12 Responses to “Simplicity in Action: Joel’s Story”


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  1. I love reading the Simplicity in Action stories Courtney shares. I was reading along and thought it sounded a bit familiar. Lightning bolt, It’s Joel! I continue to be inspired by your story, Joel. I appreciate your bulleted list above and find it so interesting that by simplifying your relationships – by eliminating some – you have found a way to improve or add others. It is extremely difficult, or at least it has been for me, to simplify relationships but I think the quality of my existing relationships has dramatically increased. Before I questioned some of my relationships, I was caught up in “spreading myself too thin” – and now I am able to be present more often. I think that when we think of simplifying we think of ridding ourselves of our stuff, so I am very glad you mentioned relationships.

    • Hi Tammy,

      I’m a big fan of the Simplicity in Action stories as well, so you can imagine I was thrilled to have Courtney ask me to write one!

      Simplifying relationships was one of the hardest things for me to start, but paradoxically, one of the easiest things for me to continue. At the beginning, I kept thinking about the people I was cutting loose, “These are humans with feelings and needs. I better be super careful about how I do this and how aggressively I move to remove them from my life.”

      But after the first couple of folks (and thankfully there weren’t a lot more), I realized that anyone who had a toxic influence on me or was holding me back in major ways should just be dropped cold turkey. It worked out amazingly and never caused any backlash or collateral damage. So if you struggle with it, just know that for most people, simplifying relationships is one of the hardest things to do. I still feel spread a little thin from time to time, but that’s because there are so many awesome folks in my life I want to interact with. It’s one of my favorite problems to have.

      Good luck on your journey to simply your relationships!

  2. Great post.

    ‘Eliminating toxic influences’. Something I’ve struggled with & continue to.

    With at least one person in my life, it appears to be impossible for me to cut off from them, for any sustained length of time. So difficult. I’m glad to hear that it’s been a success for you, without any apparent drama.

  3. Joel – Thank you for sharing your journey! I’m always in awe of those who can leave the ‘corporate gig’ behind. I’ve got too much fear to even think of that as an option, but reading stories like yours really helps me, so thanks and good luck to you!

    • I’m glad you appreciate my journey Tracey. Just don’t be in awe of people like me who leave their steady job to pursue something else. :)

      It’s a pretty common phenomenon now and becoming increasingly common. When I read other people’s stories about doing something similar to what I did in March – for whatever reason(s) they happened to have – my heart warms a little bit more. So far it’s working out great for me and most of the other people I know who have walked a similar path.

  4. I enjoyed Joel’s story. I am in the process of starting a business it certainly is a temptation to go off in lots of directions at once in an attempt to establish an income in the early stages.

  5. Your story came at the right time for me, and I, too have been working on becoming more intentional with my time and simplifying relationships. A huge step for me was eliminating Facebook. It was such a negative energy drain, and took away from time I could spend developing actual friendships.

    • Hi Bethany,

      I’m glad you’ve found a great way to simplify your relationships by removing a tool that just wasn’t working for you. People wield the same tools in very different ways, don’t they?

      For me, Facebook is a positive tool in both my personal and business life. But get me around a classic tool like a saw or hammer and it’s a source of frustration/negative energy. Having the self-awareness to identify the tools that should help us but don’t – and then removing them or staying away from them – is one of the biggest gifts we can give ourselves.

  6. I feel blessed as well that I went through a similar transformation before my son was born. It is awesome that you decided simplicity was the way to happiness so early on.

    MarieG LifeSimplyBalanced.com

  7. So many great ideas and expressions.

    My favourite is “personal renaissance”. I’m going through one myself.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I look forward to checking out your work.

    • Hi Mark,

      What are the major themes or traits of your personal renaissance and when did it start? I’m always excited to hear about the spark for other people’s big and long-lasting changes.

      • Hello Joel

        My personal renaissance has been in regard to stuff, time, relationships and money. It has mainly been about my emotional connections with these elements.

        Many of these ideas have been kindling for a long time, but never really acted upon. It was when I met an amazing woman a little over a year ago that I really started taking action on becoming a new, improved version of myself. She inspires me every day.

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