How To Build A Sophisticated, Yet Simple Life

Photo by 林冠昇

Does Sophisticated Equal Complicated?

Sophisticated. Even the word itself seems a little long and complicated to spell. What does it really mean, though?

The textbook definition from is:

  • altered by education, experience, etc., so as to be worldly-wise; not naive.
  • complex or intricate, as a system, process, piece of machinery, or the like: a sophisticated electronic control system.
  • of, for, or reflecting educated taste, knowledgeable use, etc.

If something or someone is sophisticated, does that really mean that it or they need to be complex? Maybe or maybe not. Let’s explore that question is this post.

Simplicity Is The Best Approach

The inspiration for this post came from a quote I ran across a few days ago. This was a statement made by the ultimate renaissance man:

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Hmmm, what does Leonardo mean by that quote? Here’s my interpretation, especially for those of us now living in the 21st Century.

We live in a complicated world. We live with distractions all around us. We have social media notifications going off 24/7. We have multiple email accounts to check. We have voicemail messages to listen to and phone calls to return. We live in an information avalanche, and we’re constantly trying to dig our way out!

What if we went against the flow and created systems in our life that made our lives more simple and less complicated? Well, then, compared to the rest of the world, we would be more sophisticated than those around us. We would be the envy of our family and friends!

Here are three examples of life systems you could put in place to live a more simple, yet sophisticated life:

  1. Financial systems – Do a basic cashflow spreadsheet each month. Put all your bills on autopay. Pay off your debts as quickly as possible.
  2. Health systems – Eat out less. Eat at home, more. Cut back on the carbs. Eat more veggies and protein. Establish a regular 4-5 day a week exercise routine. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
  3. Homelife systems – Clear the clutter. Live with more open space. Get simple, multi-functional, clean, modern furniture. Hire a maid to come through and detail clean your house for 2 hours every other week.

How Are You Living?

How’s your life? Is it really complicated right now? Do you feel like a complete mess?

Considering the examples of the life systems above, focus on one area at a time. Write down 5 steps you can take over the next month to establish one particular system. Work those five steps over 30 days and get that plate spinning. Once you feel that system is working well, then repeat the process for your next life system.

Focus on building better systems, especially ones with automation or assistance, that can lead to your living a more simple life. Through following this path of simplicity, you will achieve the ultimate sophistication.

6 Benefits Of Cutting Clutter From Your Home And Life

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I’m On A Mission

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been immersed in a personal project. When I’m not at my day job or writing blog posts. I’ve been clearing out my home of excess trash, unwanted items, and even excess furniture.

You see, I have my third child on the way. She’s due to arrive around Christmas. My job as daddy is to prepare for our new arrival. I need to do a “bedroom shuffle” for my other two daughters in order to create space for a nursery for our baby.

Now that we’re finally past a very hot, dry summer and have entered into the fall season, a sense of urgency has come over me. I don’t have a lot of time. I’ve got to get these multiple home projects done on schedule. I need to get crackin’.

But, even with this sense of time pressure, I’ve actually been enjoying the process as I’ve been walking through it. I have found it extremely beneficial. In this post, I’d like to share the benefits that I’ve discovered as I get rid of a tremendous amount of clutter out of our home and life.

6 Benefits Of Cutting The Clutter

  1. Sense of relief. Honestly, I’ve been dragging my feet on this project for several months. It just feels good to be finally tackling the project!
  2. Reminiscing. I’m typically not that much of a sentimental guy. I do like to hold onto some memorabilia for the historical aspect (for example, I still have the Time Magazine edition right after the 9/11 attacks took place), but other than that, not so much. As I’ve been cleaning and organizing, I’ve been finding a lot of paperwork and pictures of my first two daughters when they were little. I’ve been blown away how much we have all changed over the last decade.
  3. Opening the space for reorganization. The primary reason for me even needing to take on this project in the first place is to do a “bedroom shuffle.” I need to move one of my kids downstairs in order to take her old room and make it into a nursery for our baby on the way. De-cluttering the entire house will allow this to take place.
  4. Get some cash. In the process of clearing out your home of unwanted or needed stuff, you can hold a garage sale. You can put stuff up for sale on Craigslist. You can get at least a small portion of the value out of some of the stuff in your home. You can use this cash to make the improvements you need as you update your home life.
  5. Bless Others. Connected with #4, in the process of selling your stuff at a discount or giving some of it to charity, you can bless others as a result.
  6. Opening Your Life To Receive More. All the “experts” claim that when you rid your life of excess stuff, you are opening your life in order to receive more. I believe there’s a lot of truth to this statement. Check out these great quotes:

If your house is full of stuff, all the blessings that could fill your house can’t get in. The stuff takes over. It robs you psychologically. You can’t be at peace. – Peter Walsh

When you have cleared all of your clutter, you can be of greater service to those around you. – Michael B. Kitson

The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are. – Mother Teresa

Do You Have A Lot Of Clutter?

So, how about you? Do you have several years worth of clutter and junk taking over your life? Do you have a massive de-clutter project that you have been delaying like I have been?

I would just encourage you to start somewhere. Start with one dresser drawer, one closet, or one room. Take a couple of vacation days from work or schedule a couple of weekends to see how much you can get accomplished in that time frame.

Start somewhere and then move through the process as quickly as possible. As you do it, though, enjoy the journey. Embrace these 6 benefits of cutting the clutter and living a more simple life.