by Don Smith

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Father and daughter walking on the beach

Lately, life has been chaotic.  Board meetings at night, long work days, 5 kids that need to be everywhere at the same time, Murphy taking money from the bank practically before it hits my account.  It doesn't stop.

Maybe you can relate.

This is where I need to remind myself, and you, to simplify.

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits put it well when he penned “Breathe“.

I need to remember to breathe in the chaos of life.

Better yet, I need to Simplify.

There's so much to that word.  Simplify.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

How do we simplify our lives without losing that which is most important to us?

Well, first what is important?

When we are knocking on death's door, what will we care about?

knocking on death's door

Will we care if our kids were in ten different activities, or regret the time not spent as a family?

Will we care that we made it to the upper echelons of the company, or regret the time not spent with friends and family?

Will we regret time spent on the treadmill of life to earn money to be able to take a vacation to a fascinating place, or look back with pleasure on experiences that our hard work has purchased?

Will we just want our loved ones by our sides?

What really matters in life?


If we know what really matters in our lives, only then can we simplify.

It's hard though.

Really hard.

It's hard because we don't like to say that magic word…NO.

What could I say no to without significantly impacting my end goals?

Maybe I could delegate a little more at work.

Maybe I could say no more often when my kids want to sign up for yet another activity that takes them away from the family.

Maybe I could say no more often to playing on my phone rather than with my kids.

I'll keep thinking about it, and looking for ways to say no to things that don't add value in my life.

I'll keep looking for ways to Simplify.

How about you?  What are some things that you simplified that helped reduce stress in your life?  What are some things you need to say no to?


About the Author 

Don Smith

The Personal Growth Channel founder, Don Smith also owns a technology company, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and enjoys seeing people achieve their goals. Happily married with five children, he lives in Springfield, Illinois.

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