Simple is…

Anytime we start a conversation, it’s best to begin with understanding. Understanding is common ground. Even if we don’t agree on a subject, if I understand your view we can have a conversation and hopefully we can both grow through it.

So, let’s try to understand simple.


[sim-puh l]

  1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.:

a simple matter; simple tools.

  1. not elaborate or artificial; plain:

a simple style.

  1. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned:

a simple gown.

  1. unaffected; unassuming; modest:

a simple manner.

  1. not complicated:

a simple design.

  1. not complex or compound; single.
  2. occurring or considered alone; mere; bare:

the simple truth; a simple fact.


It comes from two words: Sim-  meaning one, and -plus as in duplus meaning double or fold. One fold. If there is more than one fold it’s not simple. If it takes a lot of steps to get to the end result; it’s not simple. (

Take the first definition, “easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.” Are you able to say that about your life? Your work? Your family? What if you could? What would need to change? How would your life look different?

Your personal simple.

As with so many other things, there is not just one picture of simple. Simple will look different depending on your life situation. Simple may look like owning only 100 things, or it may mean thinking differently about the things you have. It may look like only having what you need and not a lot of extras. It may look like living in a tiny house. I love this idea, but I have a wife and three kids that I also love (and want with me) so it doesn’t look like that for me.  It may look like creating life systems so you don’t have to think so hard about the things you do everyday.

Change what you can change.

Please don’t overwhelm yourself trying to do it all, and all at once. Soon I will do a post on the journey vs. the destination. Sometimes we get those confused. We try to skip the walk and arrive at the end right now. (I do this all the time)

Change what you can change, influence what you can influence, accept what you have no control over, but never stop looking for opportunities to change and influence.

Take a look at your life .

Grab a pen and a piece of paper, or a smartphone or a laptop or a stone tablet… something to write on. Let’s do an exercise:

List the different areas of your life.  (3-7)

For example:

  • home
  • work
  • play
  • marriage
  • hobby

Pick 1, just one. We don’t want you to be overwhelmed, and this is just practice anyway.

Ask the questions:

  • What does this area look like?
    • On a scale of one to ten am I happy with it?
    • Is it simple?
    • What would I like it to look like?
    • What would it take to get from here to there?
    • How would my life be different?

Easy and fun so far? Most of us never get beyond this dreaming stage. It’s safe, it’s fuzzy, it feels comfortable. In the end we go back to the same life we live every day.  Nothing changes, because change takes work.

Now you have a picture. Maybe a fuzzy picture, but a picture. If you’re ready; let’s go on.

    • What might get in the way?
    • What possible negatives do I see?
    • Can I overcome these negatives?
    • How will it affect those around me?
    • Will those around me be on-board with the change? The new life?

Dive in.

Pick a step to take, and take that step. It’s that simple. One fold at a time. Start walking toward Simple Joy.

Happy Hiking,


Tony Noordmans

Life and Simplicity Coach