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DESCRIPTIONLife-Changing Keys to your Most Important Relationships
Good art enters the soul,
appeals to the heart,
and makes new ideas plausible.
dedicated to those who have modeled for me the joys of a united heart.
2010 by Joshua Becker. All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joshua Becker writes regularly at Becoming Minimalist a blog dedicated
to inspiring others to pursue minimalism and simplicity. He is the author of
two books: Simplify and Inside-Out Simplicity.
He lives in Essex, Vermont with his beautiful wife and two small children,
ages 7 and 4. As one of today's leading proponents of rational
minimalism, Joshua presents a
unique approach to simplicity that
is based in the heart, soul, and
mind. You will enjoy his unique
blend of illustrative stories,
theoretical principle, and practical
After all, if his typical family of four
living in the suburbs can simplify
their life, so can you!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE BOOK I WAS AFRAID TO WRITE 07
THE BOOK I COULDNT WAIT TO WRITE 09
WHAT IS SIMPLICITY? 10
WHY RELATIONSHIPS MATTER 14
1. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OURSELVES 16
2. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS 32
3. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR SPOUSE 44
4. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR CHILDREN 51
5. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH POSSESSIONS/MONEY 70
6. WHY OUR WORDS MATTER 85
7. WHY OUR SEXUALITY MATTERS 95
8. WHY OUR SPIRITUALITY MATTERS 98
SEEK SIGNIFICANCE 103
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES 107
WELCOME TO THE BOOK I WAS AFRAID
The idea for this book has been swirling in my mind for years. The outline
has been on paper for months. Even many of the words had already been
written. Yet, I was afraid to finish it.
I have been nervous to release Inside-Out Simplicity because I know that
issues of morality, lifestyle, and inside-out simplicity tend to be
controversial. People get defensive. And they begin making assumptions
about you and your motives.
For that reason, I want to alleviate any fear that you or I may have
concerning the contents of this book by attempting to address the four
most common assumptions that are going to arise in the minds of the
ASSUMPTION #1: THE AUTHOR THINKS HES PERFECT
TRUTH: I'm human. I struggle with many of the same relationship
principles in this book... just like you. Believe me, I wish I was more
generous, more encouraging, and more forgiving. I'm far from perfect just
ask my wife. But I do believe that a simple life begins with a unified soul.
And a unified soul begins by adopting many of the relational principles
included in this book.
ASSUMPTION #2: THE AUTHOR THINKS HES BETTER
TRUTH: Nothing could be further from the truth. We all have weaknesses.
We excel in some areas and struggle in others. I do not think I am better
than you. I have already humbly admitted that I wrestle with many of the
topics covered in this book. I have the same struggles as you. Were all
humans together. Throughout most of this book I am writing to myself - just
trying to further my life along this journey to simplicity as well as yours.
ASSUMPTION #3: THIS STANDARD IS TOO DIFFICULT.
TRUTH: The principles in this book do not outline the prerequisites for
simplicity. They do not define the starting line. Instead, they define the
finish line - the ultimate goal. But simplicity in life can be found in the
journey towards these principles. Begin to adopt them, one by one, and
you will understand what I mean.
ASSUMPTION #4: I DISAGREE WITH ONE POINT, THE
WHOLE BOOK IS WRONG.
TRUTH: At some point during your reading, you are going to disagree with
me (I assume the chapters on sexuality and spirituality will be particularly
debated). Or at least, it is my hope that you disagree at some point along
the way. This book is meant to challenge your heart at its deepest levels. It
is meant to make new ideas plausible. Therefore, I hope you disagree at
some point... and that new ideas cause all of us to think harder about this
journey called life. And may we all become better because of it.
Now that Ive gotten my fears out of the way
WELCOME TO THE BOOK I COULDNT
WAIT TO WRITE
Two years ago, we became minimalists. We made the decision to
intentionally minimize our possessions and simplify our life.
Since then, we have been on a journey to understand what that means for
us and our two children. The process of simplification has since made its
way into our goals, time commitments, parenting strategy, and our
marriage. Essentially, it has influenced all of the important relationships in
our life. Along the way, we noticed that healthy relationships are absolutely
essential to a simplified life.
And I couldnt wait to share what weve observed and learned along the
Be ready. This book goes well beyond the external fixes to our complicated
lives and focuses on the heart issues required for a simplified life. It is
based on the premise that a truly simplified lifestyle begins in a persons
soul. And it will help the reader find an inside-out simplicity by focusing on
the key life-changing principles necessary in their most important
It is meant to challenge you.
It is meant to encourage you.
It is meant to inspire you.
It is destined to help you find a simpler way of life.
WHAT IS SIMPLICITY?
Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives
power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art. -
Simplicity is clarity, purpose, and intentionality. It is marked by the
intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of
everything that distracts us from it. It is a life lived in unity. And once you
find it, you will never go back.
SIMPLICITY IS FREEDOM FROM THE PASSION TO
Modern culture has bought into the lie that the good life is found in
accumulating things - in possessing as much as possible. They believe
that more is better and that happiness can be purchased at a department
But they are wrong.
Simplicity brings freedom from the all-consuming passion to possess. It
steps off the treadmill of consumerism and dares to seek happiness
elsewhere. It values relationships, experiences, and soul-care. And in
doing so, it finds life.
If you desire freedom from the passion to possess, this book is for you.
SIMPLICITY IS FREEDOM FROM MODERN MANIA
Our world lives at a feverish pace. We are too hurried, too rushed, and too
stressed. We work long, passionate hours to pay the bills, but fall deeper
into debt. We rush from one activity to another - even multitasking along
the way, but never seem to get everything done. We remain in constant
connection with others through our cell phones, but true life-changing
relationships continue to allude us.
Simplicity slows down life and frees us from this modern hysteria to live
faster. It finds freedom to disengage. It seeks to keep only the essentials. It
seeks to remove the frivolous and keeps the significant. And in doing so, it
values the intentional endeavors that add value to life.
If you desire freedom from modern mania, this book is for you.
SIMPLICITY IS FREEDOM FROM DUPLICITY.
Although nobody intentionally chooses it, most people live in duplicity.
They live one life around their family, one life around their co-workers, and
another life around their neighbors. The lifestyle they have chosen requires
them to portray a certain image dependant upon their circumstances. They
are tossed and turned by the most recent advertising campaign or the
demands of their employer.
On the other hand, a simple life is united and consistent. It has learned a
lifestyle that is completely transferrable no matter the situation. It is the
same life on Friday evening as it is on Sunday morning... as it is on
Monday morning. It is reliable, dependable and unfluctuating. It works in all
If you desire unity in your life, this book is for you.
SIMPLICITY IS COUNTER-CULTURAL
We live in a world that idolizes celebrities. They are photographed for
magazines, interviewed on the radio, and recorded for television. Their
lives are held up as the golden standard and are envied by many.
People who live simple lives are not championed by the media in the same
way. They dont fit into the consumerist culture that is promoted by
corporations and politicians.
Yet, they live a life that is attractive and inviting. While most people are
chasing after success, glamour, and fame, simplicity calls out to us with a
smaller, quieter, calmer voice. It invites us to slow down, consume less,
but enjoy more. And when we meet someone living a simple life, we often
recognize that we h