While in my global strategic management class, I heard the following insightful quote:
“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day.” -Lao Tzu
Our class was learning about the importance of considering eastern and western philosophies when expanding business globally. In East Asian strategy, simplification is a priority for business success. As a person who has been mostly influenced by western philosophy, I was inspired by this quote from the eastern part of the world. Outside of the business context, this quote has lifestyle implications about simplifying our days to become wise. I am constantly trying to add more to my life: more school, more certifications, more social events, and more experiences. Tzu’s quote reminds me that I can grow just as much, if not more, by simplifying my life, subtracting distractions and filtering out any excess things.
Source: Oracle Modern Marketing Blog
It has taken me many years to understand the importance of simplification, and it wasn’t until my experience studying abroad in Spain that I learned to simplify and prioritize the people and activities that bring me the most joy and positive energy. Now in graduate school, I am easily tempted to add things every day, but I am working to remind myself to stay focused and prioritize in order to achieve my long-term goals. Graduate school is a time to specialize and if I truly want to be an expert (a happy expert I might add), I need to continue to live simply. Regardless of our life stage, we can all remember the importance of simplification in order to maintain balance at work and at home.
Over the past couple months, I have enjoyed learning global perspectives from my international business classes. It has been fascinating to combine international philosophies in the field of business. I will continue to share my favorite insights with you!
And just like that, the holiday season is over! I’m sure we have all had some time to reflect over 2014 and dream about 2015 and beyond (or if not, I hope this post helps us begin the reflection process). I had a wonderful two weeks celebrating Christmas and New Year’s with family and friends. Below I am sharing inspirNational insights from my holiday celebrations that I would like to remember throughout the new year:
- Discuss and share your new year’s resolutions with your family and friends. For the first time ever, I spent time reflecting and planning for 2015 with friends and actually wrote down my resolutions. I also divided my resolutions into categories (career, health, and relationships) to help me stay organized. By sharing them with my peers, I feel more accountable and having goals will help me turn my vision into reality.
- Simplify your life. Think about what matters to you most and focus your energy in those areas. Avoid distractions and prioritize your daily tasks and expectations to help reduce stress and promote a positive lifestyle. I drank a Trader Joe’s beer called “Simpler Times” over the weekend, and the great name reminded me of the importance of simplicity in life. Throughout 2015 I hope to simplify my life by staying organized, decluttering, and prioritizing the activities and relationships that bring me the most joy and fulfillment.
- Be grateful and share your gratitude with those closest to you. As we all know, life can change with the blink of an eye, so it is important to appreciate the things and experiences we have. This reminds me of a powerful quote – “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” – so we should be grateful for all that we have today. It is also important to express gratitude, whether that means saying “I love you” often, spending time with our loved ones, or giving gifts.
- Maintain holiday cheer throughout the year. December holiday decorations help us feel spirited and festive, but when January rolls around and we take them down, we often lose the holiday cheer. If we think about it, though, the premise of the holiday season is to spend time with the ones we love, reflect on the year, and indulge in our favorite treats. We can maintain this holiday cheer by continuing to plan family and friend get togethers and continuing to decorate. I plan to have winter themed decorations until the next big holiday in order to avoid the winter blues and keep the holiday cheer alive.
I hope these holiday reflections inspire us to begin the new year in a positive light. Happy 2015!