sometimes less is more

A guest post by Noch

Going back in time to school, university and through to my career, I was always told to do more, get higher grades, work faster, achieve more, increase sales, get more clients, go to more meetings, more titles, higher salary… it seemed all I was concerned with was how to get “more”.

So instead of running fast in the rat race, I sprinted. Instead of climbing up the corporate ladder, I leaped. And instead of trotting through school, I bounded, and on the way amassed as many awards and scholarships possible to build my CV.

I collapsed one day. No one can have energy perpetually. We all need some sort of rest.

Mine came forcibly, in form of major depression. I was compelled to stay home, unable to work or even take care of my basic necessities for I had lost all motivation for some strange reason.

In retrospect, it was not all that strange. My body was stressed out and was crying out loud with its frequent headaches, stomach aches, colds, and coughs in the past few years. I didn’t listen, and considered myself invincible, so I just kept going, more, more, more, and more. After all, I had the whole world watching me.

Recovering was a struggle, for I felt that I was not in control of my mind and myself for the longest time. I did not understand depression or what I was going through. However, as I sat everyday, beating myself up for being sick and wasting time sitting around being sick, I had a sudden revelation.

There is no deadline. Everything was self-imposed. What is the rush for?

I asked myself, why was I in a hurry everyday, that I don’t even know how to enjoy life? The last 30 years was only about achievements and yet, did I hear the birds chirping or smell the flowers along the way?

Indeed, why was I so concerned with getting more all the time? I could certainly live without a lot of the titles I obtained, and perhaps be happier and had more time to take care of my physical health instead of ticking away on my blackberry at 3 in the morning.

I had to slow down. I need less than what I have. I don’t need to go so fast. None of us do.

It feels as if we might do one less deal and make less commission for the month. However, in return, we find more time to spend with our family and friends, or simply, watch TV or play some musical instrument. Perhaps, if we weren’t running so fast, we’d have time to pause, and attend that wedding we wanted to but couldn’t fit into our schedule. Perhaps if we weren’t leaping we won’t trip ourselves up. Sometimes less is more.

Life can be simple, can be slowed down, and be less. In achieving less, we might reap more.

If I could end with my favourite quote, spoken by the great Leonardo da Vinci, whose life was nothing but vividly colourful with his ingenuous creations, and yet he understood truly the profound worth in “simplicity, the ultimate sophistication.”

About the Author

Noch Noch worked as an international executive for 7 years after graduation, travelling the world and living the life she dreamt of, or so she thought. After an episode in stress-related major depression and other illnesses 2 years ago, she is redefining the priorities in life. As she battles with depression, Noch Noch is now on a quest for clarity and self-awareness to be true to herself, jotting down her reflections at Be Me. Be Natural.

4 Responses to sometimes less is more

  1. Noch Noch January 2, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Hi Vlad

    I flicked through my inbox and read your email, so came to your site to read my own writing as I was sitting in the car, feeling slightly stressed I was out and not at home doing some more posts. Timely reminder to myself that I should breathe and not focus on “more” posts :)
    Thanks for this and letting me have some ramble space on your site
    Will email you back once I get to my inbox

    Happy New Year – all the best to Simpler Life Today for 2012

    Noch Noch :)

    • Vlad January 3, 2012 at 2:42 am #

      Hi Noch,

      Truly appreciate your contributions to this blog, thank you!

      Wouldn’t it be nice if we could send messages to ourselves in the future? Kind of a time capsule message in the bottle. At times when I re-read some of my ramblings from the past, that’s just how it feels! I better start paying more attention to what I write, ha ha!

      Very happy New Year to you, and much success to :-)

  2. Timothy January 3, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    Hi Noch Noch,
    I loved hearing your insights. I’m also too focused on achievement and have allotting time to spend with my loved ones. I like this quote “Isaac Newton discovered the theory of gravity because he was sitting under an apple tree taking it easy, not because he was in a laboratory madly directing teams of scientists”.

    • Noch Noch January 3, 2012 at 4:29 am #

      Hi Timothy – that’s an awesome quote! The essence of simplicity and taking it easy. Sometimes perhaps we all try too hard and push ourselves too much that we lose sight of the big picture…
      Thanks for this. All the best for 2012 to you and your loved ones
      Noch Noch