What does ‘simple living’ mean to me?

‘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.
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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. So there’s a lot going on.

And, in all honesty, quiet and peaceful aren’t really very compelling targets for me, anyway.

I tend to run out of steam if I’m just trying to clear up space just for the sake of clearing up space.

I have to be fixed on those “yeses” in my life, those things that I value most, the things I love and want to make my life all about. Family and love and truth and wonder and those types of things.

And those things drive me to say “no” to the things that distract me.

It’s my passions that make the effort worth it. It’s my passions that I’m striving toward.

So, for me, simpler living isn’t the destination. It’s the vehicle that gets me there.

“Simple living” is only as valuable as the causes and relationships to which I give my life.“Simple living” is only as valuable as the causes and relationships to which I give my life.

Over the past several years, my family and I have tried some fairly drastic projects, like getting rid of everything we had, except for what would fit in a 6×12 trailer and moving across country.

But the more significant efforts have been those smaller daily decisions to value people over things.

And that’s what simple living means to me.

How about you? What does simple living mean to you?