Home

Less but better

IMG_5438.jpg

These years what I have done the most is to “reduce” or “give up” something, rather than getting more and more. Having less is only the means, not the end. I don't think I have changed my ultimate goal of having more, but the act.

這幾年自己一直在做一些與「減少」有關的事情,但是最終目的並不是為了「減」,仍是「加」,只是方法上或心態上不追求更多而已。

Why Less?

In Hong Kong, everyone is in a fast pace. They wanna get the most they want. As time is money, they finish everything in a shorter period of time than others in order to do as more as they can. When you work you need to be hurry up. When you have a buffet you need to take most of the food. When you travel, you have to visit as many spots as possible. Don't think and be quick quick quick!

I used to live within this attitude because all Hongkongers are doing the same. I was told by my family members and school teachers with the help of the examination system. This is the only standard answer without any alternatives.

I used to, but not now since the world is becoming more global and open. Thanks to the Internet so I read more English know more how people outside Hong Kong perceive the same thing in different ways. I meet the notion of something like “less is more” (although I first heard it in a TV commercial by Fancl which doesn't really link to a life attitude). I also read a book called Essentialism this year — calling us to seek our meaning of life and take care of the use of our energy — through selecting our best and saying no to something we don't want. We can't grab everything.

This means we need time to look more, play more and sleep more other than just hardworking to seek our real life goal. Otherwise, we get stuck in an endless war of (meaningless) comparison — we are never satisfied with what we have. We can be easily frustrated and exhausted, but not happier than when we lack resources. We can be busy forever and we don't have space and time for us to see other (better) possibilities.

為什麼要「少」?

在香港,由於「時間是金錢」的關係,所以什麼都要快,務求最短的時間,獲得最多的事物。工作上、自助餐、旅行等方面都守著同一法則。總之要快,不要想太多。

曾經因為身邊香港人都是如此,所以抱持著這種價值觀,尤其在教育和家庭制度訓練,再加上「標準答案」的思維模式,看來沒有其他可能性。

但是因為上網可以連結香港以外的人,了解不同人即使對同一事情都有不同的看法和應對方式,接觸了不少有關「少就是多」的文章。而且今年更看了《少,但是更好》的書,告訴自己人生的意義十分重要,每個人的心力都有限,若每件事都注重,精力都會被打散,最後什麼事都不太好;反之就自己意義和目標,只做自己要做的事,不做不應做的事,在精力上都能聚焦,時間上也容許,才可選擇我們最想要的。因為我們不能得到全世界!

為了尋求屬於自己的人生意義,不能一味使勁努力做手上每件事,要預留時間去觀察、玩和作息。否則只會陷入無止境的繁忙和不必要與外界的比較。長遠下去我們容易氣餒,也不會比缺乏物質時更快樂。

IMG_3476.png

Ways towards "less"

Thus I did a lot to reduce in my daily life, to allow more time and room for me to explore self with other possibilities I haven't noticed. For example,

  • Starting from reducing the number of people I follow on Instagram and Facebook: I used to include a lot of people (about 400 which is too many for me). However, I became a robot in Instagram to scroll feeds quickly and give out likes without really understanding their works and being inspired. I also didn't know why I followed those people (although their works are outstanding). We don't have real connections and exchanges of ideas. I need to ask myself why I follow some people and who are my masters. Social media is a place for me to learn something but not an entertainment tool.
  • I am so determined to delete Facebook app in my phone and tablet. I logged it out in the browsers of every device. It's a waste of time here to read some rubbish articles (which are written to meet the algorithm of search engines and social media but not for people) shared by friends from content farms. To keep in touch with my friends, let us chat together outside but not in Facebook and even WhatsApp.
  • Travel is one of the ways to let the world inspire me. What is the most important to me is to learn something during my trip in my life. Thus it doesn't matter how many sightseeing places you have been to. Just wander around the community and see. Besides, carrying less on travel can make my trip easier.
  • Reduce material stuffs I have. I used to have two cameras because I was always fear that they could stop working one day and I could have one more as a backup solution. Now, I only have a smartphone. I don't think I can't live without a camera. If I lose it or it doesn't run (say in my trip), I would sketch things I see.
  • Sometimes dare to say “no” (politely) in some options are necessary. If you get involved in those opportunities which is not suitable for you, you will in turn waste a lot of time and energy. Declining an offer can allow better chances coming in!

Less always comes up with more. Not doing something (or doing less) means more focus on one thing, and free time like sleep, play, read, look and even travel. But free time isn't useless, it's always unexpectedly good for one (you realise something, and you meet some amazing persons...). The word serendipity can explain why some other possibilities you haven't thought of are allowed to come in this way.

If you get lost in your life, try to reduce something first.

開始減少

因此在生活各方面去減少,以騰空更多時間和空間去追尋更多的可能性:

  • 減少在Facebook和Instagram追蹤的人數,因為加太多了。回頭一看,有時候不知為什麼會加,而且和他們的聯繫唯一就是按讚(likes),沒有什麼交流。在社交網站應該至少從身上的人當中學習吧,而不是其中之一的娛樂。
  • 決心刪除Facebook應用,也登出網頁版,有需要才登入。因為Facebook有不少人轉載自「內容農場」的文章。此外如果要聯絡朋友,可以透過個別短訊甚至直接約出來。
  • 旅行是其中一個啟發自己的方式,可以讓自己學習更多,所以去了多少個景點不重要,在社區走走和探索已經不錯。另外,行李重量可以減少,讓旅行更輕鬆。
  • 減少手上的物品,如相機,本來最少兩部,因為怕其中一部壞掉還有另一部後備。現在只餘下手機,是沒有所謂「後備方案」,但如果也壞掉,那時大不了畫畫吧,用不著執著真實的記錄。
  • 有時候「說不」是必要的,如果本來自己不適合的機會都接受了,到頭來只會浪費時間和精力。拒絕接受一些機會看來是損失,但同時讓更好的機會走進來。(有機會再詳細解釋)

少和多可以是同步的,少做一些事情可讓自己更專注手上的工作,也騰空更多時休息、玩、閱讀、觀察探索,甚至旅行等其他方面。這些看來是閒餘活動並非沒用,往往就是意料之外有新的發現和得著⋯⋯

如果在人生中迷失了,可以先試試減少身邊的一切看。

LifeAlvin C