Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve finally started dipping my toes back into the pool of writing fiction. I’m finally developing a story idea into a real book after more than a year of “absent creativity”—and at last, I had a revelation: my creativity hadn’t really been gone; it had merely been asleep, recharging.
When I was a teenager, my dream was to be a novelist. I would sit in my room at my desk for hours, plotting, writing, editing. The “life of a writer” consumed me. This was all I ever wanted: for it to be me, my characters, and my world. And of course, one day, a best-selling novel. But things didn’t quite work out that way.
Sometimes you just need to journey down a quiet road going anywhere; to wander—and to wonder. Sometimes you need to feel the breeze in your hair and the sun on your skin and just pause: breathe the air of simplicity and forget the hurry of the world, just for a moment. If that’s you right now, you’ve come to the right place.
Last week, my good friend, Isaac Kenneth released his first music album, highlighting the beauty of a life embracing simplicity. He talks about a place that’s quiet; a place that’s safe. It’s a place that feels far away from a lot of us—a place some of us may have forgotten exists. But it’s still there, and his music has a way of transporting you to that world.
We of the 21st century live incredibly cluttered lives. We’re busy, scattered, and often exhausted, trying to keep up with the commitments in our lives, whether it’s work, school, or social engagements. Even when we do have free time, it’s often spent distracted.
We’re conditioned to live at a fast pace; constantly hustling, impatient, and strained. Free time, while important, feels indulgent. With various things competing for our attention each day, it becomes difficult to focus—and sometimes focus is exactly what we need.
The word “simplicity” is a hot topic right now. It’s trendy. If you’re a minimalist, you’re part of the cool crowd, and you’re doing things right. And this is nothing against minimalists—I tend to be one myself, and I think it’s great—but if we define simplicity as synonymous with minimalistic, we’re missing the point.
Simplicity is not a “trend” to be attached to one specific “lifestyle”. It’s not about having less, or religiously shunning any type of privilege or convenience. It’s not a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s a lot simpler than that—really.
If you’re anything like me, nothing has ever sounded as dull as simply “being normal”. Having a normal job and doing normal things like normal people. It turns you off because, deep down, you know you were made for more than that. You have a purpose, and “normalcy” is your enemy—or is it?
I just want to take a minute to say something that should be pretty obvious, but for some reason isn’t: People are not normal. People are complex, vibrant, mysterious, and deep—sometimes even beyond their own realization. You are one of those people. But unique people like you and I sometimes end up doing “normal things”—and we beat ourselves up for it.
We of the millennial generation face more clutter and shiny distractions than any generation before us. We have things like television, radio, ads, email, social media, texting, and more—all at our fingertips, vying for our attention every single day. Things get complicated fast.
We’re in the habit of keeping up with everything—and not because we have to, but because we can. Entertainment and information are everywhere all the time, so why not? We’re used to living with so much mental clutter, we sometimes don’t even recognize how it’s causing us to suffer.
When I look around at people I admire, a certain word comes to mind: powerful. These are great people: influencers, leaders; people worthy of respect. These are the people I aspire to be like, and so I started pondering the question: “What makes someone truly powerful?”
When I say “power”, I’m not talking about authority or force, but strength. Impact. Security. The people I admire most have a sense of personal identity and strength of character that makes them stand out, and today I want to talk about six habits I’ve noticed that all these great influencers have in common.