“Less is more”: your new motto for stress-free, happier life
The great architect Mies van der Rohe was one of the first people in design industry to use the phrase “less is more,” but he never really defined it. Maybe because of that, people have been using it rather narrowly to describe aesthetics that focused on simplicity, associating it with Mies’ iconic International Style that focused on clean “skin-and-bones” architecture that let beauty and functionality emerge from minimum amount of materials/design details.
But the potential of “less is more” is actually larger than simple design. You can apply the notion to just about anything once you grasp the true relationship of “less” and “more,” and figure out how you can leverage “less” in order to generate “more.” The benefits are invaluable: you’ll be finally free from the constant pressure to buy “more” in order to feel happy, which must have been costing you financially and emotionally. In this series, we explore different ways to apply “less is more” to our daily lives to make them more abundant and fulfilling.
“Less is more” and minimalist life style
The most intuitive “less is more” application in our daily life is a minimalist life style, which is about freeing yourself from the stress of having to manage too many belongings, financial obligations and relationships. Although dubbed “minimalist,” it’s really about the appropriate level of belongings or relationships you can comfortably handle: what you are minimizing in such a lifestyle is not really the number of assets: it’s your obligation/burden to take care of them.
“Less is more” and consumption:
How to deal with “we’ll make your life easier” marketing mantra
One of the big reasons why it’s difficult to live by “less is more” in today’s highly commercialized world is because we are surrounded by products and services that keep whispering “we’ll make your life easier,” which is music to our ears. As we easily succumb to those whispers and keep acquiring things that take away jobs and tasks from us, we are giving up the most critical ticket for profound happiness: sense of accomplishment.
“Less is more” and what/how we eat
“Less is more” is the whole reason why we have “xx diet.” We have been needing them – and increasingly so – because “more food,” which we thought was great, is almost always too much to stay fit in today’s saturated market. Just like minimalist lifestyle, introducing “less” in your eating habit is about re-discovering the right amount/quality of food that can truly satisfy you.
“Less is more” and the Internet:
how to deal with digital device addiction
One of the areas where we don’t even think about applying “less is more” approach is our over reliance on the Internet and digital devices. As we are glued to them 24/7 with little hesitation/reservation and letting our kids do the same, we may be risking something much larger and fundamental.
“Less is more” and how we work
You need lots of academic achievements and credentials in order to succeed and thrive in today’s economy. The competition starts really early and our kids are entrapped in never-ending series of competitions at school, sports, music or voluntary activities. But is “succeeding in the society” the only way to live happily? Is “more” of those credentials only way to thrive?