In April 2010, my wife Melinda and I lived a charmed life. We had emotional and financial stability, great family and friends, and good health.
And although expected, Melinda’s simple words that month of “I’m pregnant” sparked my personal renaissance that shows no signs of slowing down.
But if life was so good, why did I feel the irresistible urge to change every aspect of it?
After much searching, I found an overwhelming need to live and work with purpose, share my journey with others, and provide direct value to people. But where was my express pass to meet these needs?
I saw people doing all these amazing things as I started to explore blogs. And they were happily giving away their best resources on topics like simplicity, organization, risk-taking, personal finance, doing passionate work, and more.
The Reevaluation Process
I became convinced that I could also have the huge impact that my blogging heroes did. After all, they were just regular folks like I was. But what kind of impact did I want to have?
It took a while to find my way after starting my first blog in November 2010. I wrote about consumption, productivity hacks, personal experiments, and a jumble of topics… none of which was adding much value.
I needed more time to make my blog shine and to define its direction. So I left corporate America in March 2012 and gave up a financial industry job with six-figure compensation.
But the real progress didn’t start until my 72 hour Continuous Creation Challenge in April 2012 when I mapped out what I was good at and passionate about.
One central theme emerged beyond the rest: helping people simplify, organize, and be money wise.
That was when I created this mission to show people the Value of Simple.
What Defines Me and What I’ve Accomplished
I paid no attention to what defined me, what I accomplished, or what I had to offer the world before my personal renaissance. Now, I can’t stop thinking about it.
But how did I let myself spend my first thirty years learning without applying? After a decade of hollow corporate career achievements and three decades of taking more than I gave, I resolved to focus my legacy on generating value for others.
Now, I’m a regular guy, certainly no expert, and someone who tries hard to be humble. But as I dug deeper, I began to see major accomplishments everywhere. Things like:
- Complete command of my daily money management
- Zero health issues for over a decade
- Being many people’s “go-to guy” for organizing help
- The ability to be intentional with and find simplicity in my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual environment
- Keeping my email box and desk clean as a whistle
I’ve struggled with a lot over the years. But the frequency and intensity of my struggles fell as the simplicity and organization of my existence grew.
As I worked on defining my beliefs and how I could help others, I created a number of principles to guide the “why” and “how” behind everything I do . They can be found in The Value of Simple Declaration and include:
- Freedom is needing little and wanting less
- One small change can lead to big changes
- Give up the “good life” to pursue a great life
- Choose uncertainty over unhappiness
- Many questions have the same answer: simplify
- Quest for your personal renaissance
- Be intentional
- Internal mastery beats external rewards
- Radiate peace… and burn inside with passion
- Self-awareness is taken, not given
- Life’s an experiment. Be your own mad scientist.
- Rocking life’s basics is not sexy, but it’s incredibly rewarding
- Curate your existence
All I have are random methods without these principles. With them, I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought I could. As much as they work for me, other people experiment with these principles and share that they work for them too.
Some Final Words
I know that simplifying, organizing, and being money wise can be a puzzle with too many pieces missing. I’d probably still be stuck in my corporate cubicle without a solid foundation in these things.
Although I don’t have all the answers, I love to think I’m like a firefighter. They don’t need to know thermodynamics to save someone in a burning house and I don’t need formal credentials to help people achieve what matters most to them.
I hope this story will help you on your journey. If you’d like to join me on my journey, I’d be grateful to have you come along. We’ll struggle together, share accomplishments, and enjoy some laughs on the way.
So what about you? Do you have an exciting story to tell?