SLR 072: The 5 Essentials of Being Nimble

Simple Life RebootNimbleness is the ability to pivot, to adapt to new circumstances and keep moving.  It is achieved, primarily, through the creation of margin in our lives.

In this fast-paced, unpredictable world, our ability to remain calm, constant, and in control is in direct proportion to the resources and options we can muster at any given time.

So, to be nimble, create margin in your life in the following 5 essential areas:

1)    Financial margin

Financial margin occurs when you can pay all of your monthly obligations and still have funds left over to put towards long-term goals, including the all-important emergency fund (a savings account built up as quickly as you can reasonably accomplish – the equivalent of 3 months of income – with the goal being at least 6 months set aside).

Having financial margin is a liberating thing!  But achieving it is not always easy.

Far too many of us have saddled ourselves with homes, possessions and other obligations which are greater than what we need or perhaps, can afford.   While they might seem like a desirable possession, they can become more of a burden than a blessing.

The good news! 

Financial margin is possible!  Getting out of the habit of overspending  is achievable!  It may take some time, but you can begin making progress TODAY.

For information on what options are available, we encourage you check out   We like Dave’s philosophy, his approach, and his practical advice.  We get nothing from you going to his site, except the satisfaction that we have steered you to a resource that changes lives.

Addressing the problem of financial margin is a MUST in order to become nimble.  For too many people, a big mortgage or student debt may be the main culprit, but other problem areas can exist,  like eating out too often, or buying items we don’t really need.  These things sap our finances, time and energy.  Many of us spend money on stuff that makes us feel better short-term. It is a temporary salve we apply to the worry, pain, and stress we feel.  It’s not a fun place to be, but we don’t have to accept it as a permanent condition.  Once we recognize the problem, and that there is a clear way out, it is only a matter of time – we WILL muster the willpower to extract ourselves from the overspending prison we’ve constructed for ourselves.

DO IT…for yourself, and for your family!
2.  Time Margin

Simply stated, time margin occurs by limiting obligations and by reducing activities that are not constructive or restorative.

For many of us, debt determines our workload.  Working longer hours may be taken on to pay down debt. Unfortunately, what often happens is that as we earn more, we spend more, defeating the original purpose of working the increased hours.

To achieve time margin, we must have the ability to easily pay our monthly obligations without overworking. 

Lower your monthly obligations until the above-mentioned condition becomes true. Then, you will have more resources for the things that matter most.

3)    Energy margin

Our bodies are biological engines.  Understanding the mechanics of these miraculous machines informs us as to why we might be low on energy, and what we must do to generate more.

If you are like most people, your energy reserves are constantly running down.  Building an energy reserve can be a challenge.  We can create an energy reserve by working on 5 key areas:  sleep, fuel, muscle strength/endurance, core endurance, and metabolism.

Sleep – Far too many people skimp on sleep in order to get in some “play” time.  We seek distraction from the day’s fatigue.  But increasingly, we sacrifice sleep to get our distraction fix.  We then end up even more fatigued and  unable to perform well, often needing to work longer hours to accomplish the same work.  The vicious cycle then repeats.  Staying up late also leads to a more sedentary lifestyle as we become more tired and sleep deprived.  We can also put on weight when we eat a second meal late at night before we finally go to bed, or snack during the day to “prop” us up when feeling short on energy.

Fuel – Many of us fail to eat nourishing food, whether due to fatigue, time pressures, or due to a short-term craving.  In addition, we routinely trade the time it takes to prepare healthy food for a diversionary activity, necessitating the consumption of something “easy”.  Sheryl and I have both struggled with these challenges.  But what we have found is that with a small amount of effort, and a modicum of planning, preparing and eating a good meal is possible.  Our taste buds and habits adapt quicker than one might think.  And when we stop dumping garbage into our engines, we begin to see and feel the results – a contented body happily purring along.  Take the time and effort to put high-quality fuel into your engine, and enjoy new-found energy!

Muscle Strength/Endurance/Core/Metabolism – Our bodies achieve the greatest health and balance doing physical work.  Without regular exercise, our muscles shrink in size, strength and endurance.

I often imagine my body responding like electrons do as they move between levels.  Electrons orbit the nucleus, and only exist in incremental energy states, or levels.  The higher the energy input to the atom, the more levels the electrons jump.  But the electrons can also act rather “resistant” in that they really don’t like to get excited.  After reaching the higher energy state, they soon drop back down to the lower level where they started, unless some additional energy influx occurs.

Muscles reach higher levels of potential in much the same way.  The more energy we put in, the stronger they become.  But muscles are not electrons, and can only strengthen so fast. The energy we apply to them, the load, the reps, the sets, must increase or intensify in small increments over time.  If our muscles never get worked, they remain in their lowest potential state, requiring little input of energy to operate.  But in this lower energy state, they never demonstrate their extraordinary potential.

To achieve energy margin, we must build up our body’s reserves by strengthening our muscle potential.  If we do this, our body is prepared to walk a long distance,  lift a heavy load, or engage in physical work or play, as circumstances arise.

4)    Learning margin

When under stress, whether it be financial, time related, or any number of circumstances we face on a daily basis, we tend to function in survival mode.  Under stress we become careful, reactive, and perhaps fearful.  To be open to learning new things, we must feel safe and secure.  Creating margin in our lives affords us the time, and the safety, that permits us to read, study, and absorb new  knowledge.  With margin, we thrive, and enjoy virtuous cycles of growth, satisfaction and higher capacity to learn.

5)    Emotional margin

When we lack margin in the 4 essential areas listed above,  we experience a loss of personal power.  We might even feel out of control, beset or even desperate.  This state can eventually lead to emotional debilitation and an inability to enjoy relationships and experiences.  We may also become isolated and emotionally numb.

When we create margin in these areas, however, particularly with finances, we can enjoy the moment and envision a better tomorrow. We experience new possibilities and have a greater capacity for generosity and thankfulness.  We feel in control, that we are making progress.  In this environment of having margin, we become nimble.

The Power of Nimble

When we foster the 5 essentials of being nimble, our relationships thrive, because we are safer and more secure.  We are no longer in survival mode, but rather in flourish mode.

Now, that’s true power…the ability to meet the challenges of life and make a positive difference in the lives of those we love.


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