The 3 Key Principles of Simple Life Reboot


Dave and Sheryl focusIs your home too large, but still too small for your possessions?  Is your income good, but still too little to pay all of the bills, retirement and savings?  Is your day a confused jumble of rushed projects and lost moments?

Many of us suffer from what I call, Americanitus, a feeling of desperation and inadequacy unless we own the largest home, enjoy the most toys, and are perceived as the busiest people on the planet.  But are these true signs of success, or are they simply mirages our modern culture has taught us to pursue?

Perhaps true success is the kind that pays closer attention to personal relationships than to personal belongings.  Maybe it is having enough resources to spend time with family and friends, to occasionally travel, to be creative, and to enjoy healthy activities.

Simple Life Reboot seeks to focus on how we might lead better lives, with greater success,  and in a manner that strengthens relationships.

During the Spring of 2013, as Sheryl and I pondered the changes we needed to make in order to fulfill our goals and values, a number of key concepts emerged.  The following  3 key principles guide and inspire us to bring you Simple Life Reboot.  None of these principles originate with us, but are an amalgam, gleaned from a variety of sources, some of which are referenced in Sheryl’s post, Thought Leaders Who Have Inspired Us.    These concepts have been a driving force for Sheryl and me, and are briefly presented here. They will be examined in detail in future essays.

Create Margin:  According to author, Richard Swenson, M.D., “Margin is the space between our load and our limits and is related to our reserves and resilience. It is a buffer, a leeway, a gap; the place we go to heal, to relate, to reflect, to recharge our batteries, to focus on the things that matter most.”  (Margin, Richard A. Swenson)    Creating more margin in our lives is a foundational principle.

Simplify:  Give priority to the things that matter most in your life: your spouse,  children, family, peace of mind.  Reduce distractions.  Automate where you can with proactive measures so as to reduce repetitive mundane tasks.  Be intentional and purposeful in how you live.  Edit your life, get rid of the useless junk that surrounds you.  Focus on reducing belongings to those which have the greatest value to you.  (Check out the inspiring Simple Life Together podcast with Dan and Vanessa Hayes.)

Minimize So As to Maximize:   According to Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, (The Minimalists), “Minimalism is a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”

Nothing is “inherently wrong with owning material possessions.  Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff.  We tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves.  Want to own a car or a house?  Great, have at it!  Want to raise a family and have a career?  If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful.  Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.”

Simply stated – minimize the junk so as to maximize the experiences and items which matter the most.


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3 thoughts on “The 3 Key Principles of Simple Life Reboot

  1. I always say: There’s nothing wrong with owning stuff; but when your stuff owns you, you’ve got a problem.

    Not sure I’m clear on the Margin concept–it’s new to me–but I’m thinking it might be that thing that means you never have to scramble.

    • So true! It seems many of us have some difficulty is figuring out whether are stuff owns us… or not. Thank you, Jean!