Modern*Simplicity

Creating a Life Free From Chaos

7 Quotes for Living a Simpler Life

I collect quotes. I love hearing what other people have to say about life. You can gain so much wisdom by listening carefully to what others say about what they’ve noticed, what they’ve succeeded and failed at, what they’ve learned. Today I’m sharing 7 of my favorite simplicity quotes, the quotes I most often come back to when I need encouragement or inspiration.

“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age, a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.” ~Peace Pilgrim

Why I love this quote: It’s true. If you’re still holding on to items that serve no purpose, if you can’t let go of something you no longer need, you’re possessed by it. And a lot of us have items we hoard that possess us. The key to breaking free is recognizing it.

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. ~Lin Yutang

I keep this one front and center on my to-do list, because I have a bad habit of filling my lists with everything under the sun, more tasks than any one person could ever do. Instead of feeling like I’m “slacking” or “quitting” or “lazy,” I can remind myself that it IS a noble art to leave the non-essentials undone, so I can focus on what’s really important.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo DaVinci

If you’ve received an email from me, it probably had this quote on the bottom. It’s my favorite quote of all time. Popular TV and magazines would have you believe that more is better and the only way to be at the top of the world is to have to have more. Nope. Simplicity IS the ultimate sophistication.

Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves. ~Edwin Way Teale

I think about this one every time I clean the house. The more you’re able to let go of, the easier life gets. It doesn’t take as long to clean when you don’t have to deal with all the “stuff” first. You don’t have to rush around like a maniac if you simplify your commitments to what really matters.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~William James

We never know the impact we really have on the world. Some little piece of yourself that gave inspiration to someone else, who in turn inspired someone else. Some little thing you did that caused a domino effect you’ll never see. What you do DOES make a difference, so act in ways that you’d be proud of the effect you create.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. ~Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Another goodie. I hear people talk all the time about how they wish they could change the world, but it’s rare that I see someone who is really making an effort to start the change at home. It’s hard. I know that. But like William James’ quote above, we do make a difference, even at home. If you want to change the world, start with yourself first (wasn’t that a Michael Jackson song?)

“We complain frequently about how busy we are, about being tired and too involved, but we rarely do anything about it.” ~Joyce Meyer

This one stung me the first time I read it. I was always fretting about how tired I was, how busy I was, how I wish I could get a break. This quote by Joyce Meyer convicted me of the truth — I got myself into that mess and only I could get myself out. If you want to be less busy, do the hard work of cutting commitments from your calendar and your to-do list. If you’re tired, take a long, hard look at your daily schedule and make a real effort to get more rest, to get to bed earlier, to eat better and take good care of yourself. It’s up to you, and no one else is going to make the changes needed for you.

I hope you find inspiration in the quotes above, and I’d love to hear what quotes inspire you. Please leave your favorite quotes in the comments (they don’t have to be about simplicity)!

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2 Replies

  1. Thanks Sandy. I just got stung by the Joyce Meyer’s quote. I agree. It’s up to me to get my life back on track again.

    1. Yes, that one gets me every time too!

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