I remember taking a class in anthropology at the University of Kentucky where we were introduced to a tribe in the Amazon.  They are at the very least a simple tribe.  There is no running water, they live in hut and sleep in hammocks.  Everyday they go in the forest and dig up some type of sweet potato and maybe catch fish from the river.  Then they gather in their huts and relax.  Once done they have completed a few hours of work.  The most amazing thing is they seem happy.  Perhaps its because they don’t know what they are missing or perhaps their just happy to be able spend so much time with family and friends.  I’m jealous.

While I can’t speak for everyone, I can say that my life is way too busy and and way too cluttered.  I don’t like busy and cluttered.  I spend too much time traveling to work and not nearly enough time with my family.  That’s unacceptable.  So I decided to choose a better life.  It may take some time to put everything in place, but I’m working on it right now.  Here’s what I’m doing.

  1. Simplify – I just finished reading a book called The Power of Less by Leo Babauta.  In a nutshell, the more you simplify, the less you have to worry about.
  2. Declutter – When you have stuff, you worry about your stuff.  The more you worry about your stuff, the less time you have to spend on things that are really important.
  3. Remove Distractions – We’re surrounded by noise.  Just remove it.
  4. Focus – You can do more if you can focus on one thing at a time.
  5. Look for an alternative viewpoint about work/life balance – Basically I don’t believe in work/life balance.  Work takes up too much time.  The only way to correct this is to change the balance or choose work that compliments your life.

There it is.  A basic plan to choose a better life.  A basic plan to spend more time watching the sunrise and the sunset.  A plan that affords me the opportunity to work with great people on problems that really matter.

Photo credit: Sharell Cook