Sam Davidson met me one January day in a hip new coffee shop in Nashville. As he shared stories about his life and his books, I listened intently while still managing to watch the painting and construction of a stage. (If you’re in Nashville, this is a requirement.) As my schedule allows, I try to meet interesting people in person to learn their stories. Sam is an author, speaker and the cofounder of Cool People Care.
Leaving the little café, I tucked the book Sam gave me under my arm and made my way back to my car. Not needing much sleep, I average a book a day. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’m sent so many books, I can’t keep up with them. But any book with tips on reducing stress has to go right to the top of the pile. I found a very practical and somewhat surprising book on how to Simplify Your Life.
I decided to follow-up with Sam to talk about his ideas on how to live a simple life.
Determine your values and passions
Sam, you have a very different approach to simplifying life. When I first saw the book cover, I thought “minimalism.” Any thoughts of minimalist advice were quickly cast aside when I saw your first chapter begins with the words, “Down with Minimalism.” You say, “Minimalism is boring.”
What is minimalism and why is that not the right place to start?
Minimalism puts the focus on quantity, perhaps to a fault. In the rush to minimize, I fear we miss out on a reflective or introspective process that gets to the heart of why it is we have too much stuff or feel too stressed. Instead, I encourage people to first determine their values and passions. Then, everything that doesn’t enable or enhance one of those can go.
Eliminate things that don’t match your purpose
Getting rid of things for the sake of minimalism may mean we miss out on a valuable tool needed to achieve a great dream. Furthermore, if all we have helps makes us better, the amount of things around us matters less since it’s all beneficial and important.