• Madhura

Less Is More


Hello and welcome to new goal of the Morning Cup of Sunshine Podcast. Let’s begin our journey of positivity, mindfulness with one step at a time.


Happy Moment of The Week

As always, let’s take a moment and think about the one thing that brought you joy, a smile on your face. It can be the smallest thing but if it made you feel good about you, about your life then just close your eyes and experience it again just for a moment.

For me, it was a simple, small moment on a morning run today that gave me joy and happiness.

When I started my run today, it was a little bit cloudy but there was no sign of rain. A few minutes into my run, it started drizzling lightly.  It was not pouring rain, just a little bit of drizzle. I have a very beautiful relationship with rain. Rain has a special place in my heart. Today, those small droplets on my face felt so satisfying. It felt refreshing, reviving almost mystical but still giving me the assurance of a new beginning. It was just an amazing feeling, as I always say, the moment to cherish forever and ever. 


Now, it’s your turn friends, do let me know your moment of the week in the comments section. I would love to read all your bright and joyful moments. 


My experience of joy today made me think, how little we need to make us happy, content. Do we need all those fancy things that sometimes we dream of to feel content? Do we feel 100 % content after getting those things? Sometimes I feel all these materialistic things make us want more of them instead of making us satisfied with them. This brings me to today’s goal no 6 “Less is More.”  

Today, before discussing the steps to achieve the mindset of Less is more, I want you all do one exercise with me. I want you all to take a moment and think about your perfect day. Imagine, that you can spend one entire day as you wish. Let your mind wander in all directions. 

Come up with your idea of a perfect day. My perfect day would be something like this. I would like to wake up early and go for a really long morning walk. I would love to walk on the beautiful trail with a lot of beautiful flowers and trees on my route. I would love to have a nice breakfast with my family. Then I would love to spend time penning my thoughts on my blog or reading my favorite book. Then, do some productive and challenging work in my day job. In the evening I would love to have a nice, long workout and then end the day by playing some board games with my kids.  This is my idea of a perfect day.  If you look closely only things that I need to make my day perfect are my nature walk, family, book and a long workout. When you think about your perfect day, I am sure you will also notice that you also need very basic things. So, my friends I say less is more but still we always want something more. Today, we will discuss how to live with more simplicity and how to believe in this thought - Less is More 


Like your trusted friend, I am here to give you actual tangible steps to achieve this goal for you.


Step 1 Less Stuff means more Space

Look around your physical space. Do you feel that you have too much stuff? Are your closets overflowing with the clothes you never actually wear? Is your home filled with too much furniture? Do your kids have too many toys that it takes hours to clean up? Just take a look around and think, do you need this much stuff? Do you really need everything that you own? It is time to make room for space. Less cluttered space gives you a sense of calmness. I read somewhere that even your home needs a space to breath. You must have heard about the Konmari method by Marie Kondo. I love her philosophy. She says start going through your things one by one, hold that thing in your hand and ask yourself, does this bring joy to me? Is it worth holding on to? I want to go further and say, if it is not bringing joy to me anymore, will it bring joy to someone else? If the answer is yes, please donate it , of course if it is in good condition for others to use. I want to apply her thought process while bringing a new thing into my home? Will it bring joy, happiness to me long term if I bring this home? Don’t do impulse buys. I already talked about decluttering your mind in episode no 5 but I think I should do one entire episode on decluttering the physical space. But friends, for this goal, we will remember, that less stuff is more space for you to enjoy. So, be intentional on what things you bring into your home.


Step 2 : Less screen time means more time to read

There is a lot of information out there on how screen time affects brain development of a child. There are a lot of studies done on how using phones, tablets and similar electronics for too much time hamper the kid’s social development. We have heard a lot about it everywhere. But what about adults ? Does it suddenly become alright if we use it for prolonged time? Most of us already need to sit in front of the screen for our day jobs. How does it become so obvious and normal for us adults to binge watch a show on screen again at night? Maybe a bigger screen, but still a screen, isn’t it? Of Course there is social media too? Social media is like the sprinkles on the donut, sprinkled everywhere in small bits and pieces. Why don’t we have a limit on how much screen time should we have? Just try to remember your life before all this social media boom. Wasn’t it simpler? Do we really need to check our feed for likes and comments after every 5 second? Have you ever noticed how much time we spend in front of a screen? Most unused but extremely useful application on our phone is the screen time. It gives us the exact time we spend on screen. Just take a look it gives you the reflection of your habits. It is time to give a break to screen and pick up a real book. The fun, the excitement of reading a book is a divine experience. I have a very vivid memory of my childhood. I am from a small town from Western India. There used to be a book fair set up in my town every year in December. I remember going to the book fair with extreme enthusiasm. I can still remember the smell of new books, the crisp and new pages of the book. My mom and dad used to give me some money to buy the books but any amount that they give me was never enough for me to buy the books that I wanted. Then one day my dad showed me a trick, he gave me a small notebook and asked me to write down the author and name of the book that I want to buy in the notebook. I made a huge list. Then the next day, dad and I went to the public library in our town. It was a very big public library with a really vast collection of books. He introduced me to a treasure full of all the amazing books that were on my list. I still remember crossing off my list in that small notebook by each passing day. It was such a fulfilling experience. I want to have this feeling again. I want to feel this fulfillment once again away from all the screens. I tell you my friends, it is not difficult. As I always say start small and be persistent. Decide to read at least 2 pages of a book every day before going to bed. You can build this habit if you do it consistently. As we discussed in episode no 3, Persistence over perfection, track your progress, notice how you are slowly but surely changing your habit for better. If you spend less time on screen I assure you, you will be able to spend more time reading.  


Step 3 : Less stress means more peace.

We live in a very fast paced world. We all have mile long to-do lists everyday. I will tell you my personal experience. I always felt like I was running a never ending race. I was so focussed on getting better at everything at my hand. Something inside me was always driving me to want to do better—to be more, to have more. I felt like everyday I am competing with yesterday. As I mentioned in my introduction episode, I am a very goal oriented person. If I saw a goal in front of me, something used to shift in me. I used to push myself to limits. I always felt that I could do this if I pushed myself a little more. That little more was a lot more, but I never realized it. I used to feel like I always had to be going somewhere—doing something—never sitting still. I think I mentioned this before that I am not a runner but last year my friend insisted on me to run a 5K. I pushed myself, practiced a lot and finally completed the race. I felt good for a moment but then I realized that in my mind  I am already on to a new goal. I did not stop to appreciate my efforts. That’s when I realized something is not right. I can not go like this forever. I have to stop, take a breath and soak in the moment. I was putting my body and mind in a huge amount of stress. I decided to work on myself. I decided to take it slow. I started doing things intentionally. I am still a goal oriented person but now I not only enjoy the success after achieving the goal but also enjoy my journey towards the goal. If I ever find myself saying that I am extremely busy, I ask myself am I busy or overwhelmed? Is there anything I can do to reduce my stress to feel more at peace? Can I ask for help? Can I assure myself that you are enough and you are doing the best you can in a given situation? Friends, we have been given this beautiful life. I do trust that we are made for greatness. Each one of you has something unique that makes you an amazing person. I want you all to be great at what you do. But my friends, I absolutely do not want anyone to feel less and start stressing out. If we take away the stress we can have more peaceful experiences in life. So today, let’s pledge together to work on your inner peace and take a step back when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. 

Step 4 : Less spending means more Savings

When you start spending intentionally, thoughtfully, you will realize how much money you spend on unnecessary things? Let’s take a simple example, visualize for a moment, you went for a grocery shopping without your list or meal plan. On top of that it is almost your lunchtime and you are feeling extremely hungry. Chances are you are going to purchase way too much junk food, ready to eat food than you really need. You would not have picked those things up if you have a list in hand and meal plan in mind. You will not feel the need to shop the isles of chips n dips if you would have come to the grocery shop after your lunch. We all have heard so many times that we should shop the outer isles of the grocery shops because those are isles for fresh produce, dairy and meat. It is just a matter of planning. If you plan right you can save so much money. I am not asking you to be cheap. I am asking you to be frugal. Live within your means. You need to choose very wisely between the wants and needs. I love to spend on experiences rather than on gifts. When you start thinking about what makes you really happy, you will realize in most cases it is an experience. Spending time with friends and family, working on your hobby, nature walks, these are the things that help you feel centered. Everytime you want to buy something, ask yourself, do I really need it? Sometimes, shopping feels like an escape whenever you’re feeling down or bored. It is extremely easy to think that it will make you feel great. But mindless shopping will never fix what’s bothering you inside instead it will lead you to the buyer’s remorse. Once you start thinking straight again, you will feel guilty about the impulse purchase you just made. You might end up feeling even worse than you did before the shopping spree. So my friends, it is time to look into your habits and see if you are spending way too much on the things that you really don’t need. The less money spent on the things you don’t need means more savings towards the things that you actually need. Right?


Step 5 : Less fad diets means more healthy lifestyle.

And finally, here comes my favorite analogy, Less fad diets means more healthy lifestyle. I want to share my struggles with food and body image with you all but that is way too vast a topic to cover in this episode, but I am sure that one is coming to your way very soon. But I will tell you one thing, like thousands of women here I have my fair share of all quick fixes and self shaming. I have struggled for far  too long till I finally learnt to love myself the way I am. I sincerely tell you this from the bottom of my heart the only thing matters is that you feel good about yourself. And the only thing you need to feel good about yourself is a healthy lifestyle. You don’t need any fad diet, any program that promises you a quick fix. Don’t spend your hard earned money on anything that you can not sustain your entire life. I have seen this very up close and personal how this tears you apart if you spend a lot of money on a program and you don’t see the result that the program promised. It breaks your heart and it takes you to such a dark place that you stop loving anything about yourself. Please my friends, I request you not to do this to yourself. There are three things which can fix all your struggles if you work on consistently. Your nutrition, your exercise routine and your water intake. Everything else is just a different name given to these basic things. Cut all fad diets from your life and just work on eating healthy, moving your body and drinking water. I guarantee you that you will lead a more healthy lifestyle. It is the vicious circle of fad diets that has been slowly hampering your inner beauty, your confidence. Please don’t let that happen. I am here to walk this journey with you. Please let me know in the review comments if you would like a separate episode dedicated to this topic, I would love to make it for you all.


Recap

This brings us to the end of this episode. The goal that we worked on today was the mindset “Less is More” I want you all to spend some time and think over this little more. Find the areas in your life where you feel having less of something actually gives you more happiness and peace. Do let me know in review comments. We are on this path together so let’s lift each other up and be the best version of ourselves. 

To recap the steps we discussed to today to build the mindset of Less is more are

Step 1 Less Stuff means more Space

Step 2 : Less screen time means more time to read

Step 3 : Less stress means more peace.

Step 4 : Less spending means more Savings

Step 5 : Less fad diets means more healthy lifestyle.



This week,  our action plan will be to look around your home and declutter the things that don’t bring you joy anymore. Second, read at least two pages of a book you always wanted to read and lastly cut out any fad diet you are following if you think that this is not something you can follow for a long time. 

So what do you think friends, shall we work on this together? I am 100% sure that we all together will conquer these habits successfully and of course with a bright smile on our faces. 

As it turns out, More was never the answer. The answer, it turned out, was always less.”


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