We all know that we live in a complex world; the beauty in this world of ours is that the simpler we live our lives, the better. If we live simple we will enjoy the process; we will enjoy our lives. I don’t know if you are familiar with the story about the fox and the hedgehog? In this story, the author, Isaiah Berlin, breaks down all the people in this world into 2 categories: hedgehogs and foxes. Foxes are complex creatures that try to do many things at once, but rarely accomplish anything. Foxes are beautiful, with their nice furry tales and pointy ears. On the other hand, hedgehogs are weird-looking creatures, but they are simple; they just look for food and take care of their home, but they are really good at it. I believe about 95 percent of the population are Foxes. These are people that try to do many things, people that live complicated lives, people that think they know everything and that everything they do is exactly right. The other 5 percent are hedgehogs; the simple people, the ones that have one vision and a purpose in life. Contemporary geniuses, like Freud in psychology and Einstein in physics, were hedgehogs; Freud with his concept of the subconscious and Einstein with his theory of relativity. These two men were not flashy, they were in fact not even considered attractive; however, they knew the world and its complexity, but they broke down this complexity in their mind to something simpler. Furthermore, the footprint they have left in this world will stay until the end of our civilization. Let’s now think about our lives, are they complex or simple? Think of the categories in the wheel of life.
1. Physical- do you have a fairly simple diet and exercise program? Or are you always worried about your weight and diet patterns?
2. Social- How are your relationships? Full of drama or pretty clear cut? Do you still act as if you were in high school filled with gossip and worrying about what others think?
3. Spiritual- Either you are a believer or your not? Pick a side don’t believe just what benefits you.
4. Financial- Handling finances might seem like a complicated matter but is not, live below your means, save, spend, invest and give. That’s it! No need to worry about how the market is or all the media frenzy about the economy.
5. Career- Are you doing what you love, are you good at it? Does it make you money? Or are you unsatisfied with your job and jumping from place to place looking for the better dollar? Are you constantly thinking of different things to do for a living and just looking for the next better “job”?
6. Intellectual- Are you continuously improving yourself? Or did you think education ended with your formal education?
7. Family- I left family at the end because it is the toughest in my opinion to control. The other 6 we can choose, but we can’t really choose our family, we are born into it. However, do try to live as simple as you can, leave drama out, don’t get so caught up in grudges or stupid fights, set your boundaries and be supportive without enabling bad behavior.
I hope all these questions make you think a bit, and I would like to leave you with one last question;
Are you a fox or a hedgehog?
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