You’ve no doubt heard “less is more” over and over again. And the philosophy makes sense, especially if you overdo it in any of the following ways: constantly overscheduling; cramming your apartment with crap; wolfing down third helpings of, well, everything at a buffet; and overspending during online sales (cough).
Yes, less is better because it tends to benefit your bank account, your waistline, and your sanity. But in some areas of our life, could we benefit from dialing it up instead of down?
Here’s how more can be a good thing in your life, starting now:
Ruthie Lindsay said (and I Instagrammed), “If you see something beautiful in someone, speak it.”
Where are you holding back with a compliment, a kind word of encouragement or support, or some well-deserved praise? Giving is a gift to both the giver and receiver—you’ll both receive an instant boost. Do it every single day if you can.
Pro perk: Once you start doing this, people will only want you around more!
Support others more.
Speaking of encouragement, who could use your support right now? A friend going through a divorce, a loss, a big change? Someone who you’ve noticed is struggling? A friend of mine in HR just gave a free “get that job!” talk at a local church for people out of work. Where can you offer your gift of support? Reach out! You’ll be glad you did.
When we push back against things we don’t want (“I can’t believe Catherine copied my outfit again!” “I hate my ex so much—he really screwed me!”), our resistance still holds us close to the thing that hurts us. When we are more accepting of life’s ups and downs and the fact that we cannot control other people, we find peace. Acceptance of all things is hard, but even just considering it as an option can help.
Brene Brown says, “Unused creativity is not benign—it metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame. We are creative beings. We are by nature creative. It gets lost along the way.”
Where can you be more creative? Attend a wine and paint event? Write a blog post? Start a side hustle? (Catch me talking about it on a podcast here.) Creative options are endless. And it’s not childlike. It’s life-giving! You can even make money from it if you want to. Are you creating enough? The latest spreadsheet or PowerPoint for your boss probably doesn’t count.
Find more role models.
Who do you want to be like? Richard Branson? Malala Yousafzai? Oprah Winfrey? J.K. Rowling? Find more role models who inspire you. Read about them. Buy their books. Dive into YouTube interviews. More is most definitely more when it comes to seeking inspiration. Spiritually speaking, the light you see in them is your own light being reflected back at you. Drink it up and let their success be an example of what’s possible for you too.
Enjoy more pleasure.
Ah, pleasure. The one thing we deny ourselves for no good reason. How can you be experiencing more pleasure in your life? More sex? More long showers? More dancing for no reason? A long-awaited vacation? Take it! And be sure to infuse pleasure in your day to day living too. It’s possible!
Where can more be more for you? Is it making more money? Committing to more freedom on your calendar? Assuming more power with choices you crave in your life? Flexing your creativity muscle? Making more impact with the talent you’ve been given?
A life of richness can be defined in a million ways. And guess what?
It’s waiting for you to inhabit it — as soon as you open yourself up for more.
This piece originally appeared in Greatist.com.