SLR 068: Five Unexpected Benefits of Simplifying

Simple Life Reboot picSheryl and I have been talking lately about some of the unexpected benefits of our decision to simplify our lives.

It was just 15 short months ago that we undertook The Trip that Changed Everything, our 10-day tour of the California coastline between Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara.   Meandering south along Highway 1, listening to podcasts on simplifying and on living more intentionally, we came to that stunning realization;  it was time to change our lives, and in a pretty dramatic way.

We had no idea what to expect, what the consequences of simplifying would be.  We could not predict what obstacles we would face, or what benefits we might ultimately realize.

But the trip along the coastline forced us to ask an important question:  “How long had it been since we’d traveled together, just the two of us, going nowhere in particular?”  Oh, there were things we wanted to see along the coastal route, but the focus had shifted away from what “thing” we were traveling to see, and back on to “who” we were traveling with to see it…and just a hand hold away.

We were like school children let out on recess exploring a new playground.  For the first time in quite a few years, we remembered what it was like to simply enjoy each other’s company as we shared new experiences, in places we had never been before.  Bottom line, we were going to want to do this more often!  But how?

The problem, we began to realize, was in our having a life resources shortage.  While our resources were adequate,  they were already committed to “other” things.  We realized that we needed to create some breathing room.   Time, money, freedom, energy, capacity to plan ahead, or as it would soon be identified, margin.

After deciding the dream house we had been making our large monthly payments on for so many years was no longer serving our needs in the same way it once had, we put it on the market.  Well, it’s been a long slog, but we may soon have some exciting news for our audience.  Please, stay tuned.

So, as we get closer to making real progress on the expected benefits of simplifying, we thought it would be helpful to mention a few of the unexpected benefits we have discovered along the way.

1)  Inspiring Others

What a privilege it has been, and continues to be, to share our journey with you.  When Sheryl and I decided to embark on this new lifestyle of having less and living more,  we initially hesitated to talk to others about it.  But as we continued to listen to the inspiring stories of others, like Dan and Vanessa Hayes, of Simple Life Together, we began to realize that going public with the changes we were making, putting it out there for people to ponder, would not only keep us accountable, but might encourage others to start out on their own journey.

2)  Connecting with Others

We have made new friends, connecting with people we would never have connected with otherwise.  We have found that simplicity is an extraordinary tool for increasing interaction.  Our stuff had become a wall we’d put up between ourselves and others.

3)  More Energized and Adventurous

Since starting this journey to simplify, Sheryl and I have found we have more energy and enthusiasm in lots of new areas of life.  Working together to achieve our goals keeps us focused and in sync with each other, with deeper and more frequent communication.  We’ve begun taking, and plan to take, more trips like the one that started this whole thing in May of 2013.

4)  More Freedom to Pursue Our Entrepreneurial and Fitness Goals

Our personal and professional options continue to expand in areas we could not have foreseen.  With more options, of course, comes a higher degree of happiness and excitement about the future.

5)  Margin is a Cornerstone

We believe that increased margin is a key factor in the expansion of options.  Increasing margin is a cornerstone, making it possible to pursue goals, as well as to be in a position to help others pursue their goals.


We would love to hear how simplicity has changed you in unexpected ways.  Please be sure to drop us a line!


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