Simple-What does it mean to you?

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has become a guru for those seeking to simplify their lives.  As he states in his Simple Living Manifesto:

A simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. For me, it means eliminating all but the essential, eschewing chaos for peace, and spending your time doing what’s important to you.

The man is a modern miracle.  He has become an icon to bloggers and all those seeking a simpler life in these complex times.  He is also wise in understanding that simple to him may not be simple to others.  This is the first post of three this week exploring the concept of simple and specifically the simple life and

I need your help!



As Leo says, simple can be different for each of us.  In his Simplicity Manifesto, he lists 72 ideas that can simplify your life.  If you are interested in simplifying your life; If you have simplified your life; or If you think that simplifying your life is an impossible fantasy, I need you to tell me about it.  Have you used or are your thinking of trying one of Leo’s ideas?  Do you have one of your own that Leo doesn’t mention?

In the second post, I will explore the definition of simple and some of the related concepts.

The third post will use your input to  examine how real people get down and dirty with being simple.


Here is my example.  Recently I adopted Number 30 – Keep your mailbox empty.  I admit that I learned this from Merlin Mann at 43 Folders not Leo but I no longer face unresolved email messages every time I open my mailbox.  I don’t know how much time I wasted rethinking and then bypassing messages time after time while trying to decide how to handle them.  Now I make a quick decision and the message is gone.

Now it is your turn.  Add your comments here or @RalphCarlson on Twitter.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Katie August 17, 2009, 5:20 pm

    I’m learning to say no. I love Zen Habits, but can only take it in small doses because it tends to be so verbose. And 43 folders changed the way I work. I love it!

  • Ralph August 17, 2009, 7:58 pm

    Thank you Katie. How has 43 Folders changed the way you work?

  • Bob@JuicyMaters October 23, 2011, 6:30 am

    To me, simple is not about getting rid of chaos…life is chaotic unless you go to a Tibetan monastery high on a Himalayan mountaintop…but about dealing with the chaos we are surrounded by in a simple, efficient manner.
    Bob@JuicyMaters’s last Blog Post ..Ins and outs of homestead livestock 9.29 JuicyMaters Living live! (pre-recorded)

  • Steve Skinner October 23, 2011, 3:07 pm

    I agree with you on the email; for years I have kept a very limited number of emails and those kept were filed into folders that related to specific projects. My former boss on the other hand kept them all, at one time he had over 900 messages in his mail box!
    Steve Skinner’s last Blog Post ..Standing Out

  • Ralph@Retirement Lifestyle October 23, 2011, 3:57 pm

    I had a boss like that. He turned out to be the boss from hell, you hear about and the reason I retired for my second time. I’m such a slow learner.
    Ralph@Retirement Lifestyle’s last Blog Post ..If I had it to do over?

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