3 Benefits of Simplifying as a Family

I have a larger-than-average size family. Jen and I have six kids ranging from 10 to 18 years of age. As you can imagine, we have a lot of activity.

Because of this, it’s been even more important for us to be intentional about how we spend our time and how we manage our stuff.

It’s been absolutely necessary for us to say “no” to some things so we could say “yes” to others.

And it’s been more than worth it!

There are a number of benefits that we’ve experienced over the past few years as we’ve pursued a life of simpler focus.

Here are 3 that come to mind, immediately: (I share them with you as an encouragement!)

1- Closer relationships.

Because we say “no” to a lot of the hectic activity that is typical in our culture, we are able to spend quality time with each of them. We work together, play together, and have serious, life-changing talks.… Read More

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE- Podcast about “Belief”

On occasion, I’ll share some of the stuff that I find helpful. Today’s one of those days!

My friend Dave recommended the Philosophize This! PODCAST to me a few weeks ago and I’m about 4 episodes deep. You may or may not be into the history of philosophy, but I think you’ll like this particular episode on “Belief.”

What we believe matters. And I’ve always been interested in the “whys” behind our beliefs. Living well implies deeper dives into how the world works.

Here’s the host’s description of the episode so you know what to expect: “We start out by discussing two major complications that belief brings to the table. First, absolute certainty is impossible–even certainty about the fact that “certainty is impossible”. Second, we can convince ourselves to believe in literally anything we want (such as the belief that demonic possession is achieved through rustling curtains and slamming doors). Next, we talk about justified, true belief and the multitude of ways our beliefs can be proven wrong. Finally, we learn how to put our beliefs under a microscope and why it’s absolutely necessary to do so in order to achieve true knowledge.”


What does ‘simple living’ mean to me?

what simple living means to me upd

‘Simple Living’ means different things to different people. For some, it involves selling everything you own and traveling around the world with a backpack. For others, it means eating all-natural foods and becoming more at-one with the earth.

But that’s not what it means to me.

Realizing the variety of simplicity-promoters, Joel (from SimpleRev) recently asked the open question: “What does simple living mean to you?” and asked for video responses.

I uploaded my response, but I wanted to share it with you here, as well.

My short answer to that question would be something like: freeing up enough space to be able to focus on those things which are most important.

While it’s true that I value blank space and peaceful moments, those aren’t the natural environment I find myself in on most days. My wife and I have 6 kids ranging from 10 to 18 with all kinds of hobbies and activities.… Read More

Asshole-ishness and Influence

assholeishness and influence tosoc

Conversations about competing belief systems sometimes brings out the “asshole” in otherwise kind people. Not always, but sometimes.

I’m not totally sure why it happens, but it happens.

  • It might be because some of us aren’t accustomed to talking about these types of things with anyone other than those just like us.
  • It might be because our tribes demonize “those people.”
  • It might be because some of us think volume and confidence equal rightness.
  • It might be because we’re insecure about our beliefs and we’re trying to cover it up with faux-confidence.

I’m not really sure.

Whatever the motivation, we know it’s true. We’ve both seen it.

Our loving friend or relative who bakes us cookies and “likes” our cat pictures on Instagram transforms into an angry, tight-faced, guile-spitting warrior at the turn of a hat. They can discuss the intricacies of their job or the statistics of the top 5 football teams with intelligence and relative objectivity.… Read More

Celebrating One Year of Time Well Spent (for $0.99 through March 1)

time well spent 3d book right sideOne year ago, we released Time Well Spent to help people gain control of their schedule and live the life they want to live. Over the past year, thousands have downloaded the book!

To celebrate its one-year anniversary, we’re offering the ebook version for $0.99 for the next six days! (Feb 24 through March 1st)

You can read all the details about the book, or you can just jump on over to Amazon and grab your copy anytime between Feb 24 and March 1!

The book is available in Kindle, Paperback, and Audiobook versions.

For the next six days, the digital edition (Kindle) is only $0.99, so get yours now!  After the six days, the ebook will return to its regular price of $4.99.

If you already have it, share this opportunity with others via social media or e-mail! Thanks!

*Amazon US & UK markets only 
Read More

Want to change the world? Do this.

Want to change the world quote

If you want to change the world, you’ll need to start with the people directly in front of you. Far too often, we neglect those closest to us in our attempt to make a difference “out there” somewhere.

It’s tragic.

And it’s counterproductive.

We end up with watered-down influence when we put all of our effort into trying to change people with whom we have no relationship.

The people closest to you are your greatest opportunity. They need you. They depend on you for their daily interaction and encouragement.

Is it okay to dream big and try to initiate HUGE change? Absolutely. But start at home.

Ultimately, you can’t control what happens “out there.” But you can control how you love and invest in the people all around you.

When you change your world, you change the world.

*Image quote from @marcandangel. Follow them on Twitter.

Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.Read More

Michael J Fox on being still

Michael J Fox - Be still

I’ve been reading Lucky Man: A Memoir by Michael J Fox. I’m only a few pages into it, but it’s been a delightful few pages.

This quote served as an early peek into his perspective on how his condition has changed his life:

“It is one of the great ironies of my life that only when it became virtually impossible for me to keep my body from moving would I find the peace, security, and spiritual strength to stand in one place. I couldn’t be still until I could– literally — no longer keep still.”  -Michael J. Fox

His honesty about the motivation behind his drive-to-do-more was powerful. I was reminded of the importance for me, personally, to slow down and appreciate the things that I value most.

 … Read More

A curfew for the house party


When we talk about clutter, we most often talk about those things that are sitting around in piles or stacks. They don’t really belong where they are, but they’re there!

They’re just kind of “hanging out”.

They are household loiterers. They don’t really have any purpose behind their location.

They’re not serving any purpose or accomplishing anything where they are. They’re just taking up space.

But, to be fair, we haven’t really given them much direction.

We haven’t instilled purpose in them. We haven’t determined where they best fit or given them jobs. We haven’t given them a home to call their own. So, how can we expect them to do anything but lay there and be a distraction?

I don’t mean to sound ridiculously obvious here, but…

You can’t know if something is out of place until you have a place where it belongs.

In our battle against clutter, it’s important that we identify a “home” for everything (over time).… Read More

Live together as brothers & sisters


“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We’re all in this together. If we put out hate, it’s poisoning the whole atmosphere. We’re vomiting into our own drinking water.

Most of the time, this requires educating ourselves about other people’s cultures & perspectives.

Let’s learn to live as brothers (and sisters.)

By the way… if you’re looking for a GREAT source for material for learning to live together (in an entertaining way), check out Rainn Wilson’s YouTube channel, SoulPancake.

 … Read More

The ONE thing you must do to fight clutter in 2015

must do fight clutter 2015

At the beginning of a new year, most of us think more intentionally about our lives. We look at what’s working and what’s not working. We muster up a fair amount of confidence and start making plans, goals or wish-lists.

Whether we follow through or not varies from person to person. But during this time, we all tend to find some pretty significant clarity.

One of the most common realizations that we come to is that our lives are too cluttered.

We’ve got too much going on.

We’ve got too much physical stuff to manage.

We’ve got closets and drawers and containers stuffed with things that need to be repaired or used or sorted or acted upon.

And all of that adds up to stress and lack of focus.

There are lots of strategies that we could (and probably should) employ. But to me, one thing stands out above the rest.… Read More