Published By: Sreyanshi

All you need to know about Henry David Thoreau’s principles for a simple life

The secret for the proverbial ‘simple good life’ has been something that’s been sought after by philosophers for millennia.

The question about what exactly is that simple yet good life has been the storming headache for poets, thinkers and philosophers alike. And, even in the so-called modern world, this ancient question has not stopped following human civilisation. Humans continue to ponder about such existential thoughts, particularly more recently, with technology reaching frantic and frightening heights similar to the sci fi fantasy of the Matrix days.

This accelerated automation seemingly removes us from our real, 3-D surroundings and leads us into illusive cacophonies. We forget to find simple pleasures of life, outdoors, amidst nature, connecting with the life source, in the proximity of greenery and exotic hills, or some such wonders that nature has in store for us.

What blocks such simple wonders?

We often choose to keep burning ourselves out trying to do things that offer us nothing, in the long run. Instead of spending every waking minute with people we love, people who truly matter in our lives, we spend our days on wild goose chases that add zero value to our lives. And it’s about time for us to stop it. We need to strive hard towards doing things that help us become a little better, be closer to our best selves. Let us free ourselves from the trap that the cycle of life has put us inside. Time to break the cycle now.

Henry David Thoreau, the revered American essayist as well as a well-known naturalist, once famously said, ‘if you can’t do more with less, you should simplify'. Simplifying complex equations can literally help us untangle the most crooked problems. It sure is an abstract concept, yet, there are still many ways for us to really practice simplicity.

  • Some advocate the pleasures of a minimalistic lifestyle.
  • Spending less money and achieving financial security is also one of the ways to ground ourselves.
  • Some even advise us to reduce material possessions, if we choose to.
  • Reducing all the past baggage to make space for the new because we cannot keep storing everything.
  • Simplifying our own schedules go a long way in ensuring that the things we put our energy into doing, during the day, are absolutely essential.
  • The idea is to reduce all unnecessary There’s zero need to complicate life when people just need the very things that are close to their heart, to make life more meaningful, worth living.
  • Reducing stress is another important thing to do.
  • Consciousness for sustainability and environment goes a long way too.
The secret is simple. As in, that's it. It is the secret. This very idea forms the coveted principles of simplicity which is the secret in practice. The idea is: less is more.