In growing older, two realizations dawn. Firstly, one will not have seemingly endless summers to enjoy. Secondly, one’s energy levels, slowly but surely, decline.

Time is now of premium value. Therefore, to simplify life is an urgent necessity and a new priority!

Six areas of life that may need attention and simplifying are:

(1) Stressful Pace

  • Are commitments, and time needed for them, out of control and where I feel overloaded and driven most of the time?
  • Am I aware of time robbers, such as needless interruptions, procrastination, and perfectionism?
  • Do I need to slow my pace and more efficiently manage my available time?

(2) Possessions

  • Do I need to declutter accumulated and disorganized personal possessions?
  • Do I need to streamline and downscale the various items in my living space?
  • Can I live with less, and thereby live with more freedom and joy?

(3) Expectations

  • Are my deep-seated expectations of myself, others, and life indeed valid?
  • Do I continually compare myself with others, and measure my worthiness in relation to them?
  • What do I mean by the term “success”, and how do I measure success?

(4) Activities

  • Do I regularly ask myself: Why I do what I do?
  • What do I really want to do with my life – and how can I leave a heritage of value?
  • How can I reduce my activities to focus on that which matters most?

(5) Relationships

  • Am I mindful of the people I keep company with?
  • Are they edifying, helpful, and service-oriented; or, perhaps critical, negative, and controlling?
  • Am I carrying needless emotional baggage, such as past hurts, resentments, and anger?

(6) Spiritual Life

  • Am I involved in service activities that match my gifts and talents?
  • Am I serving where I truly feel called to and can make a difference?
  • Do I ensure that my daily spiritual priorities are being taken care of?

In examining our lives in this way, we may need to now urgently pare down what is unfruitful in order to have more time for what truly counts in the long-run.  

In re-reading the above list of six areas, I noticed a mnemonic emerging – S.P.E.A.R.S. May we use these six spears to maximize the potential of our lives for the service of others!

Source: The idea for simplifying the above six areas of life originated with the following book. Wright, H. Norman. Simplify Your Life and Get More Out of It! Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1998.

Alexander Peck (November 2019)

For a PDF copy of the above, please click here.

Spacious Sea and Sky
Reflection: We must eliminate clutter from our lives so that we can discover and focus on what truly counts in the long-term, including beyond this life.