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Simple Stories – Joel

Joel Zaslofsky and Family I am excited to share with you a ‘Simple Story’ this week.  

It has been a while since I have had a chance to share a story from someone else and I just love stories 🙂  Thanks so much for sharing Joel!

Simple Stories – Joel

I love stories that begin, “It all started with … “

Don’t you?

Travel back in time with me to April 2010 as my wife Melinda said to me one morning, “Honey … I’m pregnant!”

(Cue the record scratch.)

I didn’t know it at the time, but this moment was the spark for:

  1. Overcoming a twenty-year video game addiction.
  2. Quitting my six-figure corporate job to help people simplify, organize, and be money wise.
  3. Igniting a new and simpler relationship with food (although the Sugar Dragon still visits me).
  4. Freeing myself from old relationships that were holding me back.

It wasn’t instant sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, though. In fact, I had barely started my personal renaissance by the time my first son Grant was born in November 2010.

Just like anything else worth doing, all the good stuff was a challenge and a process.

My simplicity journey started with the occasional blog post from Becoming Minimalist or Be More with Less. But my dabbling in this “simplicity/minimalism” whatchamacallit didn’t gain momentum until right before I left my comfortable job in March 2012.

That’s when I began reading books like Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic. As the Roman Stoic said himself, “With some people you only need to point to a remedy; others need to have it rammed into them.”

It turns out I needed a simplicity remedy rammed into me. So I ditched my video game and sugar binging for a simple living binge. I experimented with leading an intentional life and – for the first time ever – clearly defining my needs, wants, and desires.

I desperately sought out gratitude, contentment, and abundance in something other than the “good life.” 

Simplicity was a tool to achieve the self-awareness that I had always hoped would magically appear (yet somehow never did). It was a coping mechanism for the swirling confusion in my head as I went from one radical change to the next.

Consume less, create more became my mantra. As the pull of simplicity drew me away from being consumed with consumption, I had new space to flex my dormant creative muscles. All this led to the birth of the thing I’m most proud of beside my two sons: Value of Simple and the community’s declaration to the world.

I’m like you, though. I still struggle and I’m far from perfect. 

But I can feel my flaws now. And I can more clearly see what’s holding back others so that I can point to simple solutions (or ram them in when requested).

Fortunately, the best is yet to come.

I’m so jazzed about simplicity – and so mystified that our community doesn’t already have its own live, in-person event – that I’m organizing SimpleRev (the vision and additional context is right here).

SimpleRev is taking place on October 3-4, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and it’s where the international simple living community will gather for action, collaboration, and fun.

We’ll cultivate deep relationships, build individual and collective influence, solve problems, use diverse workshops to form new habits, and, of course, spread the mission of simplicity. In other words, we’ll demonstrate an enriching alternative to the crazy complexity that surrounds us and the systems that separate us from what we truly need.

I have no idea how successful SimpleRev will be or whether it will eventually transform into a movement. That’s OK. Simplicity has helped me give up the urge to control everything. Instead, I’m trying to live in the moment and create an environment for meaningful experiences.

As Steve Schalchlin taught me at the 2013 World Domination Summit, you can live your life permanently in the bonus round. I feel like simplicity has set me free to do just that.

So what was your “Ah ha!” moment with simplicity? Maybe you’ll share it with about 200 of your fellow simple living advocates and future friends at SimpleRev?  

Bio: Joel Zaslofsky gives access to download the free tools that he and countless others use to simplify, organize, and be money wise. When he’s not enjoying nature, organizing simplicity events, working on his Smart and Simple Matters show, or chasing his sons around the house, he’s cranking out useful stuff at Value of Simple.

Thanks so much Joel for sharing a bit of yourself!  I’m really excited for where it is all going.  You’re awesome! — Lorilee