lane, and I can thoroughly recommend his book Timeless Simplicity.

In the main, it is focused on the material world, which manifests in desiring less, living within our means and seeing the beauty in nature – all laudable aims.

Whilst I wouldn’t decry the pursuit of less, it only speaks to part of the idiom.

What of our mind?

Can we say that we are as focused on cultivating less? Fewer thoughts, quietening our internal chatter or not succumbing to our controlling mind? In other words, do we seek a place where we are not beholden to the egoic mind?

For me a quiet mind is one where I feel totally present, possess inner peace and not distracted by the present or the past. Some people might call this mindfulness, but even this label I find a distraction: “Am I mindful today?”

If this sounds hopelessly metaphysical then I can understand how you might come to that view – it does seem a long way removed from good business sense – but the pursuit of more is never enough, even if that is wrapped up in making sure that you have less.

For me, as paradoxical as it may sound, I do my best work when I am not thinking. You might call this flow or being in the zone, but it arises when I don’t have the distraction of listening to my internal voice.

I am making a concerted effort this year to meditate; and practice the wisdom of The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I know if I can master the discipline of working from the self then I will be more productive than answering the call of my critic voice, which seems never satisfied.

Perhaps when you next read a something of simplicity, you might consider its wider compass.

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