Defining a Simple Lifestyle in 10 Words or Less
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What is a simple lifestyle?

Time and again I have seen how a thoughtful, concise explanation of values and objectives permits even very different people to understand and relate to one another.

As an attorney, I make my living with words. You can imagine my consternation on the occasions when I have been unable to come up with a meaningful definition  of the journey to a simpler lifestyle.

I resolved to find a definition.

One of the primary challenges in defining the journey is that it is different for each of us.  Fellow travelers include pastors,  young families,  solo world travelers, students, tiny home dwellers, entrepreneurs and retirees.  Fellow travelers’ world views are varied and include a broad spectrum of  faith traditions and theoretical concepts such as intentional living, life design, life editing, simplicity, minimalism, and margin.

Nonetheless, in spite of the spectrum, there are unifying concepts.  Therefore, I continued my quest for a functional definition in the manner of most attorneys,  by reviewing quotes from authorities:

Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist described the journey this way:  “… the intentional promotion of the things we value most and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.”

The “Mins“, as they are affectionately known, Joshua Field Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus of  The Minimalists defined it this way: “… a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth and contribution.”

Richard Swenson, M.D. explained that creating margin was the objective of the journey and stated, “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 which matter most.

Antoine de Saint Exupery defined the objective this way: “Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.”


Now,  a wise author would end this post with St. Exupery’s quote – but I promised a definition in 10 words or less, so I must continue.

In our quest to develop a working definition, it has become clear that the travelers are  a  “work in progress”.  The journey is not to attain a status or condition, or to arrive at a destination.  Rather, fellow travelers are intentionally pursuing a life lived in greater conformance with faith and priorities.

And while it does not remotely capture the complexity and beauty of the intentional-simple-minimal-margin lifestyle,  our working definition of our Simple Life Reboot journey is:

Making Room for That Which Matters Most


 If you enjoyed this post and would like a more comprehensive description,  please see our “3 Key Principles of Simple Life Reboot“.   Also, please let us know how you would define the journey in the comments section below.


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