The Difference Between Simple and Easy

Most people don’t know it, and I often see it confused, but there is a difference between the terms “easy” and “simple.”

I’ve recently received comments that many of the things I do aren’t “simple.”  But what they mean is that I don’t always do things the easiest way they can be done.

Here is an example:

It is easy to just pull over and grab fast food on the way home from a long day at work.

It is harder but simpler to buy whole food ingredients and make a small meal once you get home.


It is easy to buy a cheap piece of furniture to fill a need.

It is much harder but much more simple to save money and buy a better quality piece of furniture that you actually like and will last a long time.

The difference lies in intention.  Easy is thoughtless, impulsive.  Simple is purposeful and slow, paying attention to detail and long-term consequences.

In the short term, living an easy life seems like the best choice: “But if I can have this thing I want now, why would I wait until later?”  This sort of decision making rarely leads to long-term happiness.

I would argue that it is the easy, thoughtless choices that have led people to simplicity. Simplicity offers a life that is full of hard choices and delayed gratification, but, in the long term, it also leads to contentment, happiness, and security.

Also, I rarely advertise future posts for fear that I won’t get around to writing them, but I want everyone to get super excited for January.  I’m writing a new series of posts called Simplicity In Steps.  It’s pretty self-explanatory, but it will be a walk-through of a simplifying process from start to finish.

If your goal is to simplify in 2011, I’ll be here to cheer you on with lots of helpful tips.  Thanks for reading, and have a Happy New Year!


2 thoughts on “The Difference Between Simple and Easy

  1. Here’s a thought. I need to simplify my memories, you know, the ones in my head. I can easily simplify “things” and “stuff”, but I need to learn how to throw out the old memories that I don’t need or want anymore when I bring in new memories that are much better than the old. But, I’m having a hard time with it. Any bright ideas?? Think about it for 2011! Love you! MOM

  2. Pingback: Deciding What to Say No to | The Color of Souls

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